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Amazing Spider-Man #61: Review

Jun 1968
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

What a Tangled Web We Weave!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #61 Review by (May 15, 2024)

Review: Here we have the third part of this three part Kingpin story, ending the story in epic fashion! Captain Stacy and Gwen try going on the run but are captured by the Kingpin, forcing Spidey to rescue them. We have a more impressively aggressive Spidey this issue, understandably so with everything that has happened. First he takes out Kingpin’s guys in a more aggressive fashion then later delivers an epic smackdown to the big man himself! I do also really like how Spidey clearly learns from his past encounters, as he comes prepared with a gas mask so as not to get gassed by the Kingpin again. Norman Osborn even gets to be a hero, stopping Dr. Winkler and helping Spidey massively in foiling the whole scheme.

Speaking of Osborn, this issue plants some very interesting seeds. Osborn can’t get the Green Goblin out of his mind, as well as not being able to remember much about how he supposedly helped Spidey against the villain. This, of course, displays the first inklings of Osborn starting to remember that he is the Goblin, which will become a more enduring and recurring plot thread. We also have the continued drama between Pete and Gwen. Though Captain Stacy is exonerated and Gwen thinks Spidey is a hero, things are still rough with him as Pete, until he gets a chance to explain things. Overall, a very enjoyable end to this three part saga, where Spidey wins the day but Peter is not so fortunate, while planting the seeds for a climactic return down the line!

Comments: First cover to feature both Gwen and Captain Stacy. Norman Osborn has the first inklings of remembering his Green Goblin persona.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #61 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

We find Peter Parker depressed after his decision to submit photo evidence to the Daily Bugle last issue proving that Captain George Stacy was stealing police secrets, despite being the correct thing to do. The Captain’s daughter, Gwen Stacy, sees the proof in the paper and tearfully asks her father about it. His mind is hazy and all he knows is that there are orders he must follow. Captain Stacy plans to go into hiding and Gwen decides to go on the run with him, not wanting to leave him alone. Just as they leave, Peter frantically tries to call, realizing that the Kingpin may now try to silence Captain Stacy, before rushing over there as Spider-Man. Spidey finds three of the Kingpin’s men at the Stacy residence and takes care of the mooks with both style and more aggression than usual, even slamming two of the guys into the wall hard enough to leave cracks! Spidey tries interrogating the final guy but finds that the Kingpin has brainwashed his men too and he’s no use as an informant.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane Watson runs into Harry Osborn, who tells her about the recent predicaments of Peter and Gwen both seemingly being missing and in trouble. Harry drives MJ over to the Gloom Room A-Go-Go so she can pick up her paycheck but they find the place completely closed down and cleared out. Harry says he needs to go see his father, Norman Osborn, who we then see in a stressed state. Norman sees an article about the Green Goblin, which makes him feel unexplainably uneasy, before he gets a call about an unauthorized shipment in his company. Norman confronts Dr. Winkler, the employee who made the shipment, who also turns out to be the man who built the brainwashing machine for the Kingpin. Winkler assures Osborn that this kind of thing won’t happen again and Osborn leaves, leaving Winkler to reconvene with his real boss, the Kingpin, who is hiding out there now with the brainwashing machine. Kingpin orders his men to hunt down both Captain Stacy and Peter Parker for what they know, and Dr. Winkler whips up a device that will track anyone who’s been brainwashed, allowing them to find Captain Stacy.

Harry arrives at his father’s company and finds his dad in a panicked state. Norman admits that he can’t get the Green Goblin out of his mind and that he can’t remember a thing of how he supposedly helped Spider-Man to defeat him. Meanwhile, Peter constructs a gas mask to wear under his Spider-Man mask, having learned from his last battle with the Kingpin. Still without any leads, Spidey swings over to the Daily Bugle to see if J. Jonah Jameson has any info on Captain Stacy’s possible whereabouts, though he only receives insults for his trouble. Over at the airport, the Kingpin’s men catch up with Gwen and Captain Stacy, taking the two of them prisoner. Spidey then swings over to the Gloom Room A-Go-Go, finding the place completely deserted, just as MJ and Harry did. Spidey then finds a label for an electronic device on the ceiling pointing him in the direction of Norman Osborn’s company, hoping that it doesn’t mean that Osborn’s up to his old ways.

We then cut to Osborn’s company, where the captured Captain Stacy and Gwen are brought before the Kingpin and tied up. They are about to subject Captain Stacy to another round of brainwashing when Spider-Man comes crashing through the window! Spidey engages the Kingpin, kicking away his cane and proving his gas mask was a good idea as the Kingpin tries gassing Spidey, as he did before. Spidey removes the kid gloves, giving the Kingpin a royal beatdown before he turns to discover that Dr. Winkler has the Stacys at gunpoint! Norman Osborn discovers the commotion and instinctively tackles Dr. Winkler, causing him to fire into the brainwashing machine, making it explode! Osborn finds that the explosion killed Winkler and Spidey narrowly saves Gwen and Captain Stacy from being crushed by a falling vat. Spidey then races up to the roof but not before the Kingpin manages to escape in Osborn’s helicopter. The police arrive and Osborn’s testimony exonerates Captain Stacy. Spidey ends the issue down in the dumps, as Gwen now thinks Spider-Man is a hero but things as Peter Parker are all washed up with her.

Don Heck
Mike Esposito
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
John Romita (Cover Inker)
Layouts: John Romita. Letterer: Sam Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain Stacy
Captain Stacy

(George Stacy)
J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)

(Wilson Fisk)
Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson

(Mary Jane)

(Peter Parker)

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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