Cover Price: $.12

#1
March 1963

Value: $40,000 (Near Mint-) Origin,  Spider-Man, 1st J. Jonah Jameson, 1st Daily Bugle, 1st John Jameson, 1st The Chameleon

 

Supporting Cast:
Maxie Shifman (Spider-Man's Agent), Aunt May (I & II), 1st J Jonah Jameson, 1st John Jameson (I & II)


Guests:
Fantastic Four (Mister Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Human Torch, The Thing) (II)


Villains
:
1st
Chameleon (II)

I - "Spider-Man" - Part 1 - 6 Pages
                                     Part 2 - 5 Pages
                                     Part 3 - 3 Pages

II -
"Spider-Man Vs. The Chameleon!"
10 Pages

Writer -
Stan Lee
Artist - Steve Ditko
Cover - Jack Kirby (Inked by Steve Ditko)
Lettering I - Johnny Dee (D'Agostino)
Lettering II - John Duffy

Marvel must have received a huge amount of letters from fans because Amazing Spider-Man featured TWO stories just like they promised back in Amazing Fantasy #15! There are two stories in this extremely important issue as they probably prepared for one story for Amazing Fantasy #16 if it wasn't cancelled along with the other regular horror/ mystery stories.

I - The first story of this twin-billing introduced for the very first time the Jameson Family. J. Jonah and his son John. A menacing picture of JJJ leaps out on the splash page as Spider-Man is labeled a freak and public menace. A full seven months after his last appearance, Peter Parker recalls his origin on how he became Spider-Man and the capture of the Burglar that murdered his Uncle Ben. He and his Aunt May are having financial problems and can't pay the rent. Peter wants to help so badly that he offers to quit school and find a job. His Aunt has none of that as his Uncle wanted him to become a scientist therefore he had to continue his studies. Things get worse for Peter as he learns he cannot endorse the check written to "Spider-Man" that his agent Maxie Shifman gives him for entertaining audiences.

We next cut to the very first look at J. Jonah Jameson in a story. Typing away and trying to run Spider-Man out of town calling him a menace on the front page of paper the Daily Bugle. We also meet Jameson's son John Jameson, an astronaut who later becomes Spider-Man's enemy the Man-Wolf in Amazing Spider-Man #124. It gets so desperate for money in the Parker household that Aunt May is seen by Peter pawning her jewelry and Peter also learns that because of Jameson's editorials about Spider-Man, he cannot perform anymore in the already classic red and blue costume.

The action of the story begins as Jameson's son begins an orbit flight in a spaceship. After liftoff, the capsule splits from the rest of the craft and begins to have problems as it is out of control. Thinking that the capsule is doomed, desperate measures are taken to save the life of the young astronaut but they fail. Spider-Man comes to the rescue for the first time! He jumps on a plane and then attaches his web to the capsule and eventually lands on it. He then frees the parachute from the top of the capsule saving young John Jameson. Thinking that he is free from public scrutiny on the part of the Bugle, Peter is shocked to learn that the next day's edition has the following headline: "This newspaper demands that Spider-Man be arrested and prosecuted!". JJJ accused Spider-Man of plotting to steal the spotlight from his son. Spider-Man is now wanted and Aunt May even fears him for the first time.

Also see Fantastic Four Annual #1 where this story was re-done by Jack Kirby to devote more space to it because readers at the time demanded it!

II - The second story in this landmark first issue is the more historically significant story as it features Spider-Man's first super villain the Chameleon and his first meeting of other Marvel super heroes, the Fantastic Four. Peter is still trying to earn money for him and his Aunt May and comes up with an idea of earning money by joining the Fantastic Four. As Spider-Man, he arrives on the rooftop of the not yet named Baxter Building which sets off the alarms for the FF inside. Spider-Man is trapped once he arrives through one of the windows but easily escapes the trap. A major four on one battle now takes place with Spider-Man doing very well against the Thing, Human Torch, Mister Fantastic, and the Invisible Girl. Mister Fantastic stops the fun and gets to the point of the whole mess as Spider-Man announces his intentions to join up with the FF for "Top Salary" but learns that the FF are a non-profit organization. Spider-Man then quickly leaves as Mister Fantastic states "Somehow, I have a feeling we'll be hearing more from that young man in the future!".  The future does indeed hold many more encounters between Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four members.

We next cut to the second part of the story where we find a man with a multi-pocket disguise vest putting on a mask of a professor at a defense installation on the edge of town. The man wants to gain access to a restricted area where he soon walks into and steals some plans from a file. "Nothing can stop the Chameleon!", the confident master of disguise says to himself and he then goes to his hideout where he plans on selling the stolen plans to an Iron Curtain country. He hears over the radio about Spider-Man's run-in with the Fantastic Four earlier that day and t gives the Chameleon an idea to make Spider-Man the fall guy for him. The Chameleon next sends Spider-Man a message that only his spider-sense can pick-up and tells him to meet him on the roof of a building. Of course he is being set-up as the Chameleon portrays Spider-Man and commits some crimes in the building awaiting Spider-Man. When Spider-Man arrives on the roof, a couple of police are there waiting for him. Spider-Man realizes that he is being framed but wonders "who?". He remembers a helicopter that just left the building as he arrived and goes after the copter and rips the door off it capturing the fleeing Chameleon. He brings the Chameleon to the police where he quickly gets away  and then disguises himself as a policeman. After a fight, the Chameleon's clothes are torn to reveal a Spider-Man uniform underneath and it is now known to the other policemen that this is no policeman but rather the Chameleon and then taken away. The story ends as the Fantastic Four wonder aloud if Spider-Man would ever turn against the law.

Two great stories that are both entertaining and historically significant. The Chameleon would not be seen again until Amazing Spider-Man #15 where it is revealed that he has a relationship with the then new villain Kraven the hunter. The Chameleon would play a major part in Spider-Man's history in many titles and also makes obscure appearances in Tales Of Suspense #58 and Tales To Astonish #62. This issue has been reprinted many times and can be had for a couple of bucks easily. Peter is incorrectly named Peter "Palmer" in this issue in one instance.

Komikai
(Actual Size)

 

Golden Record Reprint
(Notice no price on cover)

 

Quality Rating: 5
Significance Rating: 5

Overall Rating:

10

Reprinted In:
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #7
 
Marvel Tales #138
 Spider-Man Classics #2
 Marvel Masterworks Vol. 1
Spider-Man Essentials I
100 Greatest Marvels Of All Time #1
Wizard
Ace Edition #1

Of Interest:
Fantastic Four Annual #1

Amazing Fantasy #15

Amazing Spider-Man Minus #1

Also This Month:

No Other Spider-Man Comics this month.

Amazing Spider-Man #2