Cover Price: $.12

#26
July 1965

Value: $825 (Near Mint-)

 

Supporting Cast:
 Frederick Foswell, J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant, Aunt May, Flash Thompson, Liz Allen, 1st Patch (Stool Pigeon)


Guests:


Villains:
1st Crime-Master, Green Goblin

"The Mystery Of The Crime-Master's Mask!" - 20 Pages


Writer -
Stan Lee
Artist - Steve Ditko
Cover - Steve Ditko
Lettering - Sam Rosen

Three issues ago, in Amazing Spider-Man #23, were learned of the Green Goblins aspirations to become king of the underworld of crime. After two classic stand-alone stories, we now continue with with the events concerning the Green Goblin as well as introduce another new villain into the already infamous rogues gallery of Spider-Man villains: The Crimemaster! Chronologically, the Crimemaster has already appeared in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #23 & #25, but this is his first true first appearance. As for the Green Goblin, he last appeared in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #25, chronologically, which explained the true relationship between he and the Crimemaster. It is very suggested reading after reading this great issue, even though the events in that issue take place before those in this and next issues. The surprise explanations just may spoil the fun for ya!

Oh yea, there is this issue, Amazing Spider-Man #26. And it begins with a big picture of a question mark. Why? Because there will be many unanswered questions by the time you are finished reading this issue. Both the Goblin and the Crimemaster know each others secret identities we are told, and Daily Bugle reporter Frederick Foswell has some strange secret that he only knows. Prettttty Interesting! When we are finally on our way to the story, we find a young Peter Parker looking for the Spider-Man costume she took last issue, and after looking he finally falls asleep. Elsewhere, on a deserted pier, the Green Goblin and a new figure have a talk. There is talk of combining their forces in order to take over the underworld, but the new figure backs out, stating that "The Crimemaster can do it alone!" The Goblin threatens to reveal his identity at that point, to which the Crimemaster threatens just the same. Talk about a stalemate! The Goblin flies away on his goblin glider stating that "You haven't heard the last of me!"

Later on, the Crimemaster climbs a building and leaves his "calling card" to a group of criminals. The card explains that he is taking over the underworld and not to defy him. Within hours, gang leaders learn of this mysterious man named the Crimemaster, and begin to fear him greatly. The mystery deepens as we next get a look at Fredrick Foswell in his apartment where he puts on his clothes for work at the Daily Bugle. We learn that he has a "special compartment" for his working clothes in a hollowed out portion of his closet. At the Daily Bugle building, Peter still has doubts on Frederick Foswell going straight since he was released from jail after being the Big Man from Amazing Spider-Man #10, and places a spider-tracer on his hat. A little time later at school, Peter gets into a major brawl with Flash Thompson, and as a result has a little get together with the principal. After their talk, Flash overheard that Peter took all the responsibility for the fight.

At the same time that the Crimemaster is still making a name for himself throughout the city, tackling gang after gang, J. Jonah Jameson is at the exclusive men's club we first seen him attend in Amazing Spider-Man #23. We again see a man that resemble Norman Osborn, hair-do and all, who is not officially introduced until Amazing Spider-Man #37. After school, Peter visits a costume shop and purchases a Spider-Man one since he since lost his real one to his Aunt. he costume is a little less fitting than the real deal but Spider-Man puts up with it anyway. He then makes a visit to Foswell's apartment following the signal from the spider-tracer he previously put on his hat. After entering, Spider-Man learns that the hat is there but not Foswell, further making the identity of the Crimemaster even more mysterious. Making matters worse is that the Crimemaster is just outside his window ready to shoot inside. Spider-Man senses the danger and easily evades the shot. He then goes after the shooter whom he easily deducts is the Crimemaster. Spider-Man makes his move on the Crimemaster after he runs out of ammunition, but the Crimemaster pulls out a nozzle a directs a blast of gas towards Spider-Man that suffocates and makes him groggy. At this point, Spider-Man is an easy target for the Crimemaster as he punches away at Spider-Man until he falls off a building. The Crimemaster thinking he has defeated Spider-Man, is in for a rude awakening. Spider-Man begins to breath again and desperately shoots his webbing at the building halting his fall.

Spider-Man later returns to Foswell's apartment where he finds a map with a waterfront area circled for some reason. At the same time, a gang leader representing many others agree to join in with the Crimemaster. The others are to meet up with the Crimemaster at the waterfront later on. Next, we meet a new character. A stool pigeon with the nickname "Patch", who tips off the police that the gang members will be meeting at the waterfront with the Crimemaster. Just who this new character Patch is, will be answered some issues later, but for now, we have a "who's who" of underworld crime beginning to meet at the waterfront. Another separate meeting is taking place between the Green Goblin and the Crimemaster, as they begin to fight with many shots and pumpkin bombs going off. As the Goblin flies off, he spots Spider-Man and then attacks him with his goblin glider, pumpkin bombs and more completely knocking him out. The Goblin is unable to unmask Spider-Man due to it being a costume shop Spider-Man costume tightly glued on.

The time has finally come for the Crimemaster to make his appearance to the many gang leaders that have aggregated on the waterfront. He walks under the pier and goes up the ladder to the waterfront to declare himself their leader and wants anyone who objects to speak up now. Only one dare voice his objections: The Green Goblin, holding an unconscious Spider-Man in his arms! Talk about a cliffhanger huh? But not for long, as next issue everything is revealed with the same cast and mysteries in this issue! Remember, it is recommended to read Untold Tales of Spider-Man #25 after this issue and next issue, unless you just can't wait to break the suspense!

Quality Rating: 5
Significance Rating: 4

Overall Rating:

9

Reprinted In:
Marvel Tales
#21
Marvel Tales #164
 Marvel Masterworks Vol. 10
Spider-Man Essentials II

Amazing Spider-Man #25

Also This Month:

No Other Spider-Man Comics this month.

Amazing Spider-Man #27