Cover Price: $.12

#51
August 1967

Value: $400 (Near Mint-)
1st
Joe Robertson

 

Supporting Cast:
 1st Joe Robertson, Frederick Foswell, Ned Leeds, Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant


Guests:


Villains:
Kingpin

"In The Clutches Of...The Kingpin!" - 20 Pages


Writer -
Stan Lee
Artist - John Romita
Inker - Mickey Demeo
Cover - John Romita
Lettering - Sam Rosen

One good look at the cover to this issue, and it doesn't take too long to realize that Spider-Man is in some serious trouble! He hasn't actually met the Kingpin (introduced last issue) yet, but it sure looks like he will soon. This is the second part in the three part Kingpin storyline, and we learn even more about the Kingpin of Crime. Remember, Peter Parker almost gave up being Spider-Man last issue, and it wasn't until the cry for help of a man who was being hassled by the Kingpin's goons that brought him back into action. Daily Bugle reporter Frederick Foswell has been trying to infiltrate the Kingpin's many mobs across the city, as stool pigeon by the name of Patch. Foswell ended up with a one on one with the Kingpin, seemingly seeking to be the head of the new criminal organization (something that Foswell has had experience with as told in Amazing Spider-Man #10 where he was the mob-leader known as the Big Man). The Kingpin didn't exactly buy into Foswell's threats to lead his organization, and had him taken into custody by his goons. The many criminal mobs of the cit have been recruited last issue by the Kingpin, as the time was right to strike and take over the criminal underworld in the city, just as Spider-Man made his surprising disappearance act. He is now back though, and the Kingpin of crime has a fight on his hands!

"In the clutches of the Kingpin" begins with an underworld summit meeting where all the mob leaders have given over control to the Kingpin, who plans on a crime spree like no one has ever seen before in the city. First though, the Kingpin declares that Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson must be silenced for his articles dealing with news of the criminal underworld. Jameson is to be given a chance first to play on the side of the underworld. If he doesn't side with them, he will pay dearly. Some of the mobsters go out to deliver Jameson to their new boss. The Kingpin also orders many of his new members to go out and "collect" from service stations, and the members think that they have it easy, believing that Spider-Man is still out of action. Well, they learn the hard way that he is back in action, when they try and collect from a service station he just happens to be swinging over. While fighting the mobsters, Spider-Man hears the name "Kingpin" for the first time, and says to himself to remember that name. Anyway, while battling the mobsters, two of them getaway by car, just as the police arrive on the scene.

Back at the office of the Kingpin, where he secretly observes the contained Frederick Foswell's actions, behind a one-way mirror. The Kingpin has plans for Foswell, planning to put Foswell's criminal experience to good use. The two men meet once again, and Foswell knows that the Kingpin cannot pass up any help that the former Big Man can give. Right in the middle of their little chit-chat, the two mobsters who escaped Spider-Man, rush on into his office stating that Spider-Man is definitely back on the scene. The two men are very angry, and think that the Kingpin has set them up for disaster, but the Kingpin gives them a lesson they will never forget. The Kingpin takes off his jacket, and takes both men on, hand to hand. We learn that the Kingpin's obesity does not slow him down, as he moves and fights with the speed and grace of a professional boxer. Many would easily mistake his muscle for fat, and the Kingpin tosses around the two mobsters like rag dolls.

After the Kingpin's display of great power, he and Foswell conspire to silence Jameson. At the offices of the Daily Bugle, Jameson is fuming over the fact that they have no solid story about the recent crime wave. He now wants Ned Leeds to take over for Foswell, who hasn't been turning in any news of late. At the same time, Peter Parker arrives in the office to state that he is back to work for the Bugle as photographer once again, after quitting last issue. Also note that depicted in these very same Daily Bugle panels, is the very first appearance of a supporting cast member that will go on to have a very long and important role in the Spider-Verse: Joe "Robby" Robertson, in a very small cameo.

Peter leaves on his motorbike after getting his job back at the Bugle, and decides to try and learn more about the Kingpin. While riding down the road, his spider-sense goes off when he spots some men in front of a "swanky" club. Peter then changes into Spider-Man and peeks into one of the club's windows to discover that the men are about to hold up rich people inside it. Spider-Man then breaks through the window, just as one of the mobsters pulls a gun. Spider-Man takes good care of the mobsters until they use "The Gimmick", which turns out to be a miniature grenade that explodes after being thrown at Spider-Man. Spider-Man eventually gets up due to his spider-strength, but the beams holding up the club are destroyed, and the building begins to collapse. Spider-Man throws a spider-tracer on one of the fleeing mobsters, and he holds up the ceiling while everyone evacuates the building safely. After everyone is out of the building, Spider-Man dashes out of a window, and goes after the Kingpin by following the spider-tracer he threw on the mobster before.

Outside the Daily Bugle building, four mobsters are ready to take action on J. Jonah Jameson. They go inside and take him away by car, with a blind-fold on, to the office of the Kingpin. Still with blind-fold on, Jameson listens as the Kingpin explains to him that he wants the Bugle to stop it's press concerning the recent crime-wave. Next, the Kingpin announces to bring Foswell out to him, knowing that mentioning his name will make the likelihood that Foswell will betray him. Jameson hears that Foswell is by him and states that he was wrong for ever trusting him. As for Spider-Man, well he is getting closer and closer to the Kingpin's lair, until he is just outside his office window. This is where Spider-Man gets his first look at the Kingpin of Crime, and also notices Jameson and Foswell present as well. Spider-Man makes his move by shining his spider-signal through the window, and some mobsters rush onto the terrace to go after him. The mobsters are webbed up pretty quickly by Spider-Man, and by seeing that he is more dangerous than he thought, the Kingpin goes out to handle Spider-Man himself. At first, Spider-Man easily evades the Kingpin's punches, and even destroys his obliterator cane. Spider-Man eventually makes the mistake of thinking of the Kingpin as a slow-moving fat man, and is defeated by the Kingpin, when he shoots gas out of his pin on his lapel. Spider-Man was taken by surprise, and now he is beginning to black-out right in front of the Kingpin and his mob.

Yep, that's right, it ends right there. You have to get the next issue to find out what happens next, and it's a doozy! The wrap-up of the first Kingpin storyline takes place in Amazing Spider-Man #52!
 

Quality Rating: 5
Significance Rating: 5

Overall Rating:

10

Reprinted In:
Marvel Tales
#36
Spider-Man Comics Magazine (Digest)
#1
Spider-Man Essentials
III

Amazing Spider-Man #50

Also This Month:

X-Men #35

Amazing Spider-Man #52