> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"When I'm thru with this article, Spider-Man will be run out of town!"

- - Legendary journalist J. Jonah Jameson, page 4

Teenage angst as only Stan and Steve can deliver!


Amazing Spider-Man #1
March 1963 • 25 pages

Publication Date: December 10, 1962

Letters Page: No letters page published in this issue.

Ranked #23 in 100 Greatest Marvel Comics of All Time list

I: Feature Story: "Spider-Man: Freak! Public Menace!"

Pages: 14

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Steve Ditko
Inks: Steve Ditko
Letters: John D'Agostino (credited as Johnny Dee)

First Appearance: J. Jonah Jameson, John Jameson

Origin: Spider-Man (retelling)

Guest Appearance: Aunt May, Liz Allan, J. Jonah Jameson, John Jameson, Spider-Man's booking agent

Marvel Milestones: First appearance of Daily Bugle newspaper

Synopsis: Peter Parker relives the previous day's events, beating himself up over his part in the death of his beloved Uncle Ben. What's worse is that financial problems are besetting his Aunt May now that Ben is gone. Peter wonders what he can do to help earn money, and his thoughts turn to using his powers for robbing banks but he realizes how wrong that would be. His Aunt May encourages him to continue his studies to become a scientist, and he calls an agent for more entertainment bookings as Spider-Man, which leads to a rich irony: while his classmates ridicule him as Peter Parker, they are lining up to see him as Spider-Man! As fate would have it, since Peter tries to keep his identity secret, he realizes he can't cash the checks that he's making for his entertainment gigs.

That's the least of his problems, though, as Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson takes public his loathing for the costumed "vigilante", with a series of headlines that spread the word that Spider-Man is a public menace. He calls for Spider-Man to be outlawed, and demands the public look up to real heroes like his astronaut son, John. Sure enough, the tide of public opinion turns on Spider-Man, and his entertainment engagements dry up. Realizing he can't make any money as Spider-Man, Peter pounds the pavement to look for a real job, but keeps coming up empty. On one of his fruitless job searches, he spots his Aunt May pawning her jewelry to make ends meet. Peter becomes incredibly frustrated, and focuses much anguish against the Bugle editor, J. Jonah Jameson, for his hurtful crusade.

The next day, Peter tags along with his classmates to witness the launching of a rocket, piloted by John Jameson. Everything is going fine until the capsule experiences a breakdown in its guidance unit, sending it spinning out of control. It is spinning down towards an eventual crash onto the surface of the Earth, and there is nothing anybody appears to be able to do about it. Peter decides to try to save the day as Spider-Man, and dons his costume and offers his services to the rescue planners, under protest of J. Jonah Jameson, who accuses Spider-Man of being a headline-grabbing phony. He races off to the airfield and commandeers a pilot and plane to fly him over the out-of-control capsule so he can jump on the back of it. He fires his web-shooters at the capsule and it sticks across the back end, and Spider-Man pulls himself aboard. He attaches a missing part - given to him by the space control commanders - to the head of the capsule, and John Jameson is able to take manual control of the capsule and parachute to safety.

Thinking he will be able to go back into public once again as a hero, Spider-Man congratulates himself on a job well done. But the next day, newspaper headlines shout once again "Spider-Man Menace!" J. Jonah Jameson slants the events of the capsule rescue in a very ungenerous way towards Spider-Man, and somehow convinces authorities that he should be arrested. Even Aunt May is swayed, telling Peter over his morning cereal that Spider-Man should be locked up! Peter wonders how he will ever be able to use his powers for good under such duress!

II: Feature Story: "Spider-Man vs. the Chameleon!"

Pages: 10

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Steve Ditko
Inks: Steve Ditko
Letters: John Duffi

First Appearance: The Chameleon, Professor Newton

Villain: The Chameleon

Guest Appearance: Fantastic Four, Professor Newton

Marvel Milestones: Spider-Man's first use of "Spider Sense"

Synopsis: Peter naively figures that he can make some money if he joins the Fantastic Four, so he sets out for the Baxter Building to apply for a job. Unable to access their private facilities, Spider-Man figures it will impress them to no end if he was to stealthily break in! His forced entrance triggers an alarm, and on an otherwise routine day, the FF springs into action. Spider-Man leaps into an open window but is immediately trapped inside a plexi-glass cage. Spider-Man peels the doors back with his super-strength and the fight begins: not knowing whether he is friend or foe, the Thing takes a swipe at the naive teenager. Spider-Man gamely punches back, though, sending the Thing reeling into the Torch. More combat follows, with Spider-Man stymieing the best efforts of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl. The fight ends when Mr. Fantastic restores civil order, and they demand to know what Spider-Man wants. When he tells them he wants a paying job, they laugh him off and explain they are a "non-profit" group that isn't hiring!

Across town, a nefarious criminal called the Chameleon has just taken the identity of a janitor to gain access to a restricted area of a defense installation. From there, he is able to take the identity of Professor Newton and steal his files without detection from anyone. At his home, the Chameleon ponders selling the files to Iron Curtain countries, when he hears a news bulletin about Spider-Man trying for membership in the FF. The Chameleon assumes it's because Spider-Man needs money, so he decides to use him as part of his next plan. He sends a message through a machine that "only spiders can hear", and sure enough, Peter Parker picks up the message to meet on top of a building at 10 pm. Spider-Man shows up on time, while the Chameleon changes into his Spider-Man costume to steal the missile defense plans.

Just as the Chameleon takes off from the building, Spider-Man is arriving, only to have some policemen try and arrest him for stealing the secret plans. Spider-Man has no idea why it's happening to him, but knows he's being framed, and he binds the policemen up in his webbing and takes off. He assumes his threat is racing away in the helicopter that had just left the building as he arrived, and he traces it back to a Russian submarine surfaced off the coast. Before the Chameleon can hand the secret plans over to the Russians, Spider-Man apprehends him and takes him back to the police. The clever criminal is able to drop a smoke pellet before Spidey can hand him over and he escapes on foot. But despite changing into the identity of a policeman to escape detection, Spidey's tingling spider-sense leads him to the villain. In all the hubbub, however, the cops are never sure what is going on, and try to arrest Spider-Man, too.

Spidey runs down the alleyway in the night, sobbing that he wished he had never gotten his powers.

III: Letter Page Solicit: "A Personal Message From Spider-Man"

Pages: 1

Spider-Man requests letters for future installments of a fan mail page, gives addres to Marvel Comics.

--synopsis by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Spider-Man from Amazing Fantasy #15 and
Amazing Spider-Man #1-10

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


AF #15

ASM #1

ASM #2

ASM #3

ASM #4

ASM #5

ASM #6

ASM #7

ASM #8

ASM #9

ASM #10


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