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Amazing Spider-Man #51: Review

Aug 1967
Stan Lee, John Romita

Story Name:

In the Clutches of...the Kingpin!

Review & Comments

5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #51 Review by (April 10, 2024)

Review: Here we have the epic continuation of the famous “Spider-Man No More” story last issue! The Kingpin moves to take control of the mobs, immediately showcasing his intellect and power, having remarkable control of his forces. We also get to see that he’s a tremendous physical threat as well, with him easily handling a brave goon that tried to rebel against him. Spidey also meets Kingpin for the first time this issue, with an epic and action-packed brawl between the two, drawn wonderfully be Romita! Kingpin managing to outsmart Spidey with knockout gas is perfectly in keeping with his character, leaving us at an exciting cliffhanger ending! Kingpin perfectly showcases this issue why he’s such a great villain, keeping coolly in control of his situation at all times, without being afraid of getting his hands dirty.

We also have the first appearance of Joe “Robbie” Robertson, Jonah’s future right-hand man and oft voice of reason. He only appears in a single panel and isn’t named but he will soon become a regular and likable supporting cast member. Mary Jane and Gwen also seem to be at a bit of an understanding, as MJ notes Gwen’s obvious feelings for Pete, even if Harry remains oblivious. This issue had everything you could want in a story, epic action, daring moments, including Spidey holding up a collapsing ceiling to help civilians escape, and an all-time great villain! Overall, another phenomenal classic from the Romita era! Tune in next time to see how Spidey saves not only himself, but also the kidnapped Jameson, as well as the answers to Foswell’s apparent involvement!

Comments: First meeting between Spider-Man and the Kingpin after his first appearance last issue. First appearance of Joe “Robbie” Robertson, though he goes unnamed here.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #51 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

With Spider-Man seemingly gone, the Kingpin is free to take over the criminal underworld. Kingpin starts to put his plans in motion, sending out some guys to bring him J. Jonah Jameson, deciding he must be silenced due to his editorials about the crime wave. Kingpin then sends out some other goons, led by Big Turk, to collect at some service stations around the city, much to their chagrin. It is at one such service station that Spider-Man encounters said goons, relieving them of their guns with his webs. The goons pile on Spidey, letting Big Turk get a clean hit in, though Spidey blithely compares it to scratching an itch. Spidey takes note of the Kingpin’s name after a goon mentions it, as Big Turk and a couple of the goons get away, leaving Spidey to quickly deal with the rest. Spidey then realizes he quit the Bugle last issue and will have to go crawling back to Jameson with his photos.

Back with the Kingpin, he regards Frederick Foswell, still his prisoner, and debates what to do with him. He brings Foswell in and they come to the decision to work together, as Kingpin doesn’t want to throw away perfectly good manpower. Just then, Big Turk storms in, yelling about Spider-Man’s return and saying he’s finished with the Kingpin. He knocks out Kingpin’s guard and takes a swing at the crime lord himself but his punch is easily caught. Kingpin demonstrates his tremendous strength, crushing Turk’s hand and casually tossing him across the room, as Foswell looks on in shocked awe. Kingpin dismisses Turk and tells Foswell that he’ll be used to silence Jameson once and for all.

Speaking of whom, over at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson is fiercely looking into his crime wave story, unable to find Foswell. Joe Robertson suggests getting Ned Leeds on the story and Jameson calls him in. Just then, Peter shows up, enraging Jameson even more, but Pete dissuades him with the latest Spidey photos he took. Peter ponders Foswell’s disappearance as he heads out on his bike, looking for leads. He’s so preoccupied, he rides right by the hangout spot that Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, and Harry Osborn are currently in, as MJ bemoans the ride she wanted Peter to give her. Gwen and Harry offer to take her home, as she teases Gwen lightly on her clear crush on Peter, to Harry’s obliviousness.

Peter continues to ride around, when his spider-sense tingles after riding past a private club. Pete changes to Spider-Man and peeks in the club, witnessing some of the Kingpin’s goons threatening the owner. Spidey makes a dramatic entrance, crashing through the window and tackling the goons, taking them on in stylish fashion! One of them throws a miniature explosive, stunning Spidey and damaging the building, as they make their getaway. Spidey sneakily throws a spider-tracer on one of the fleeing goons, before holding up the main support beam in an impressive display of strength, giving the people time to get clear. Spidey then escapes the collapsing room to follow his tracer’s signal, hoping it’ll lead right to the Kingpin. Meanwhile, the Kingpin’s goons stop in at the Daily Bugle, taking Jameson captive to bring back to their boss.

Jameson is brought before the Kingpin, who tries to give him a chance to cease his editorials on the crime wave but Jameson refuses. Kingpin is sure to mention Foswell by name, ensuring that Foswell can’t betray him, as Foswell advises Jameson to play along. Spidey then makes his way there, shocked at seeing Foswell with the Kingpin. Spidey shines his spider-signal in through the window, webbing up the goons when they come out to investigate. Spidey then dodges around the Kingpin’s obliterator cane, delivering a powerful kick to the Kingpin, before destroying the cane. Spidey is surprised at the Kingpin’s fortitude and the Kingpin capitalizes on Spidey underestimating him to launch his own surprising attacks, throwing Spidey into a wall. Spidey decides to stop going easy and rushes the Kingpin, but gets surprised by the knockout gas that streams from his tiepin. With Spider-Man now helpless, the shocked Foswell, as well as the audience, wonder: what happens now?

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)
Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson

(Joe Robertson)

(Peter Parker)

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

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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