Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #29

Credits:

Cover Date: October 1965

Cover Artist: Steve Ditko

“Never Step On a Scorpion! (or You Think It’s Easy to Dream Up Titles Like This?)”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Steve Ditko

Inker: Steve Ditko

What’s Going On?

The Scorpion has broken out of prison and he’s looking to settle the score against Spidey and JJJ!

Details:

  • When the Scorpion breaks out of prison, the police immediately warn J. Jonah Jameson that he will likely be targeted by the villain.

  • Jonah worries that his role in creating the Scorpion will be revealed at some point, so he downplays the danger he is in.

  • It doesn’t keep him from plotting against the Scorpion, though. Reasoning that if Spider-Man defeated the villain once, he can do it again —- if only JJJ can figure out how to get Spidey to fight the Scorpion on his behalf!

  • Having overheard about the Scorpion’s breakout at the Daily Bugle, Peter decides that he should try to draw the Scorpion away from Jonah by hanging out —- very publicly —- across town. He thinks that the Scorpion will learn where Spider-Man is, and opt to track him down for a fight, rather than attack JJJ.

  • This plan fails pretty badly. It does attract the Scorpion’s attention; however, he sees this as an opportunity to attack Jonah without Spider-Man’s interference.

  • Meanwhile, Jameson decided to print a headline accusing Spider-Man of being partners with the Scorpion. He figures that Spidey will be forced to defend Jonah to clear his name. And while that might not be the worst plan, it requires Spider-Man to see the headline before the Scorpion attacks JJJ —- which he doesn’t.

  • Lucky for Jonah, Spider-Man figured out the flaw in his own plan and realized that the Daily Bugle was vulnerable to a Scorpion attack. He arrives just in time to save Jonah.

  • Scorpion gets a few good licks in, but when the fight moves outside of the Daily Bugle offices, Spider-Man catches the villain in his web, and the fight was pretty much over.

  • With the fight over, Peter tried to catch up with Betty, who had been very close to the action in the Daily Bugle. She was shaken up pretty badly, and Peter is either upset that he allowed it to happen or that Ned Leeds is the one supporting her in her time of need.

Is It Good?

Yes, this is another good issue. It does a nice job of juggling the supporting cast in the midst of a big fight, and Ditko’s art —- especially in the fight scenes —- is pretty great. Betty and Peter’s relationship is kind of annoying, but I love that it brings out the pettiness in Peter. This is just another example showing the heroes aren’t perfect; that point is made more explicitly when Spider-Man’s plan to find the Scorpion completely failed.

Continuity:

  • Scorpion last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #20.
  • Ned Leeds last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #20. He has been in assignment in Europe, but has returned to America and the Daily Bugle. Peter is jealous of Ned’s relationship with Betty, even if they are not dating exclusively.

  • Betty Brant last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #27.
  • Frederick Foswell last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #27.
  • Peter buys some new clothes in this issue, and comments on his money woes.

  • Hmm…JJJ mentions a cat burglar, but the plot doesn’t follow up on it. Could this be foreshadowing?

  • I don’t think we’ve seen Spidey use his webbing to make bolas before.

  • Aunt May is suffering from fainting spells. She’s been ill before (as recently as Amazing Spider-Man #18), but this is a new development.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Look at that! A ridiculous plot point is (somewhat) reasonably explained by the script! Will wonders never cease?

  • One of my favorite things is Spider-Man being douchey and immediately suffering a comeuppance.

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