Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #70. The Kingpin

Amazing Spider-Man #70, John Romita
(A spider at bay. Cover from March 1969.)

"Spider-Man Wanted!"

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

A wise man - or maybe one completely ignorant about prisons - once said that stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage. It shows how much he knew because, at the start of this tale, the Kingpin's in a police cell, trapped behind bars.

Not for long he isn't.

After a quick bout of judicious bar twisting, he's free, stomping along the corridor, like a rhino and knocking out a couple of guards before setting off to get his tablet back from Spider-Man.

Right now, Spider-Man has problems of his own to worry about, as the police are still on his tail and he still has a priceless stone tablet to get rid of. Not only that but Gwen's in full-on nag mode and, once he's back in civvies, wants to know where he keeps disappearing to in times of trouble. He does his usual thing of completely failing to communicate with her (all he has to do is tell her he's off risking his life to get photos of Spider-Man) then she bursts into tears.

Back in costume, he decides to put the heat on the Kingpin by roughing up a few of his men.

Then he decides to rough up a few more.

Then he comes across a hold-up. Being the fine, upstanding citizen he is, he soon sorts that out.

But it turns out it never was a hold-up. It was all a set-up by the Kingpin to lure our hero out into the open. Of course they promptly have a fight. With a two-footed kick to the head, Spidey drops the crime-lord.

But, before he can move in to finish the deal, a car screeches to a halt between them.

It's driven by Ned Leeds, with J Jonah Jameson in the passenger seat. Jameson's out to thwart Spidey's plan. He doesn't know what Spidey's plan is but, whatever it is, he's going to thwart it. That's all the web-slinger needs, that blockhead getting in the way. As Spidey argues with Jameson, another car screeches to a halt. A door flies open and a woman's voice calls from within for the Kingpin to climb inside. He does, and the car shoots off.

Meanwhile, Jameson's giving Spider-Man a heavy dose of ear ache. Our hero decides that's it. If Jameson wants to call him a menace, he'll act like one, and he grabs hold of the man to give him a scare.

But, sometimes, you can give a man too much of a scare and the publisher promptly blacks out. Leeds tells Spider-Man that he can't feel a pulse. The publisher's had a heart attack!

Could it be true? Could Spider-Man have proven Jameson right? Has he finally become what the publisher said he was all along?

Has Spider-man finally become...

...a killer?

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