> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 3

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"How about that? I knocked him out!! This is the easiest ten grand anyone's ever made!"

- - The Scorpion, page 11

Mac Gargan takes on the proportionate strength of a scorpion!


Amazing Spider-Man #20
January 1965 • 21 pages

Publication Date: October 8, 1964

Letters Page: Not currently in inventory

I: Feature Story: "The Coming of the Scorpion! or, Spidey Battles Scorpey!"

Pages: 21

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

First Appearance: The Scorpion, Dr. Farley Stillwell

Villain: The Scorpion

Origin: The Scorpion

Guest Appearance: Aunt May, Flash Thompson, Betty Brant, J. Jonah Jameson, Ned Leeds, Dr. Farley Stillwell

Cameo Appearance: Liz Allan

Death: Dr. Farley Stillwell

Synopsis: Peter Parker leaves his friends at Midtown High School to go home, whereupon his spider-sense tells him he's being followed by the same stranger who had followed him the previous day (see ASM #19). Worried that someone has figured out his secret identity, Peter decides to investigate a little closer, especially after the man has followed him all the way home! Seeing that the man is leaving his stakeout, Peter follows him in his Spider-Man uniform to do some stalking of his own. He sees the man enter a phone booth, as if taking orders from the person on the other end of the line, then head back to the Parker household. Peter makes it back to his bedroom without being seen, managing to once again evade his Aunt May, but is still unnerved as to why someone is following him.

J. Jonah James is being his typical Spidey-hating self, trying to concoct a plan to defeat the web-spinner, when he reads an article about the scientist Dr. Farley Stillwell, who can cause artificial mutations in animals. Entering JJJ's office is the man who has been following Peter, a private investigator named Mac Gargan. Gargan has been tailing Peter on the orders of Jameson, who wants to get the scoop on how his young photog is able to get such intimate battle pics of Spider-Man. But now, Jameson asks Gargan if he wants to take on a more dangerous job, and Gargan readily accepts as long as Jameson is paying the bill. While Peter is once again introduced to Ned Leeds by Betty Brant, Jameson and Gargan walk quickly past them on a mission to see Dr. Stillwell, with Peter being very curious what JJJ is up to!

At the lab of Dr. Farley Stillwell, Jameson offers the scientist large sums of money to start a special project for him, money that the cash-strapped Stillwell is unable to resist, even though he is worried about the ethics of the task. Stillwell feeds Gargan, who is Jameson's guinea pig, a serum that would mutate his body to have the powers of a scorpion, then hooks him up to a machine that synthesizes his super-human powers. Added to this is Stillwell's mechanical tail device, which is fastened to a costume and reacts with Gargan's nerve impulses to act as a super-strong and whiplike weapon. Grogan's stregth is immense, but he has trouble getting used to his new-found powers.

Peter leaves JFK Airport with Betty, having just waved goodbye to Ned Leeds, and their furtive attempts at romance continue. Peter breaks free of such romantic troubles to swing into action as Spidey, wanting to find out what Jameson was up to. He heads to the Bugle office, where a cigar-chomping JJJ sets him up for his confrontation with Mac Gargan, now the Scorpion! As JJJ gleefully watches from above, the Scorpion launches a surprise attack on Spider-Man, punching him with his super-strong arms and bashing him with his lethal tail. Spidey tries to web him up, but the Scorpion uses his pincers to carve through the gummy substance and throw it back onto Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Dr. Stillwell runs some tests in his lab that reveal that the more the Scorpion uses his powers, the more his evil nature will take over. He develops a serum he hopes will change Gargan back to normal and races off to deliver it before Gargan is completely overtaken by evil.

Meanwhile, the Scorpion appears to have beaten Spider-Man, and as his evil nature begins to take over, he spurns JJJ and heads off to rob an armored car. JJJ nervously paces his office as the Scorpion goes on a rampage, and Spider-Man recovers from unconsciousness to take the fight back to his villainous counterpart. Stillwell meets up with Gargan and tries to convince him to take the serum, but the villain refuses, relishing his new powers, and Stillwell, who once again shows an extreme lack of wisdom by trying to follow the Scorpion up the side of a building, loses his grip and falls to his death, dropping the vial containing the serum. Spider-Man comes on the scene and goes into combat with the Scorpion, who is growing more evil as the minutes tick by. Their fight takes them into the office of Jameson, but before the Scorpion can reveal the secrets of his origin - and Jameson's complicity in it - Spider-Man finally is able to land the knockout punch.

Peter heads back home with many nicks, cuts and bruises, drawing great concern from his Aunt May, as well as laughter and jeers from Flash Thompson and the school bullies. To make matters worse, Jameson has spun the events that happened in his office as an act of heroism - by the newspaper publisher! Jameson gets all the credit for defeating the Scorpion, and also continues his campaign to portray Spider-Man as a threat and menace.

II: Pin-Up: "Peter Parker and Ol' Webhead"

Pages: 1

--synopsis by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Spider-Man from
Amazing Spider-Man #20-30 and Annual #2

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


ASM #20

ASM #21

ASM #22

ASM #23

ASM #24

ASM #25

ASM #26

ASM #27

ASM #28

Ann #2

ASM #29

ASM #30


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