Comic Browser:


Amazing Spider-Man #53: Review

Oct 1967
Stan Lee, John Romita

Story Name:

Enter: Dr. Octopus

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #53 Review by (April 24, 2024)

Review: Doctor Octopus returns in his first appearance since the famous Master Planner storyline! While this isn’t quite as memorable or impactful an appearance, it’s still a solidly fun issue setting up the next few issues. Professor Warren invites Peter to a science exposition and Peter chooses Gwen to accompany him, making this their first date of sorts, though there’s no official relationship quite yet. Warren also has a very…interesting reaction in hindsight, commending Peter for his choice of date. Given we much later discover Warren’s disturbing obsession with Gwen, this makes for an eyebrow raising moment, though it of course meant nothing when it was written. Still, it makes for an interesting, if unintentional, bit of foreshadowing. Spidey tackles Doc Ock when he shows up at the exposition, leading to some typical cool Romita action.

There is a bit of a discrepancy between the words and the art however at one point. After knocking Spidey out the window, the words make it seems as if Doc Ock plans to follow Spidey down to the ground but the art shows Ock ascending the building and Spidey chasing after him. It doesn’t make a ton of difference for the story but it’s still odd. I imagine it was just a miscommunication between Stan and John, or a slight change in script or art that the other didn’t catch up on. I always thought the bit at the end, with Ock’s trap for Spidey, was particularly memorable, especially with Spidey flinging the web ball at the fake Ock. I’m pretty sure this issue was recreated (surprisingly quickly too) for the 60’s animated series rather faithfully, as I can picture these sequences in the dated animation from that time. Overall, another solid appearance for Doc Ock, with the promise of more twists to come as it looks like Ock is about to become Aunt May’s new tenant! To be followed up on next issue!

Comments: Peter and Gwen’s first date of sorts.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #53 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our story opens with Spider-Man perched outside the Daily Bugle, reading the news coverage of the previous issue with disdain, as J. Jonah Jameson yells at him from the window. Spider-Man notes that Jameson wrote the article as if he were the hero and angrily tells Jameson his newspaper is worthless. After being surprised by a large ringing clock, Spidey realizes he’s due in class soon and makes his way over to ESU. Flash Thompson excitedly sees Spidey swinging by and Gwen Stacy inquires if he would still like Spider-Man if he turned out to be someone Flash disliked under his mask. Harry Osborn then approaches, frustrated that Peter is always coming and going and fed up with being his messenger boy. Peter changes in the gym and hastily makes his way down one of the climbing ropes, almost getting caught by his professor, Miles Warren. Warren invites Peter and a guest to accompany him to the science exposition happening after class, while Peter is just relieved that Warren didn’t see anything too suspicious.

Peter asks Gwen be the one to accompany him with Professor Warren, and she eagerly agrees, while Harry is still annoyed at Peter’s frequent absences. Professor Warren commends Peter for his choice of date and Peter and Flash get in a tiff when Gwen admits she has a date with Peter. Gwen breaks up the fight and she and Peter head off with Professor Warren, while he discusses the nullifier being demonstrated, capable of jamming enemy missiles. The group arrives at the demonstration when suddenly Peter’s spider-sense starts going nuts, while he frantically looks around for the supposed danger. Just as the demonstration is about to begin, Doctor Octopus reveals himself from the crowd, looking to steal the nullifier for himself. Peter slips away to change to Spider-Man, as the guards try to douse Doc Ock with tear gas. Doc Ock, however, whips his powerful tentacles around, dispelling the gas, and knocking the guards for a loop!

Spidey swings in at Doc Ock, who braces himself for the attack and after a short scuffle, is able to knock Spidey out the window. Spidey follows the fleeing Ock up the side of the wall and webs him in the eyes, blinding him. Doc Ock leverages his situation by dropping the heavy nullifier he stole onto the crowd below, forcing Spidey to abandon him to save the people, though not before Spidey plants a spider-tracer on Ock for good measure. Spidey safely catches the nullifier, as Ock, still unable to remove the webbing, blindly makes his escape. As he makes his way back to his lair, Doctor Octopus reminisces about his and Spidey’s famous previous encounter, during the fantastic Master Planner story. He chronicles how he was able to escape by holding himself above the water in an air pocket, while retrieving and oxygen tank and escaping out the very same tunnel that Spidey had.  Back at his lair, Doc Ock finally rids himself of the webbing from his goggles and discovers the spider-tracer, as he plans to use it to turn the tables on Spidey.

With Doc Ock having escaped, Spidey switches back to Peter and makes his way back to Gwen and Professor Warren, with the excuse that he got separated looking for a camera. Gwen is just happy that he’s safe while Pete is happily shocked that she didn’t ask for any explanations. Peter and Gwen make their way to the Coffee Bean, where they run into the whole group of Flash, Harry, and Mary Jane Watson. Peter notices that Harry seems possibly jealous that he and Gwen are getting closer while Flash jokes that Gwen must have lost a bet. Aunt May and Anna Watson then appear and excitedly tell Peter that they’ve put an ad in the paper that they’re renting a room, in order to make a little extra money. Peter then takes Aunt May and Anna home, in order to go out to look for Doc Ock. Speaking of whom, back at his lair, Doc Ock set up a trap for Spidey, by constructing a replica of himself and pinning the tracer to it. Ock then leaves to watch Spidey’s arrival from another safe location.

Spidey, meanwhile, starts swinging around the city, eventually getting a read on his tracer. He is led to a waterfront shack, when his spider-sense suddenly alerts him that something isn’t quite right. He peeks in and sees the Doc Ock replica, and though nothing seems amiss, decides not to take precautions. He constructs a web ball and slingshots it at the replica, causing the entire hideout to explode! Doc Ock watches in glee from his other hideout, thinking he’s finally gotten rid of Spider-Man. Ock then plans to move locations once again, to somewhere more low-key, where no one would ever think to look for him. We then see that Spidey naturally avoided the explosion by pre-emptively diving into the river, as he determines to find Doc Ock no matter what. We then see a little tease for next issue, implying that Doc Ock is likely to become Aunt May’s new tenant! To be continued next issue!

John Romita
Mike Esposito
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus

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

(JJ Jameson)
Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson

(Mary Jane)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Anna Watson, Miles Warren.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

Share This Page