October 1, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #26 (July, 1965)

The Green Goblin and the Crime Master are turning on each other. Poor Spider-Man is in the middle.

One of the running ideas behind Spider-Man is that he’s not as financially well-off as a lot of other people.  He has to constantly bust his ass to just pay the bills.

That means sometimes he might be short a costume.

Issue:  The Amazing Spider-Man #26, July 1965

Writer:  Stan Lee

Artist:  Steve Ditko

The Plot:  The Green Goblin and the equally mysterious Crime Master compete to take over the city’s gangs.

Commentary:  You know, there have been a number of issues where Spider-Man takes on all kinds of mobsters.  So why are there always so many?  Eh, never mind.

See, the Green Goblin tried to take over the gangs, only it turns out the Crime Master is also trying to take over the gangs.  The Goblin shared his secret identity with Crime Master under the illusion that such an action would provoke the two to team up.  That doesn’t work, but it seems to me…that was a really dumb move on the Goblin’s part.  I know the whole thing is the Green Goblin is still an unknown figure in Spider-Man’s life, but why he thought telling some random guy calling himself the Crime Master was going to create a trust bond between the two is a bit beyond me.

Regardless, this also means the two can’t turn on each other because both knows the other’s identity, and while the Crime Master isn’t unmasked in this issue, the script (that might have been more Steve than Stan by this point) does heavily imply it’s Frederick Foswell, the Daily Bugle reporter working the case for J Jonah Jameson and who also used to be masked crime boss.

It’s probably not him.

Then again, the Goblin at least has a lot of fancy weapons.  Whether he has the Goblin’s superstrength right now or not, I’m not sure, but it makes sense for that guy to be able to maybe blackmail the mobs into accepting him as their boss of bosses.  Some seemingly powerless guy called the Crime Master?  That seems unlikely.  Even silly.

Come to think of it, I don’t even know that I have ever seen him appear anywhere else.

Regardless, Peter Parker’s life is falling apart because it always is.  Betty is jealous, since she always is, this time of Mary Jane Watson, a woman Peter doesn’t even know.  Liz is mad because it turns out Peter is just as bad as Flash and she only just now noticed.  Flash proves he is actually a decent human being by telling the principal that Peter didn’t start the fight the principal saw.  And Peter is swinging around in a cheap Halloween costume version of his spider-suit because it’s the only option as Aunt May confiscated his back-up while Jameson took the original.

A costume that keeps riding up on Peter is one thing, but probably has little to do with the fact that the Goblin successfully knocks Spidey out and takes him to a mass gathering of crime lords because Crime Master and Green Goblin are actually each working on the same plan.

Anyway, nice cliffhanger and all.  Maybe the next issue will reveal the Crime Master is really Daredevil or something.

Grade:  A

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