Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #30

Credits:

Cover Date: November 10, 1965

Cover Artist: Steve Ditko

“The Claws is the Cat!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Steve Ditko

Inker: Steve Ditko

What’s Going On?

Spidey’s in trouble as he juggles Peter Parker’s floundering love life and a clever burglar at the same time.

Details:

  • While web-slinging across town, Spider-Man almost runs into the Cat Burglar! But he doesn’t turn his head, and so Spidey misses the chance to prevent a crime.

  • That crime: stealing stuff from J. Jonah Jameson! JJJ offers a $1000 reward for whoever captures the Cat Burglar.

  • When Spider-Man announces that he will try to capture the Cat Burglar, JJJ realizes that he will look like a fool if he is forced to reward Spidey, considering how publicly he berated the hero. To save face, Jonah orders Frederick Foswell to go undercover and seek leads on the Cat; he really doesn’t want to pay Spidey the reward.

  • Meanwhile, Peter decides to call on Betty Brant, since he hadn’t spoken to her since last issue, when she had a fright. She’s got news for Peter: Ned Leeds has proposed! Peter’s first instinct is to win her over by revealing his secret identity, but he quickly realizes why that would be a bad idea.

  • Now that he knows that Betty would never be comfortable with him being a superhero, Peter storms off, heartbroken. Unfortunately, Betty was waiting to explain that she loves Peter more than Ned, but he left too soon. She tries calling him later, but he refuses to return her calls.

  • To take his mind off Betty, Peter decides to patrol as Spider-Man. Coincidentally, someone spots the Cat Burglar preparing to break into a building and calls the police. Spidey and the police arrive at the scene at the same time.

  • After failing to evade Spider-Man, the Cat resorted to shooting at the hero. Spidey was able to avoid the Cat’s bullets until the police arrived and cornered the crook.

  • Since the police caught the Cat, JJJ didn’t have to pay the reward money. Without that prize, Peter opted to snap some pictures to make the best out of the situation. He also went out of his way to be mean to Betty, rather than finish their conversation, so…maybe he deserves to be sad here.

Is It Good?

Yes, this is another good issue of Amazing Spider-Man. The Cat Burglar isn’t much of a villain, but the subplots with Aunt May, Betty Brant, Liz Allan, and the mysterious costumes criminals were enough to make up for the Cat’s dullness. Ditko’s art continues to impress, and his increased (or at least acknowledged) contributions to the plot are making for an engaging blend of short-term and long-term storytelling.

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of the Cat, or Cat Burglar. His exploits were mentioned last issue, but we didn’t see him.
  • Liz Allan’s last appearance was in Amazing Spider-Man #26. She appears to have some adult concerns weighing her down, and for some reason she doesn’t want Peter or Flash to know where she works.

image-5378

  • Flash Thompson’s last appearance was in Amazing Spider-Man #28. He is still trying to date Liz, but she is avoiding him. This seems to stem from Flash getting into college, while she is entering the workforce.
  • These costumed crooks are working for the Cat, who appears to be masterminding their capers. Spidey tussled with them earlier this issue, but they escaped. Spidey is unaware that the Cat is both a burglar and a gang leader.

  • Ned Leeds proposed to Betty Brant this issue. She hasn’t given him an answer yet.

  • Aunt May is still suffering from dizzy spells, but we don’t know the cause yet.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Spider-Man’s Spidey-sense used to be described as a sort of radar that he could use to find criminals or crimes. It looks like we’re starting to see if morph into the premonition of danger that is is classically portrayed as. Otherwise, how does he miss the Cat Burglar here?

  • Stan Lee writes painful teenager dialogue, exhibit A:

  • Stan Lee writes painful teenager dialogue, exhibit B:

  • Why does Peter only talk to Aunt May like this about pie?

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