The Spider-Man Challenge: Monday through Friday Mondays and Tuesdays, I read a Stan Lee-written issue of Amazing Spider-Man and write crap about it.
“Spidey Strikes Back!”
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Synopsis: This issue, Stan decides to kick things off with the most intense caption of all time.
Then BAM, we go straight into Spider-Man beating up some thieves!
J. Jonah Jameson, literally about to deliver a lecture entitled “How I Proved That Spider-Man is A Cowardly Fraud”, finds out and we get what may seriously be the best three panel sequence in Spider-Man history:
The Human Torch, tired from an adventure of in Strange Tales, notices Jameson pounding his fists against a wall, but ignores it. Out of nowhere,The Enforcers and Sandman ambush him.
Turns out they’re planning to take down every super-hero in the city (Yeah have fun with Thor, guys). One of Sandman’s cronies shows up to tell him that Spider-Man’s back, but Sandman tells him to shut up before The Enforcers hear (They only agreed to do the job with Spider-Man gone).
Meanwhile, Spidey heads home and catches some sleep. The next day at school, Spider-Man’s return means Flash is popular again, though Liz Allan won’t give him the time of day. After school, Peter spots Fancy Dan on the streets and decides to follow him.
Fight ensues. The cops show up and everyone scatters. Peter heads over to the Bugle and runs into Betty, who introduces him to Bugle reporter/her new beau Ned Leeds. Ned’s friendly enough and Betty’s surprised to find that Peter wishes her well, wondering if he’s seeing someone new. Peter tries to talk to Jonah, but he’s back to his usual self and slams the door on his face. Across town, The Enforcers and Sandman plan to use The Torch to trap Spider-Man. The Torch tries to give his glass cage The Touch but it’s a no go.
Spider-Man stops by the Bugle long enough to razz Jameson, then shakes down a stoolie named Louie for the location of Sandman and co.
Spidey shows up at their hideout (an old gym) and is taken by surprise by Sandman. A melee breaks out and Spider-Man holds his own long enough to break out The Torch.
The two take down The Enforcers, but their squabbling keeps them from nabbing Sandman.
Luckily, the police manage to catch the now-tired Sandman. Peter skedaddles and sells photos of the fight to Jonah, who greedily buys them up. Peter runs into Betty and Ned again and she’s put off that he isn’t showing a shred of jealousy. Betty really needs to get her shit together.
The issue ends intriguingly with a mysterious figure following Peter home. The figure phones another, even more mysterious robed figure to report in. The robed man says he “must know for certain” before he acts. Uh oh.
- This is a pretty good issue. Not much really happens, but it continues some solid plot lines.
- Hey, the first appearance of Ned Leeds! Lets look at the handsome devil:
- I really enjoyed how this caper ended with Spider-Man and The Torch screwing up and bickering. It’s easy to forget that they’re just kids, so alittle immaturity now and then really demonstrates that.
Final Thoughts: Good issue and a nice conclusion to the three issue storyline Lee set up. Tomorrow: The first issue of 1965 and it’s got the debut of The Scorpion! Yeah!