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Amazing Spider-Man #32: Review

Jan 1966
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

Man on a Rampage!

Review & Comments

5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #32 Review by (February 21, 2024)

Review: Continuing from the fantastic start last issue, this second part is just as phenomenal! The Master Planner is revealed to be Doctor Octopus, working behind the scenes to continue his research! Peter also learns that Aunt May is dying because of the radioactivity in his blood, after he gave her a blood transfusion all the way back in ASM #10! How’s that for bringing back a plot point? As well as being some great continuity, it makes for some heavy dramatic tension, with Peter feeling responsible for Aunt May’s condition, making him that much more determined to save her. We also get the return of Doctor Curt Connors, not seen since the Lizard fiasco all the way back in ASM #6! Spidey seeks him out for help with Aunt May, and he informs Spidey of a new experimental serum that could help!

Doc Ock ends up stealing the serum but it doesn’t feel forced or coincidental as it’s the kind of thing that he’s already been stealing for the past couple of issues. The writing is just so tight that everything works together perfectly. We get some awesome Spidey action, first when he’s looking for info on the Master Planner, including throwing a car and ripping an entire staircase off the wall! Not to mention the awesome Spidey vs Doc Ock action we get later in the issue. We of course then end with Spidey trapped under a mountain of debris as the room slowly fills with water, as he rages at his apparent failure, just when it counted most! It’s perfectly crafted to be as tense as dramatic as possible and boy does it deliver! It’s almost certainly one of, possibly even the best cliff-hanger ending in Spidey’s history! A practically perfect second part to this phenomenal story, leaving you clamoring for part three! Tune in next time for the epic conclusion!

Comments: The Master Planner is revealed to be Doctor Octopus. Aunt May is revealed to have gotten radioactivity in her blood, from the blood transfusion Peter gave her in ASM #10. Return of Curt Connors, last seen in ASM #6.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #32 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Continuing from last issue, this issue begins at the underwater base of the Master Planner, who we discover to actually be Doctor Octopus! He’s been using his recently stolen equipment to continue his experiments on radiation, and alerts his men to be on the lookout for any other atomic equipment that could be of use to him. Meanwhile, Peter Parker arrives at the Daily Bugle, where Betty Brant tries to talk to him about everything that transpired a couple of issues ago. Peter tries to ignore her, but Ned Leeds arrives and tells Peter that Betty deserves an answer from him. Peter takes the opportunity to try and intentionally get Betty to hate him by acting abrasive and shoves Ned. This alerts J. Jonah Jameson, who balks at the uninteresting photos Peter has for him, and refuses to take them. Betty claims that she wasn’t fooled by Peter’s act, but Peter leaves, both of them feeling heartbroken and dejected.

At the hospital, Peter learns from the doctors that Aunt May has gotten some radioactivity into her bloodstream, and Peter realizes it’s from his blood when he gave her a blood transfusion all the way back in ASM #10. At home, Peter agonizes over his guilt at being the reason that Aunt May is sick and dying, lashing out in anger, utterly destroying a desk. Determined to do anything he can to help her, Peter thinks of one person who can help, Curt Connors, and calls all over until he gets an address for him in New York! As Spider-Man, he sneakily snags a vile of Aunt May’s blood from the hospital and swings over to Connors’ lab. Spider-Man presents the blood and asks Connors for help with saving a friend of his, asking if Connors’ research with genetics and radiation could help. Connors recalls a new serum called ISO-36, and puts in a call for it from the west coast, as Spider-Man goes out to secure the necessary money for the serum.

Peter ends up having to pawn all of his science equipment in order to get enough money for the serum, but knows that it’s worth it to save Aunt May. Spider-Man returns to Connors’ lab with the money and helps him with the chemical preparation for when the serum gets there, as Connors notes how scientifically minded Spider-Man is. Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus’ men alert him of the incoming ISO-36, which Dock Ock is eager to acquire, having heard about it when it was still in development, and thinking it could aid his research. Right after the plane from the west coast touches down, the man carrying the ISO-36 is ambushed by the Master Planner’s men, as they steal the serum! Connors is alerted of the theft and Spider-Man rushes out to get it back, while Connors remains to continue the preparations.

Spidey swings by the Daily Bugle and asks a startled Betty where Frederick Foswell is and she says Spidey just missed him. Spidey then scoops up Foswell right off the street and asks him to use his contacts to help find where the Master Planner might be. Spider-Man then goes on a rampage through every criminal hideout he can find, looking for information on the Master Planner. Back at the hospital, the doctors realize that there’s no longer anything they can do for Aunt May, putting her fate in a higher power. Spidey continues his furious search, completely destroying every hideout he comes across, as Connors, back at his lab, worries about if the serum will even work. Spidey eventually comes upon what seems to be another dead end, but his spider-sense alerts him to a trapdoor which eventually leads him to a bunch of the Master Planner’s men!

Spider-Man barrels through the men, demanding to know where the serum is. Though they try to swarm Spider-Man, he fights right through them. Just then, reinforcements arrive from a hidden door and Spidey quickly jumps through the door, progressing further into the hideout! Doctor Octopus gets alerted of Spider-Man’s arrival, using the serum to set a trap for him! Spider-Man eventually comes upon the room with the serum, when he is suddenly zapped by a high-power electric shock, knocking him from the ceiling, only to be caught by the powerful arms of Doctor Octopus, revealing himself as the Master Planner! Spidey sticks to the ground and uses his agility and strength to fling Doc Ock around by his tentacles, momentarily freeing himself! As Ock continues his assault, Spidey attempts to tie Ock’s tentacles together, earning only a brief respite.

Spidey keeps Ock off balance, flinging machinery and ripping up the floor, as Spidey realizes he needs to end the fight quickly! Meanwhile, Ock has never seen Spider-Man so fighting mad and elects to escape. Spidey flings a large stone pillar at the fleeing Ock, knocking down the main support column which causes the place to start to fall down on top of them! Spidey ends up trapped underneath tons of heavy machinery, with the serum only just out of reach. Just then, Spidey notices that the damage to the base has caused the surrounding water to starting dripping through and soon enough the entire river will come through! Spidey tries to move the heavy weight on top of him to no avail. Meanwhile Aunt May fights for her life and Connors worries that the serum won’t get there in time. The issue ends there with Spider-Man trapped under tons of debris, as the room slowly fills with water, having come so far, only to fail now, with no way out! Could this be the end?

Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko
Stan Goldberg
Steve Ditko (Cover Penciler)
Steve Ditko (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus

(Otto Octavius)
J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Betty Brant, Frederick Foswell (Big Man), Ned Leeds.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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