> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 5

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"No matter how unbearable the burden may be - - no matter how great the personal sacrifice....I can never permit one innocent being to come to harm - - because Spider-Man failed to act."

- - Peter Parker, page 18

Peter Parker at his very lowest.


Amazing Spider-Man #50
July 1967 • 20 pages

Publication Date: April 11, 1967

Letters Page: Page OnePage Two

Ranked #45 in 100 Greatest Marvel Comics of All Time list

I: Feature Story: "Spider-Man No More!"

Pages: 20

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: John Romita
Inks: Mike Esposito (credited as Mickey Demeo)
Letters: Artie Simek

First Appearance: Kingpin

First Appearance: Kingpin

Guest Appearance: Harry Osborn, Aunt May, Anna Watson, Professor Warren, Gwen Stacy, J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant, Patch/Foswell, Mary Jane Watson

Cameo Appearance: Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, David Brinkley, Chet Huntley

Flashback Cameo: Uncle Ben, the Burglar

Synopsis: Spider-Man is single-handedly taking on a group of thugs trying to knock over a company payroll office. He saves the office from robbery, and he receivespraise from one worker there, but receives an equal level of disdain from another, who worries that Jameson is right about Spider-Man being a menace. Spider-Man swings away, wounded from the reality that the publisher of the Daily Bugle has done his job all too well to turn public opinion against him.

He arrives home to hear Harry Osborn tell him that his Aunt May is ill. As he rushes to see her, resting in bed after a visit from Dr. Bromwell, he reflects on his status quo: his grades are declining, he feels thoughtless towards Aunt May, and he has no time to accept Gwen Stacy's invitations to go out. When J. Jonah Jameson launches into another tirade against Spidey on television, Peter reflects on the main idea of JJJ's rant: that Spider-Man is nothing but an egomaniac addicted to the thrill of battle and putting others in harm's way. He thinks long and hard about that and wonders if it's true; that he fights for the thrill of it, and not for helping others. He balances all these heavy thoughts against all the sacrifices he makes and the lies he is forced to tell to keep up his double life, and then does something very profound. He leaves his costume in an alley garbage can and quits being Spider-Man.

A little kid finds the costume and runs it over to Jameson the next morning. The publisher is absolutely thrilled, and offers the kid a free copy of the Daily Bugle in exchange. He splashes the story all over the front page of the Bugle and becomes an instant celebrity. He even appears on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon, as well as Huntley and Brinkley's news show, spreading the news that Spider-Man has quit!

The city quickly feels the loss of the webslinger, but none more than the members of the underworld. By leaving his post, Spider-Man has created a golden opportunity for a new crime boss called the Kingpin to seize control of the city gangs, and he takes advantage of it real quicklike!

Frederick Foswell senses a new flurry of activity in the underworld and dons his Patch disguise. He hears the story straight from the gangsters that something big is up. But Foswell starts thinking dark thoughts. "Why should the mysterious Kingpin control the mobs? Why couldn't it be Foswell? After all, he was the Big Man once!" thinks the supposedly reformed journalist (see ASM #10). As Foswell thinks about a possible move back into crime, Jameson sends him out to get more leads on the Spider-Man story. Peter goes into the Bugle and is stunned by what he sees. JJJ has framed his Spider-Man suit in his office! Catching himself, Peter tells JJJ he is quitting. After all, he thinks to himself, if he's not Spider-Man anymore, how can he get all those great shots? Foswell overhears all this and wonders if it's a coincidence that Parker quitting the Bugle and Spidey quitting the hero game are connected.

While the Kingpin strengthens his grip on New York, Peter has time to study, talk with Harry Osborn, and flirt with both Gwen and Mary Jane! Giving up his secret identity has been the best thing Peter's ever done, he thinks. If only he can avoid reading the newspapers or listening to the radios, hearing all kinds of stories about a major crime wave. Later in the day, he squeezes in a chat with Gwen about her cozy relationship with Harry. She tells him there's nothing to it, but still Peter thinks he has no shot with a girl like her.

Then one night, after dropping off Gwen he sees two thugs beating a night watchman on a rooftop. Though out of costume, without thinking he scales the wall and takes out both thugs. The night watchman thanks him and he looks just like Peter's Uncle Ben. Once again, Peter's reminded why he became Spider-Man. He thinks about how if he hadn't allowed that burglar to escape, if he hadn't been thinking only of himself, Uncle Ben would be alive today (see AF #15). Peter decides he can't let that happen again, as Spider-Man must be there to protect innocent lives.

Foswell finds the Kingpin and reveals himself as the Big Man. He declares to the Kingpin that the mobs are his game, and he's taking over now, but informs the Kingpin that he can remain as his lieutenant. The Kingpin does not suffer fools gladly. He orders Foswell to be put "on ice" for awhile.

Peter sneaks into the Bugle and reclaims his costume. He waits as Spider-Man for Jameson to show up. Spider-Man is back and he reasons J. Jonah Jameson might as well be the first to know.

--synopsis by Jonathan Clarke, aka doesitmatter, and Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Amazing Spider-Man #41-50, Annual #3

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


ASM #41

ASM #42

ASM #43

Ann #3

ASM #44

ASM #45

ASM #46

ASM #47

ASM #48

ASM #49

ASM #50


Website design by Doug Roberts and John Rhett Thomas. All images on this site are copyright of Marvel Comics. This site is for reference purposes and promotion of the Masterworks line of books as well as Marvel Comics and their properties.