> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 3

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"They had to give me back my Beetle equipment! There's no law against a man owning an armored costume!"

- - Abner Jenkins, aka the Beetle, page 2

Get ready for a Beetle sandwich! (YUCK!!!!)


Amazing Spider-Man #21
February 1965 • 21 pages

Publication Date: November 10, 1964

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

I: Feature Story: "Where Flies the Beetle...!"

Pages: 20

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Steve Ditko
Inks: Steve Ditko
Letters: Artie Simek

Villain: The Beetle

Guest Appearance: Doris Evans, the Human Torch, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, J. Jonah Jameson

Synopsis: No sooner is Abner Jenkins, aka the Beetle, released from prison than he suits up as his villainous alter ego to exact revenge against the man who put him there: the Human Torch. In fact, while on a date with his girlfriend Doris Evans, Johnny Storm reads in the newspaper about the Beetle's release from prison and is concerned about that very thing! Much to Dorrie's chagrin, Johnny "flames on" to search the city for the Beetle, and as luck would have it, Spider-Man is doing his patrols in the same part of town. As the citizens below ooh and ahh and cheer the Torch on, the Beetle stalks him, while Spider-Man sulks his way back home knowing the crowd hates him and loves the Torch.

Back at home, Doris gives her showboating boyfriend the cold shoulder. She tells him that if he goes "flame on" one more time in the next 24 hours, she's breaking up with him. Johnny pledges to take it easy on the super-powers and not ignore her. The Beetle, however, has stalked them back to her home and overheard all this, and has decided to get his revenge through the Torch's girlfriend.

While shopping the next day, Doris drops her packages on the street, and Peter Parker stops to help her. She is impressed by his sweet demeanor, and when she accidentally leaves her wallet behind, Peter personally returns it to her home address. She thanks him and invites him inside, admiring his smarts and seeming acculturation. As Peter leaves, Johnny cruises up in his hot rod and spots Peter - and teenage jealousy arises! Johnny Storm, now in his FF costume, traces Peter to a shopping trip with Betty Brant and tells him - in front of Betty - to stay away from his girl. Betty is hurt by such words, and Peter lets Johnny know what a jerk he just was; ironically, Flash Thompson is there to egg Peter on, since he hates the Torch due to his loyalty to Spider-Man. Later, Peter decides he's had enough of arrogant Johnny Storm, and decides to make a play on Doris Evans as Spider-Man, just to taunt his nemesis. He gets in costume and heads over to her house.

While he's on his way, the Beetle is all set to kidnap Doris Evans. As Spider-Man bumbles onto the scene, the Beetle decides to let nothing stop his plan and attacks Spidey. They wage war on Doris Evans' front lawn, punching, throwing and bashing each other with their super-human strength. Doris spots this altercation from her window and, in a terrible fright, calls Johnny on the telephone and tells him to "flame on and head over to her home right away!" Johnny assumes she's playing a gag on him to get him to break the deal he made with her, and hangs up on her despite her pleas that she is in danger. Meanwhile, the battle has crashed through her window and into the home. Tables, chairs and sofas go flying as the two costumed powers fight with each other.

Johnny decides to go see Doris and let her know he was in on the joke, and in the meantime, the Beetle scoops her up and flies away from his battle with Spider-Man to bait a trap for the Torch. When Johnny arrives, he sees the place is a total mess and realizes Doris wasn't crying wolf. He also figures Spider-Man is involved, and when he sees him climbing the city rooftops, he launches some fireballs at him. The two rumble, and Spider-Man knows he cannot get a word in with his hothead counterpart, so he instead tries to influence their battle over towards the place where the Beetle has trapped Doris. The Torch spots the Beetle and turns on him immediately, following him into an abandoned building. The Beetle gamely tries to take on both costumed heroes, but finds their combined power too much to deal with before he is subdued by Spidey's webbing and walled in behind a fiery prison created by the Human Torch.

As Spidey puts the wraps on the Beetle, Doris wonders aloud if he wasn't in cahoots with the Beetle. Spidey is furious to hear such a thing after all he has done, and along with the fact that Betty is mad at him, and all the other grief in his life, he exits the scene wondering if it's all worth it.

II: Pin-Up: "Spider-Man"

Pages: 1

Spider-Man posing on the side of a wall.

--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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