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Amazing Spider-Man #50: Review

Jul 1967
Stan Lee, John Romita

Story Name:

Spider-Man No More!

Review & Comments

5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #50 Review by (April 10, 2024)

Review: Spider-Man no more! Under the weight of Spider-Man constantly getting in the way of all of his other responsibilities, Peter hangs up the webs, albeit temporarily, with one of the most famous pages in Spider-Man history! This isn’t the first time Spidey’s quit to some extent and it won’t be the last, but it certainly is the most famous and probably the most powerful. Stan and John really sell the inner turmoil Peter is going through, as each area of his life keeps crashing, be it his schooling, his personal relationships, or his missed job opportunities causing him to get fed up and ditch his role as Spider-Man. It’s so good and well-known, it was a huge inspiration for a big chunk of Spider-Man 2, even having the famous shot of Peter walking away after leaving his Spidey costume in a trash can recreated pretty much exactly. That shot is one of the more well-known and oft-recreated in comics, with hundreds of homages across the years. Peter returns to being Spidey by the end of the issue after saving a man that reminds him of Uncle Ben, and remembering why he became Spidey to begin with, but the relative shortness of his retirement makes it no less powerful.

The other major thing this issue is known for is the first appearance of the Kingpin, the de-facto crime boss, not just for Spider-Man, but essentially for all of Marvel! The two don’t meet this issue, that comes next ish, but Kingpin is already setting his plans in motion to unify and take over the criminal underworld. Foswell also seems to have such ambitions, getting him captured by Kingpin, though things may not be what they seem! Peter and Gwen continue to pine for each other, with Peter not believing Gwen’s advances are anything serious. There’s even the first slight implication that there’s more to Mary Jane, as Peter offhandedly wonders if she’s really as scatter-brained as she seems. Overall, a classic issue focusing more on Peter’s inner turmoil and personal issues than tons of action, while introducing an all-time great villain, all rendered in the typically fantastic Romita art!

Comments: First appearance of the Kingpin.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #50 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

We start off our story action packed, with Spider-Man stopping a store robbery. Spidey stylishly takes care of the goons, ending the fight by wrapping a door around them. At first the female head of the store thanks Spidey for his assistance but her male compatriot is wary of Spider-Man due to the Bugle’s articles, telling him to keep back. Spidey angrily swings off, changing back to Peter and lamenting about how poor his public reputation is due to the Bugle. Getting home, Peter hears news from Harry Osborn that his Aunt May is sick, causing Peter to rush over on his bike. He’s greeted by Anna Watson, who tells Peter that the doctor had given May a sedative and Peter mourns not being home to hear of the situation earlier. Peter dejectedly makes his way home, feeling terrible that he’s neglected Aunt May much more since he moved in with Harry and feeling even too stressed to study for his upcoming exam.

The next day, Peter can barely concentrate on his exam, being sure he failed it. Peter’s professor, Miles Warren, asks to speak with him and expresses concern that Peter’s grades have been steadily declining, as Peter assures Professor Warren that he’ll buckle down. Gwen Stacy then tries to invite Peter to a get-together she’s having but Peter is forced to decline, with his grades and Aunt May’s illness weighing too heavily on him. Peter makes his way home, bemoaning his other issues, such as not being able to see MJ or having to decline Harry’s father’s offer to work for him, as being Spider-Man keeps getting in the way. Peter then catches an editorial on the news by J. Jonah Jameson, once more calling Spider-Man a dangerous menace and offering a reward for anyone who can bring in Spider-Man. This makes Peter realize that Jameson hates him even more than he thought and Peter starts to think that maybe he’s right, that only someone deeply mentally disturbed would continue to do what he does.  In a deep fit of depression and anxiety, Peter realizes that being Spider-Man has come at the expense of every other area of his life, his schooling, his relationships, his job opportunities, as well as the possibility that he grew into seeking the adventure and excitement more than actually helping people. With all of this in mind, for the sake of his sanity and his life, Peter leaves his Spider-Man costume in a trash can, deciding that he needs to grow up, and be Spider-Man no more!

The next morning, a young child runs right into the Jameson’s office at the Daily Bugle, to the protests of Betty Brant. The boy presents the Spider-Man costume he found to Jameson who excitedly orders an extra to broadcast the news of Spider-Man’s apparent retirement. The news soon becomes the talk of the town, with the public and talk show hosts alike voicing their opinions on what could have become of Spider-Man and why. The criminal element likewise reacts to the news, as a powerful, mysterious figure calling himself the Kingpin uses the situation to spread the word of his planned takeover. Frederick Foswell, in the guise of Patch, notices the whispers making their way through the underworld as tons of mob bosses meet to discuss the possibility of the Kingpin taking over the mobs. Foswell himself apparently considers the idea of becoming the head of crime once again himself, as no one would suspect him now that he’s gone straight.

The next day, Jameson proudly displays the Spider-Man costume in his office, when Peter comes by to tell Jameson that he won’t be selling any more photos, to better focus on his studies. Jameson is shell-shocked by the information, but Foswell gets suspicious, noting how Peter stopped selling photos right after Spider-Man’s disappearance. Meanwhile, a crime wave makes its way through the city, organized by the Kingpin, in order to confirm that Spider-Man is really gone, as he decides to move ahead with his plan to unify the underworld like a business, with him at the top! The next day, Peter gives Gwen a lift, as they secretly pine for each other, on his way to see Aunt May. Peter stops in to see that Aunt May is doing better, as Mary Jane Watson jokingly mourns the fact that Peter didn’t even notice her, before she heads out. Peter makes his way home to study, feeling like a million bucks, when he suddenly hears a report of a robbery on the radio. Peter instinctively moves to change to Spidey, before remembering that he left all that behind, resolving to read about it in the paper the next day.

The next day indeed comes with Peter finding Aunt May and Gwen both busy, noting the irony that now that he has time for them, they don’t have time for him. As Peter is cruising home, he notices a night watchman being assaulted up on a roof. Peter instinctively scales the wall and quickly knocks out the two assailants, keeping sure that the watchman doesn’t get a good look at him. As Peter thinks over his actions, he realizes that the watchman reminds him of Uncle Ben, as he remembers the events that led him to becoming Spider-Man in the first place. This causes Peter to reaffirm why he became a hero to begin with, knowing that he can’t ever fail to act again when some is in danger, no matter the burden. Meanwhile, Foswell goes to the Kingpin to announce himself as the former Big Man and his desires to run the crime rackets again. Kingpin doesn’t take kindly to this, vaporizing the gun Foswell had with him with his disintegrator cane and capturing Foswell. Finally, Peter makes his way up the wall of the Daily Bugle to retrieve his costume, and sticks around to announce to Jameson that he’s back. Spidey swings out, back and better than ever!

John Romita
Mike Esposito
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
John Romita (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)

(Wilson Fisk)
Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson

(Mary Jane)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Anna Watson, Betty Brant, Frederick Foswell (Big Man), Miles Warren.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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