> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 3

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"'The Green Goblin, King of Crime!' I like that! It has a nice ring to it!"

- - The Green Goblin, page 3

Spider-Man vs. the Green Goblin: an uncommon perspective!


Amazing Spider-Man #23
April 1965 • 21 pages

Publication Date: January 12, 1965

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

I: Feature Story: "The Goblin and the Gangsters"

Pages: 20

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

First Appearance: Lucky Lobo, Merriweather

Villain: Green Goblin, Lucky Lobo, the Lobo mob

Guest Appearance: Aunt May, Betty Brant, J. Jonah Jameson, Frederick Foswell, Merriweather

Cameo Appearance: Merriweather

Synopsis: The Green Goblin brings an offer to the gang lord Lucky Lobo and his assembled minions: the Goblin will lead from now on! Lucky doesn't like the sound of that and orders the Goblin to be shown the door. The Goblin doesn't like the sound of that, so he tosses a few pumpkin bombs and zaps some gangsters before leaving, saying the next time they meet, he won't be so easy on them! The press and police converge on the scene, and the headlines scream "Green Goblin Raids Mobsters!" The Goblin flies away, conjuring up the next step in his plan to become the "king of crime".

At the Parker home, Peter checks on his costume which he laundered the previous evening only to find it is still wet! After saying goodbye to his Aunt May, he reads the curious headlines trumpeting the villainous Goblin's crusade against organized crime. Stopping by the Bugle offices, he spies a letter addressed from Ned Leeds on Betty's desk, which concerns him greatly. Before he can talk to her about her possible split romantic loyalties, he sees Frederick Foswell - the former criminal known as The Big Man (see ASM #10) coming out of J. Jonah Jameson's office. Peter asks about Foswell, and JJJ says hiring Foswell back is all about forgiveness, charity...and the public relations his good deed will bring him! On his way out, Peter stops to talk to Betty, but his girlfriend never mentions the letter from Ned, which perturbs Peter to no end! He has no time to think about this, though, when he spots Foswell on the streets talking to a shady character. He is unable to tail Foswell further because he couldn't don his wet costume, still hanging to dry back home!

The Goblin meets with a stooge who gives him income tax files that reveal the full extent of Lucky Lobo's tax evasion. The Goblin is delighted to use this as a tool in his quest. Later, Foswell delivers a similar document to JJJ, who decides to publish the findings that expose Lobo in the next Bugle edition. The police meet with Jameson to get a look at the info so they can hone in on Lucky, making JJJ look like a real big shot.

Finally, Spidey's costume is dry and he heads down to capture some mobsters on the run from the police, when the Green Goblin stops them first! Spidey is confused as to why the Goblin is doing "good deeds" and follows him. The Goblin barrels into Lucky Lobo's headquarters and starts throwing pumpkin bombs around. Spidey leaps in to aid the Goblin, thinking perhaps he's turned good after all, but in the smoke and confusion, the Goblin has evacuated the chaotic scene, leaving Spidey alone to face off against Lucky's mobsters. A fight ensues, with the Goblin watching from outside in the hopes they will rub each other out. Spidey knocks around a bunch of Lucky's goons, but in the middle of the action is able to seal himself off in a room and call Aunt May and tell her he'll (meaning Peter!) be home a little late for dinner. The fight continues after the phone call, and in final battle against Lucky himself, Spidey gets an earful about why the Goblin is acting the way he is: Lucky tells him it's all about mob control, and the Goblin is trying to get him arrested so he can take over his gangs. Sure enough, the cops roll up, and Spidey gladly leaves Lucky behind to get arrested, but realizes his ultimate battle is with the bad guy Green Goblin.

Spidey cases the city and finally finds the Goblin flying on his jet glider, pouncing on his back and forcing him down into a factory. Pumpkins are thrown and webs are shot, and eventually the Goblin knocks Spidey aside and escapes. On his radio, the Goblin hears that the entirety of Lucky Lobo's gang has been arrested in a police dragnet, which foils his ultimate plan to recruit them for his own gang of mobsters. At the Bugle offices, Foswell raises Peter's suspicions even more, Betty still doesn't mention Ned Leeds, and Peter winds up at home worrying about all that's going on in his life that's bad.

II: Pin-Up: "Spidey.....and those who've been 'caught' in his wonderful web!"

Pages: 1

Great expository pin-up with head shots of Aunt May, Betty Brant, Peter Parker, Liz Allan, J. Jonah Jameson and Flash Thompson hovering in the center over a background that features Spider-Man standing in the shadows. Ringing the whole piece are little boxes featuring representations of (in counter-clockwise order): Stan Lee at his typewriter, Dr. Octopus, the Chameleon, the Terrible Tinkerer, the aliens that employed the Terrible Tinkerer, Dr. Doom, the Lizard, the Burglar, the Vulture, Sandman, the Living Brain, Electro, Cannonball, the Great Gambonnos, the Clown, Princess Python, the Ringmaster, the Scorpion, the Beetle, Kraven, the Green Goblin, Mysterio, Fancy Dan, Montana, the Ox, the Big Man, and Steve Ditko at his drawing table.

--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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