Wow. The Braimwasher was that guy? What a surprise!
Issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #60, May 1968
Writer: Stan Lee
Artists: John Romita Sr and Don Heck
The Plot: Captain Stacy has been brainwashed, and Peter Parker doesn’t know what to do about the father of the woman he loves.
Commentary: So, the Brainwasher from the previous issue was the Kingpin. Why? Seriously, why? The Kingpin was operating behind the scenes. He was only ever dealing with his own henchmen. It’s not like when Doc Ock was the Master Planner and the authorities were aware that the Master Planner was out there somewhere. The Kingpin didn’t need to out himself as the Brainwasher because there was no reason to assume the name in the first place.
OK, I kid (a little), but it is a little silly. Keeping a bad guy in the shadows off-panel with an alias is just going to suggest someone else is making city officials into his own private mob, and with Norman Osborn an amnesiac and Doc Ock using a different second alias, the Kingpin is the only really logical choice for this guy.
But this is still the big fat guy who isn’t really fat and so he can smack Spider-Man around. Can Spidey save Captain Stacy?
Nope! He gets hit hard enough to see double and has to go off for a while until his vision gets better. By the time he gets back, Captain Stacy is no longer the friendly old man who thinks Spider-Man is a misunderstood good guy. No, now Captain Stacy is stern and prone to lashing out, such that when Peter instinctively defends himself, he forgets how strong he is and knocks the brainwashed retired cop down. And then Gwen comes in and doesn’t know what’s going on, but she’s a little dim in that she doesn’t seem to have noticed that her father is behaving a little differently, and she should know the man better than Peter does.
But then Peter, as Spider-Man, gets photo evidence of Captain Stacy robbing the police evidence room. What can Peter do with this? If he shows them to Gwen, it might break her heart. If he goes to Captain Stacy, he’s brainwashed. That won’t work.
So, instead…Peter sells the photos to J Jonah Jameson?
Did Peter think Jonah would show the proper discretion in such a matter?
Has he never met Jonah before?
What an odd decision. Maybe Gwen will still speak to Peter when this whole thing is over.
Wednesday “Quid Pro Woe”
Noteworthy Issues: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #13 (March, 2023)
The X-Files “Talitha Cumi”