> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 3

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"You know what they say about me, gentlemen. I'm all heart! And besides, Foswell works like a dog!"

- - J. Jonah Jameson, answering the questions of his men's club buddies why he has hired ex-con Frederick Foswell, page 8

The Crime-Master means business!


Amazing Spider-Man #26
July 1965 • 20 pages

Publication Date: April 8, 1965

Letters Page: Not currently in inventory.

I: Feature Story: "The Man In The Crime-Master's Mask!"

Pages: 20

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

First Appearance: Principal Davis, "Patch"

Villain: Crime-Master, Green Goblin

Guest Appearance: Aunt May, Betty Brant, J. Jonah Jameson, Frederick Foswell/Patch, Liz Allan, Patch

Synopsis: Peter goes on a hunt through his house to try to find the Spider-Man costume his Aunt May took from him. Having no luck, and knowing that JJJ took the other costume during his battle with the Jameson-powered robot (see LAST ISSUE), he wonders how long he can go on without a costume! Meanwhile, at the city docks, the Green Goblin and the Crime-Master enter into a dispute over their plan to control the underworld of New York City. The Crime-Master thinks he can do it without the Goblin's help, and the Goblin is angry the Crime-Master is backing out of their deal. After all, says the Goblin, they both know each other's secret identities after an initial bid to establish mutual trust. Spurning the Goblin, the Crime-Master goes on a crusade to "persuade" the gang leaders of the city to consolidate their power under his control. He uses a campaign of violence and intimidating threats to get his point across.

Concurrently, in the private lives of this story's characters: Frederick Foswell hangs up a set of his "work clothes", reflecting on the "dangerous game" he is playing while working as news reporter for the Daily Bugle (what could he possibly mean?!?!) Peter tries to get Aunt May to tell him where she put his costume, but with no luck. Back at the Bugle offices, Peter gets an earful once again from Betty Brant for his betrayal of Spider-Man, as well as for not sharing with her the "new girl" in his life, Mary Jane Watson, who Peter confesses he doesn't even know! Before he leaves the Bugle, Peter wonders about Foswell, who he doesn't trust one bit.

At Midtown High School, the confrontation between Flash Thompson and Peter Parker finally comes to a head, with Peter launching himself at the bully. Liz Allan helps break it up, telling both of them she wants nothing to do with them any more. Principal Davis reprimands Peter for his violent acts on campus, while unknown to Peter, Flash steps up to admit his role in the fight to the principal.

And while the Crime-Master continues his campaign of violence, Spider-Man has to find some way to get back into action without a costume. He visits a costume shop where he buys a cheap imitation Spidey costume, which works fine except for random stretching at his waist, wrists, ankles and mask, for which he must employ his own webbing to help keep them from slipping off his body. Spidey's first stop on his crime-fighting crusade is Foswell's apartment, where he hopes to find evidence of his alleged duplicity. Outside Foswell's window stalks the Crime-Master, who sees a form moving around inside and uses his silencer gun to fire! He misses, but flushes Spider-Man outside to the rooftops, where the fight really begins!

Spider-Man evades shot after shot until the Crime-Master runs out of bullets, and then Spidey leaps into close quarters for combat, but the Crime-Master sprays a disorienting gas at him, causing him to lose his balance. Unable to take his mask off to breathe fresh air, the Crime-Master eventually pushes Spidey off the rooftop of the very tall building they stand on and turns to leave, thinking the hero's death is certain. But on the way down, Spidey pulls his mask off and breathes freely once again, and is able to save himself by using his webbing to connect with a nearby building.

Sick of his paltry excuse for a costume, Spidey heads to the Daily Bugle office to confront Jameson about the costume he kept after their last battle. JJJ tells him Smythe, the robot inventor, has it. After scoping out Foswell's place one more time, Spidey finds a map with a location at the city docks circled on it, so he heads there in pursuit of potential action. Sure enough, the crime bosses of the city are set to meet with the Crime-Master at a pre-set hour to discuss working under his authority. However, a stoolie named Patch has placed a call to local police authorities to notify them of these activities, and a gangbusting detail is set to take action of their own based on his information.

At the docks, Spidey keeps watch, while at another location the Green Goblin and the Crime-Master duke it out once again over their power struggle, with the Goblin saying he will do anything to keep the Crime-Master from power, while the Crime-Master threatens that if he is ever killed, the Goblin's secret identity will be released to the press. The Goblin takes off in flight but quickly comes upon Spider-Man, and they begin to fight. Taken by surprise, Spider-Man is knocked unconscious by the Goblin. As the Crime-Master arrives at the docks to meet the assembled underworld figures, so, too, does the Goblin arrive, holding proof of his own power: the body of the Amazing Spider-Man!

(continued in ASM #27)

--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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