Writer: Stan Lee
Art: Steve Ditko and Artie Simek
Release Date: August 10th, 1965
As the Crime-Master prepares to take over NYC’s crime families, the Green Goblin shows up with an unconscious Spider-Man. Read on to see how this story unfolds…
Yeah, spoiler warning. Even in a review of a 54-year-old comic.
In an effort to prevent the Crime-Masters rise to power, the Green Goblin gains the favor of the assembled gangsters by showing up with an unconscious Spider-Man.
As a police informer, Patch quietly observes from the crowd, the Goblin wants to celebrate his new leadership position by unmasking Spider-Man.
Amid one-liners, Spider-Man breaks free of the chains.
Craziness ensues as the gangsters, police, Crime-Master, Green Goblin, and Spider-Man battle. The Goblin breaks free on his glider while the Crime-Master flees on foot and makes his way under the docks with Spider-Man in pursuit.
After more shenanigans, Spider-Man talks to his boss J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle, as a shootout is taking place on a nearby building top. The Crime-Master is shot by the police after some help from a shady character named Frederick Foswell, who is a reformed gangster now working as a reporter at the Bugle. The Goblin, however, dies right before revealing the Green Goblins identity.
After Peter sells his photos to a rival paper he and Aunt May go to see a movie.
Meanwhile, Foswell proves he hasn’t completely turned away from his life of crime, and another mysterious figure vows to destroy Spider-Man while he holds the Goblin’s mask. The end.
This is the first of what will be a series of ongoing “Retro” reviews brought to you by the Weird Science Marvel Comic staff. It may relate to another current ongoing series or movie, or just may be whatever we’re reading in back issues. This particular review is one I picked because it came out this week in 1965. Take a minute to think about that. Think of how much has happened in history in these last 54 years, and also think about the fact that this summer’s Spider-Man movie has already grossed over a billion dollars. That’s quite a testament to all these wonderful characters that were created by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby, etc..
Classic comics aren’t for everyone though. The art is extremely dated. They can also be very racist and sexist. Many are also heavily bogged down with dialogue. A LOT of dialogue. With that being said, classic comics are a perfect way to really dive into the vast history of all the great Marvel characters.
I’ve picked my favorite characters and have been reading chronologically from the very beginning, as well as reading current stuff.
As far as this issue goes Stan Lee has really hit his stride in his writing style by the mid-60s. Instead of each issue being a small story and fighting a villain and repeat the next month, Lee has gotten into the “serial” format of interweaving ongoing stories from issue to issue. Spider-Man has been a favorite character of mine since the ’70s. While he has superpowers, he’s a normal guy with everyday real-world problems. Stan shows aspects of all of these things in this issue. From setting up his camera to sell his pictures for money to his rocky relationship with his boss Jonah Jameson, to his girlfriend problems with Betty Brandt, it’s all here along with the one-liners Spider-Man is so known for. We also see Stan setting up Peter’s future relationship with Mary Jane Watson in this issue.
Steve Ditko’s art is outstanding in this issue. His Spider-Man design is timeless and is one of the most recognized in all of comics. The sheer amount of work these guys were doing does show though. There are some panels as shown below where there are no backgrounds at all. Just solid colors.
It doesn’t really take anything away from the story at all. I just attribute it to the hectic schedule Stan and Steve were on at this time. We also see the classic Green Goblin in this issue. It’s amazing that the villains created in the first few years of Amazing Spider-Man are still around today and are still seen in the comics and movies.
For those who enjoy classic Silver age comics this issue won’t disappoint. Timeless storytelling with great art to boot.