> Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks Volume 5

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"We've studied that photo of Spider-Man long enough! It's time to decide whether to offer him Avengers membership!"

- - Captain America, page 1

Captain America gives the post-breathalyzer test lecture.


Amazing Spider-Man King-Size Special #3
1966 • 21 pages

Publication Date: August 2, 1966

Letters Page: No letters page published in this issue.

I: Feature Story: "...To Become an Avenger!"

Pages: 20

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

First Appearance: Mr. Wilson

Guest Appearance: Avengers: Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Goliath, Wasp; Aunt May, Mr. Wilson, J. Jonah Jameson, Hulk/Bruce Banner

Cameo Appearance: Daredevil, Frederick Foswell

Marvel Milestones: Spider-Man learns the secret identity of the Hulk is Bruce Banner

Synopsis: It's time for the weekly meeting of the Avengers and this week they just happen to be discussing Spider-Man. They're having trouble deciding whether or not to offer him Avengers membership; some members, like Hawkeye, enthusiastically support Spidey, but others, like Iron Man, are not so sure. To help break the impasse, they decide to summon a possible reference: Daredevil. The Man Without Fear gladly offers his support for Spidey, recalling that during the times that they both fought together, Spider-Man was "as great a partner as one could hope for!" The matter is settled. They will offer him membership, once he passes "the test."

The Avengers split up and scour the city, looking for Spider-Man. Thor spots him and orders Spider-man to take the test for Avengers membership. Spidey doesn't even know if he wants to be an Avenger, and this command takes him quite by surprise. Initially, Thor is insulted that Spider-Man doesn't immediately say yes to the offer of a tryout, but then gives him 24 hours to decide.

Peter is lost in thought the entire next day. He weighs the pros and cons, thinking that he likes being a loner in charge of his own destiny, but ultimately his sense of responsibility drives him to Avengers Mansion to try out for Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The opening conversation goes badly as Spider-Man's ego gets him into an argument with the team over the rules to the supposed "test." The Avengers appreciate his passion but not his temper, with even Hawkeye expressing doubts about Spidey's potential. They decide a fair test is for Spider-Man to capture the Hulk, who has been spotted in New York, and bring him back to Avengers Mansion. Before they can fill him in on exactly why they want the Hulk captured, Spidey swings off into action, eager to prove himself to the Avengers.

Spider-Man swings by J. Jonah Jameson's office to annoy him and get a drink of water. While JJJ flips out, Frederick Foswell runs in to report the Hulk has been spotted at the Gamma Ray Research Center! Spidey rushes off to tackle his assignment.

Spider-Man finds the Hulk and asks him to "come with me." The Hulk, naturally, refuses, and Spidey manages only to stay out of the way of the Hulk's defensive attack. He hits the Hulk with all his spider-strength but the Hulk shrugs him off. He punches through the wall of a radiation container, and the leak changes him to Bruce Banner. When Spider-Man recognizes Banner, he realizes the Hulk is not evil, just a misunderstood monster; he is Banner's curse, like Jekyll and Hyde. Spidey can't bear to turn him in to the Avengers, wondering what they will do to him while he is in their captivity. Banner changes back to the Hulk and Spider-Man binds him in webbing while his strength is not yet at its greatest. Hulk snaps the webbing with ease but is not interested in a fight. He shoves Spider-Man aside and skulks off into the night. Spider-Man lets him go, thinking it is not right to capture poor Dr. Banner.

Spider-Man swings back to Avengers Mansion and tells them that he couldn't even find the Hulk. He blows off the audition and returns home, wondering why nothing works out right for him. Meanwhile, the Avengers wonder if perhaps Spider-Man is overrated, and wish he had captured the Hulk, as they are very concerned about the welfare of their former teammate, and don't wish him any harm.

--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


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