Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #87

 Posted: 16 Mar 2024
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)


Spider-Man had his first encounter with Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow. He was weakened and Widow tried to learn from him by battling him but soon escaped. Peter wanted to know more about why he was dizzy and exhausted.

Story 'Unmasked at Last!'

A groggy looking Peter looks into his microscope, worried what he’ll see in his blood sample. He has trouble looking into the lenses and decides to visit Curt Connors. He tries to climb down the side of his apartment building but could hardly cling to it, so decides to swing instead. He eventually makes it to Connors lab, only to find it empty. Assuming that Connors took his family back to Florida, Spidey wonders who he can trust. He slowly made his way across town, wondering if Gwen will stay with him in a weak condition. He then remembers that tonight was her surprise birthday party and he hadn’t gotten her a gift. In a panic he breaks into a jewelry store and starts to walk out with a necklace before he realizes what he’s doing. He puts the necklace back and starts to crawl away but loses his grip and falls to a rooftop. He decides that he can’t be Spider-Man if his powers are unpredictable and wonders if he’s more disappointed or relieved.

At the party, Gwen wonders in frustration where her boyfriend is. Randy tries to play some music on a guitar and MJ tells her that no man is worth getting uptight over. Captain Stacy asks Harry were Peter could be and Harry is clueless. Gwen decides to stop being a downer and starts dancing, making MJ a little jealous. The guests eventually leave and Gwen’s brave face starts to crumble. Just then, a feverish Peter arrives carrying a Spidey mask. He tells them that he’s finished and he knows because he’s Spider-Man. Gwen starts to panic as her father tells her that Peter is sick. Ashamed at how he’s upset Gwen, Peter runs off. Gwen asks her father if she’d really seen that and he reassures her that Peter doesn’t know what he’s saying.

Harry thinks about a story he’s heard about Spider-Man being unmasked by Doctor Octopus. Peter was found to be wearing the costume but the police believed he was an imposter, as he’d been beaten by Ock so easily. Harry, Gwen and George all wondered if he really was Spider-Man and MJ quips that Gwen was either dating a menace or a psycho. Gwen tells her to shut up and never talk about him that way.

Peter wanders the streets, finally admitting that he has to risk talking to a regular doctor. He arrives at a clinic as Spider-Man and a doctor has him rushed to a bed. The nurse is reluctant to let him in and the doctor orders her to do it. Spider-Man starts to tell the doctor that he needs to know something but the doctor stops him, telling him to rest. He has other patients to look after. Peter falls asleep in the bed and after he wakes up the doctor tells him he has the flu. Spider-Man gets out of bed overjoyed at the mundane diagnosis. He tells the doctor that he’ll never forget him, to which the doc replies that he doesn’t have time for new friends.

Peter is thrilled that he isn’t dying, until he remembers that he confessed his secret to everyone. In desperation, he decides to go to someone that might help, someone that owes him a favor. Webbing a mask to himself, Peter goes to Hobie Brown and reminds him of the favor. Hobie is surprised that Spider-Man would frame someone but was reassured that it wasn’t a frame up. At Gwen’s house, Peter tells George, Gwen, Harry and MJ that he’d been feverish with the flu and had the costume because Spidey had asked him to hold on to it. Gwen desperately wants to believe him and that is when Hobie shows up as Spider-Man. He crawls through the window and thanks Peter for holding onto his costume. George Stacy had suspected that Peter and Spider-Man had an arrangement and “Spidey” told him that they split the money from Peter’s photos. He leaves, crawling up the side of the house. George thinks that Gwen must be relieved that Peter isn’t a vigilante and so is he.

Hobie leaves the costume on a nearby roof, wondering what that was all about. Peter goes home to get more rest and fully get over the flu and as he walks home he feels like everything turned out ok…but still felt foreboding.

General Comments

This was an enjoyable read. No big bad guy ruining Peter’s day, just Peter’s own neuroticism. Sometimes that can be enough of a supervillain. It all ties up pretty neatly, with no one asking many questions, or any questions at all. George Stacy and Mary Jane supposedly both know Peter’s secret but neither seem fazed by any of what happens.

Overall Rating

It’s a very Stan Lee-esque story but that’s part of the charm.

 Posted: 16 Mar 2024
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)