> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"He's right! I was a fool! I should have waited till they broke into the store! Now I've no evidence!"

- - Spidey, page 2

Principal Davis ain't no square! He knows his super-hip super-heroes!


Amazing Spider-Man #4
September 1963 • 21 pages

Publication Date: June 11, 1963

Letters Page: Not currently in inventory.

I: Feature Story: "Nothing Can Stop...the Sandman!"

Pages: 21

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Steve Ditko
Inks: Steve Ditko
Letters: Sam Rosen

First Appearance: The Sandman, Charlie and his jewel store thieves, Betty Brant, Principal Davis

Villain: The Sandman, Charlie and his jewel store thieves

Origin: The Sandman

Guest Appearance: Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant, Liz Allan, Flash Thompson, Principal Davis

Marvel Milestones: First named appearance of Liz Allan

Synopsis: Spider-Man has to patrol the city streets in the shadow of billboards that trumpet "Spider-Man Menace", and he wonders to himself how long Jameson can keep this up. When he spots three would-be burglars casing a jewelry store, he tries to stop them, they throw it in his face that he's a menace and should be locked up. Indeed, Spidey scolds himself for his novice "police work", as he should have waited until they began committing the crime to try and stop them. Later, he sees another opportunity to help law enforcement when he sees the police chasing a fellow in a green shirt. He corners the guy on a rooftop and recognizes him as the Sandman, a crook he has read about in the newspaper. He tries to grab him, but the Sandman melts underneath his grasp. He tries to punch him, but the punches either go through his body or glance off his rock hard chin. Finally, the Sandman takes a swing at Spidey, and the collision causes Spidey's mask to fall off. Fearing his secret identity will be revealed, he runs away, much to the cackling delight of the Sandman, who then continues his path to the bank he is going to rob.

After the Sandman uses his amazing powers to reconstitute his body into any imaginable arrangement of sand, it is easy for him to rip off the strongest bank vault. As Peter repairs his costume, he hears a news report detailing the Sandman's origin: Flint Marko was an escaped convict on the run who, in evading a police dragnet, hid out in an atomic test area. A nuclear explosion somehow combined the molecules of his body with the sand he was lying in, and gave him these super powers. Spider-Man wants to continue taking the fight to Flint Marko, aka the Sandman, but his Aunt May keeps checking in on her "poor, sick nephew", keeping him from being able to don his costume and escape.

Peter visits the Bugle offices, where J. Jonah Jameson is blustering in a rage about a "gift" Spider-Man had left him (the previous evening, Spidey gummed up his desk chair with webbing!) Peter meets the publisher's pretty secretary Betty Brant for the first time, and Peter asks JJJ for an advance on his paycheck, a request which the publisher denies. JJJ does say to Peter that he wants all the pictures of Spider-Man the kid can produce. Later at school, Peter has to break a date with Liz Allan in order to arrange to take pictures for the Bugle, but Liz is one pretty blonde girl who doesn't like being stood up, and she isn't shy about letting Peter know it!

Meanwhile, the police are in hot pursuit of the Sandman, who uses his amazing powers to transform his body into any composition of sand particles to evade them. He looks for a place to lay low and rest up, and he spots Midtown High School and decides it is the perfect place. He ducks inside a classroom where Principal Davis is greeting the assembled students. The Sandman demands that the principal give him a diploma, but Principal Davis stands up to him and says diplomas must be earned, not given away. Leaping inside the room at that moment is Spider-Man, who lands a surprise right-hook across Sandman's chin. Flash Thompson leads the excited crowd of kids in support for Spider-Man, as he tries his best to defeat the slippery Sandman.

They take the fight out into the hallway, with the Sandman turning his fists into rock hard clubs, but Spidey is too agile for him to lay a blow. The fight heads into the gym, where Spidey is wrapped up tight inside a cloud of sand, then rolled in a ball downstairs to the basement. Before he can suffocate, Spidey somehow makes his way out of the ball of sand and threatens Sandman with an electric drill. To evade this tactic, Sandman turns himself into a fine mist of sand, but he has just fallen into Spidey's trap, as the web-spinner merely sucks him up with a janitor's vacuum cleaner! Before he leaves, he takes some pictures of himself fighting "sand particles" so he can sell them to the paper.

In fact, JJJ is downstairs with the police, using every bit of his influence to get them to arrest Spider-Man as a menace. Spidey turns over the vacuum cleaner with Sandman inside to the police, but leaves before he can give a full report to the officers and risk getting arrested. He goes back to being the bookworm Peter Parker, and later runs into JJJ and informs him he got some great pictures. He also tries to get his date with Liz back, but she refuses, much to the glee of Flash and his fellow bullies.

--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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