Cover Price: $.12

September 1967

Value: $200 (Near Mint-)


Supporting Cast:
Death Frederick Foswell,  Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, Flash Thompson, Mary Jane Watson, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe Robinson, Betty Brant, Ned Leeds



"To Die A Hero!" - 20 Pages

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

Ok, lots of things happening from the last issue: Frederick Foswell, Daily Bugle reporter and ex-baddie known as the Big Man, has created some kind of mysterious alliance with the Kingpin. Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson has been kidnapped by the Kingpin's goons, and has been blindfolded and ordered to "stop the presses" concerning his reports of the recent crime wave across the city. And then there is Spider-Man, who has just learned the true might of the new Kingpin of Crime, after being knocked-out by some sort of gas that emitted from a pin on the Kingpin's lapel. Where does it all lead from here? Well, get ready for a good one, cause the first Kingpin storyline ends right here in this issue!

With Spider-Man unconscious, the Kingpin's goons take him away down a cellar along with Jameson. The Kingpin plans on eliminating both Jameson and Spider-Man, and begins by locking them to shackles on the bottom a small cellar room. The room slowly begins to fill with water, while sealed inside the room, giving them just minutes before they drown to death (you all know this anyway, because you seen the cover!). Just as the water level becomes more and more deadly, Spider-Man begins to wake-up, and gets enough energy together to break free from his shackles. Elsewhere, we cut to the offices of the Daily Bugle where reporter Ned Leeds, and Betty Brant begin to worry that both Foswell, and now Jameson are missing. The new character just introduced last issue now comes into the picture, this time with a name: Robbie Robertson, the city editor. Robertson takes hold of the office, while Ned now goes out to try and find out where Foswell and Jameson are. Back to Spidey and Jameson, where Spider-Man creates a giant air-bubble with his webbing. They have enough oxygen, and they still are protected from the rising water.

A little later, outside the water-filled chamber, the Kingpin orders the room drained. When the room is completely drained, some of the Kingpin's men enter the room to retrieve the bodies. Boy are they surprised to find out that Spider-Man and Jameson are still alive, especially when Spider-Man comes after them and knocks them out easily with a solid punch. Another mobster comes after Spider-Man with a gun, but Spider-Man easily evades him, and knocks him out too. Spider-Man frees Jameson from his shackles, then goes after more of the Kingpin's men. As he takes care of even more goons, Spider-Man yell at Jameson to move away from the danger around him. Jameson reluctantly moves, but he collides with some steel piping and knocks himself unconscious. Next up for Spider-Man is the Kingpin, with many of his men all webbed-up nice and neat.

The Kingpin, at this time, is having a talk with Frederick Foswell. They begin to argue concerning Foswell's reluctance to murder people in cold blood. The Kingpin begins to get very angry at Foswell, and takes hold of him violently just as Spider-Man breaks into the room. The Kingpins is astonished to learn that Spider-Man is still alive, and then we break away again, this time to the Silver Spoon eatery. Inside, we see Flash Thompson, home on furlough from the war, meet with the gang: Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane Watson. Not much going on there, so we head on back to the Kingpin-Spider-Man clash, where the two go head to head for awhile before the Kingpin throws Spider-Man to the ground. At That point, Frederick Foswell takes a gun from the Kingpin's desk, and escapes to try and find Jameson. Spider-Man gets back up to battle the Kingpin once again, and it looks like a stand-still, until the Kingpin escapes through a secret passage-way in his bookcase. Spider-Man tries to go after him, but the bookcase explodes. Spider-Man instead, uses another way of getting into the cellar, where the Kingpin escaped to.

Frederick Foswell, also down in the cellar trying to find Jameson. searches and searches, just as Jameson comes to after knocking himself out. Some of the Kingpin's goons locate him, and he runs away, right into Foswell. Foswell tells him to follow him, and Jameson does so. "You're the only one who ever helped me, or gave me a second chance! I didn't want you to be hurt!" cries Foswell. Remember, after Foswell did time for being the Big Man in Amazing Spider-Man #10, it was Jameson that gave him another chance by giving him a job in Amazing Spider-Man #23. In Foswell's last heroic moment in his life, he throws himself in front of J. Jonah Jameson, protecting him from gunfire from the Kingpin's men. Spider-Man hears where the shot came from, then goes to that area of the cellar to knock out the shooters. Both Jameson and Spider-Man are shocked to learn that Foswell sacrificed himself for Jameson. He died a hero, and he will never be forgotten.

Outside, as the ambulance takes away the body of Foswell, Spider-Man concludes that the Kingpin must have made an escape somehow, but it definitely will not be the last time he meets the Kingpin, as he next faces off against the Kingpin of crime in Amazing Spider-Man #59, where the Kingpin goes under the guise of the Brainwasher. An absolutely great three-part storyline with the introduction of one of Spider-Man's greatest villains, and the death of a supporting cast member. Get it somehow, either by reprint, or if you feel like investing a little: The real thing!

Quality Rating: 5
Significance Rating: 5

Overall Rating:


Reprinted In:
Marvel Tales
Spider-Man Comics Magazine (Digest)
Spider-Man Essentials

Amazing Spider-Man #51

Also This Month:

No Other Spider-Man Comics this month.

Amazing Spider-Man #53