> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 2

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Now I can never tell Betty that I'm really Spider-Man! If I do, Im sure to lose her forever! I'll have to keep my secret locked inside me...for all time!"

- - Peter Parker, page 21

Doctor Octopus: Public Menace!


Amazing Spider-Man #11
April 1964 • 22 pages

Publication Date: January 10, 1964

Letters Page: Currently not in inventory.

I: Feature Story: "Turning Point"

Pages: 22

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

First Appearance: Blackie Gaxton, Municipal Prison Warden, Bennett Brant

Villain: Doctor Octopus, Blackie Gaxton, the Gaxton Gang

Guest Appearance: Warden, Aunt May, Betty Brant, Bennett Brant

Death: Bennett Brant

Gadgets & Technology: Spidey Tracer

Setting: Philadelphia

Synopsis: As Pete sits alone, wondering where Betty Brant has mysteriously disappeared to, he hears a news bulletin that says Doctor Octopus is being released from Municipal Prison for time served. Peter decides to make a trip to the prison to prevent them from releasing the mad menace, but when he gets there, the warden tells him they can no longer hold Octopus because he's done his time. Peter heads back home to figure out a way to track the villain upon his release from prison, and develops the "Spidey Tracer", a small bug that allows him to track whatever he places it upon. He makes his way to the prison where Octavious is scheduled to walk free, and sees a car roll up to pick him up. Behind the wheel of the car is Betty Brant! Spidey tosses a spidey tracer onto the roof of the car before it speeds off, and he can scarcely believe what he has just seen. He picks up a map that had fallen from the car, and sees that it is a map of Philadelphia, which goes along with the Pennsylvania plates the car had on it.

Meanwhile, in a prison cell in Philadelphia, mobster Blackie Gaxton is giving his attorney a rough time. The attorney is Bennett Brant, the brother to Betty, and he has helped Gaxton by coordinating a prison break with the aid of Doctor Octopus. Brant has done this with the understanding that all his gambling debts will be written off by Gaxton. He heads back to his apartment where Dr. Octopus is trying to hit on Betty, much to her disgust. Doc Ock starts slapping Bennett Brant around, making the young attorney feel even worse for the mess he has gotten himself and his sister into. Betty tries to talk him into leaving and making a fresh start, but Bennett says he must see his way through the jail break.

Peter tells his Aunt May he's headed to Philadelphia to see some historical sites. He makes it there as Spider-Man and goes swinging around to track down his spidey tracer. He dresses as Peter when he locates the signal, and as he turns the corner, he spots Betty Brant, who breaks down upon seeing him. She explains everything to him, about her brother, about her involvement with Dr. Octopus, and why she didn't share this information with him before - to protect him. Peter tells her not to worry, that Spider-Man is in town and looking for Doc Ock. (He also resolves to himself to share his secret identity with her when all is said and done.)

Doc Ock heads to the prison and busts Blackie Gaxton out. Octopus demands his $100,000 fee for the jailbreak. Spider-Man arrives at the prison too late to stop the jailbreak, but the guards spot him and wonder if he was involved somehow. He swings back to check on Betty and make sure she iss okay, but Blackie Gaxton's goons have taken her and Bennett at gunpoint to join Blackie, who is taking Dr. Octopus to a steamer ship where he is going to make his escape. On board, it becomes quite clear that Gaxton intends to kill Bennett Brant and his sister, so they never have a chance to reveal information to the police. Spider-Man arrives onboard the ship, hearing Betty scream, but he lands awkwardly and twists his ankle. Before he can recover, he's taken at gunpoint inside the ship's hull, where Dr. Octopus cackles with glee that he will not only take on Spider-Man, but take out Blackie, too!

Spider-Man doesn't wait a second longer and nimbly dances around the room, laying blows on Blackie's goons with his fists and his one good foot. His first blow knocks Doc Ock clean out of the room, so he is given more time to take care of the less powerful Gaxton and his men. Spider-Man corners Gaxton, who is firing his gun wildly. Spidey tells Bennett and Betty to hang back, but Bennett steps up in front of his sister and gets shot by Blackie's gun. He falls over dead. Betty has a meltdown, blaming Spider-Man for causing her brother's death. Spider-Man tries to talk her out of it, but he has to give chase when Blackie tries to escape. Out on the deck of the ship, Spidey lays into Blackie's men, as does Doc Ock in his attempts to get to Spider-Man.

Finally, it's Spider-Man vs. Dr. Octopus. Octopus chases Spider-Man through the deck and down in the hull of the ship, keeping Spidey on the run on his bad foot. Spidey uses a fire extinguisher to create a cloud that will obscure him so he can escape to check on Betty. While Spidey is gone, Doc Ock grabs the briefcase full of cash and hops aboard the boat that was swinging by to pick up Blackie Gaxton. Spidey spots him trying to flee and he hops on board the small craft as well. They tangle with each other on the prow of the ship, causing the freaked-out pilot to hop overboard, not wanting to be anywhere near such a battle. Without a pilot, the boat heads straight for a dock and crashes into it, causing both Spider-Man and Doc Ock to fall overboard. No trace is found of the tentacled villain, but Spider-Man heads back to the dock where the police are rounding up Blackie and his men.

As Peter changes out of his Spidey costume, he realizes now that he can't share his identity with the woman he loves. When he meets up with Betty, she is feeling better about Spider-Man, realizing she was wrong to blame him, but she also says she never wants to see him again, for it will remind her of her dead brother. Peter tells her that Spider-Man would understand.

--synopsis by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Spider-Man from
Amazing Spider-Man #11-19 and Annual #1

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


ASM #11

ASM #12

ASM #13

ASM #14

ASM #15

Ann #1

ASM #16

ASM #17

ASM #18

ASM #19


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