Monday, 20 April 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #69. The Kingpin

Amazing Spider-Man #69, the Kingpin
(Cover from February 1969.)

"Mission: Crush The Kingpin!"

Written by Stan Lee
Layouts by John Romita
Pencilled by Jim Mooney
Inks by Jim Mooney
Lettering by Sam Rosen

So this is it. Spider-Man's tailed the Kingpin and his henchmen to their secret lair. Finding a metal-shuttered window, he's about to enter.

But then...

...he hesitates.

He senses a trap.

Inside the building, surrounded by flunkies, the Kingpin sits waiting, ready for those shutters to open and for Spidey to come leaping in.

And it seems he's got his wish because, moments later, those shutters fly open and Spider-Man leaps in. Instantly, he's sprayed with bullets by the Kingpin's henchmen.

Is this it? Can this truly be the end of our hero?

Of course it can't.

Why? Because the figure that came through the window wasn't Spider-Man. It was a web dummy wearing his shirt. They've been tricked.

Now the real Spider-Man swings in and give the hoods a good hiding. That's them dealt with. Now for the Kingpin.

But the Kingpin's fast. He grabs Spider-Man and flings him at the web dummy. Spider-Man gets tangled up in it.

It's not over yet. Our hero can still keep dodging the Kingpin's fist-first lunges at him while he gets his shirt back on and frees himself.

Now Spidey's free of the webbing and they can finally settle which of them's the stronger. Well, were we ever in any doubt? It's Spider-Man. At last, after a bit of mutual possum-playing, Spidey defeats his foe and, spotting a chance to line his pockets, the Kingpin's henchman Wilson goes off to nab the tablet for himself. The tablet's in a chamber that, due to the sheer weight of its door, only the Kingpin can enter. Wilson reasons that he can't move it himself but maybe if he uses explosives...

Maybe nothing. Spider-Man's followed him. After trapping Wilson in webbing, Spidey demonstrates that the Kingpin isn't the only one strong enough to open the door and helps himself to the tablet. Unlike Wilson and the Kingpin, he's got no intention of keeping it. The moment he spots a cop, he's going to hand it over.

That's the plan but, as John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." When Spidey tries to give the tablet to the police, they start shooting at him. Unknown to our hero, when the cops nabbed the defeated Kingpin, the would-be crime-lord told them that he and Spider-Man were in cahoots.

That's it. Spider-Man's fed up of being blamed by everyone for everything. As the issue closes, he vows that, if the world thinks he's a menace, then it had better brace itself because, from now on, a menace is exactly what he'll be.

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