Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #129

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Absolutely Amazing

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

Spider-Man's first encounter with the Punisher and the Jackal! And awaaaay we go!

In Detail...

"The Punisher Strikes Twice!"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #129
Feb 1974 : SMURF 129.500 : SM Title
Summary: First Punisher, First Jackal
Editor:  Roy Thomas
Writer:  Gerry Conway
Pencils:  Ross Andru
Inker:  David Hunt, Frank Giacoia
Cover Art:  Gil Kane
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Issue
Review
 Reprinted In: Essential Punisher #1
 Reprinted In: Marvel Milestone Edition: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #129
 Reprinted In: ASM #129: Punisher Movie Promo (Lion's Gate)
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #106
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #209 (Story 1)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Island: Emergence of Evil (Story 2)
 Reprinted In: Essential Spider-Man #6
 Reprinted In: Amazing Spider-Man #129 (Hasbro Promo)
 Reprinted In: Wizard Ace Edition - ASM Vol.1 #129
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1975
 Reprinted In: ToyBiz: Marvel Legends 6: Punisher Movie
Articles: Betty Brant, Green Goblin II (Harry Osborn), The Jackal, Jameson, J. Jonah, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, The Punisher, The Punisher, Robertson, Joe "Robbie"

Our story begins with a new villain, the Jackal, encouraging his partner, the Punisher. Punisher is convinced that Spider-Man killed Gwen Stacey in issue #121, and as we know, is on a one man crusade against crime and wishes to kill Spider-Man, whom he believes to be a criminal. The Jackal knows Spider-Man is heroic, is manipulating the Punisher to have the hitman kill the webslinge for reasons to be revealed later. Punisher demolishes a statue of Spider-Man with a rifle and declares that he will do the same to the real thing.

Meanwhile,our hero stops a bunch of crooks and takes pictures of his heroics with his automatic camera. He then moseys over to the Daily Bugle to sell his pictures only to be told by J. Jonah Jameson that they want pictures of this new hitman in town, the Punisher. As Peter leaves the Daily Bugle, as Spider- Man, he is attacked by the Punisher, who shoots at Spider-Man from a nearby rooftop. Spider-Man uses his spider-sense to survive and then spots and confronts the Punisher. After a brief struggle, Spider-Man gains the upperhand over the homicidal vigilante, but before he can defeat the Punisher, the Jackal strikes Spider-Man from behind, causing Spider-Man to fall off of a building. The Punisher admonishes Jackal for gaining a victory so dishonorably, while the Jackal celebrates that he has killed Spider-Man. Unbeknownst to them, Spider- Man is not dead at all, but stopped his fall with his webbing.

Spider-Man looks at the gun that Punisher had dropped during the fight and the gun has a label of where it was purchased from. Spider-Man goes to the gun store to see if he can get any leads on the Punisher, and the Punisher goes to the same gun store to replace his gun. Spider-Man arrives first, and finds the store owner dead, and then Punisher arrives seeing Spider-Man standing over his dead body and attacks Spider-Man. Spider-Man uses his agility, speed, and webbing to his advantage and defeats and ties up the Punisher, then explains his innocence to him. They discover that the Jackal had killed the store owner, and planted evidence against the Punisher, that the Jackal had planned to betray the Punisher as soon as Jackal no longer needed him. By the time they go back to the Jackal's layer, the villain is gone, and Punisher swears that he'll make the Jackal pay someday. Spider-Man swings away, as in the shadows, the Jackal sits and vows to kill Spider-Man...

In General...

What can you say about this issue? They don't tell stories like this anymore. It introduces the Punisher, who will go on to become quite popular and run into the webslinger and every other hero many times in the decades to come, and the Jackal, who will play a major role in the months to come in Spider-Man's life, then again in the infamous clone saga. A historical issue.

Overall Rating...

This is not one of the most important issue in Spider-Man history, but it is definately monumental in the history of the Punisher. Good story, good art, and I like the Jackal (at least I did before he came back to life twenty years later and nearly caused the downfall of the marvel industry in the clone saga. He came closer to destroying the marvel universe than any other villain in history!