Friday, 1 May 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #73. Man-Mountain Marko

Amazing Spider-Man #73, Man-Mountain Marko, John Romita(Cover from June 1969.)

"The Web Closes!"

Written by Stan Lee
Art by John Buscema, John Romita and Jim Mooney
Lettering by Sam Rosen

The Shocker may have been disposed of but there's still the small matter of where he hid the priceless tablet that turned out to be worthless. Spider-Man has only one lead and that's to ask Captain Stacy if, during the Shocker's raid on his home, the villain said anything that might give away where he was planning to stash his gains. Stacy says the Shocker was too clever for that.

But then he remembers something. The Shocker used to have a girlfriend who was in the habit of paying his bail. Maybe she knows where it is.

Spider-Man's on the case. Using his spider-sense to narrow down the search, he finds her apartment - only to discover someone else has found it first. It's a character called Man-Mountain Marko and he too is after the tablet. He's not the only one because it turns out he's working for the Maggia, a criminal organisation that's in no way named after any real-life criminal organisation, good grief no.

The Shocker's girlfriend says she's never seen the tablet. Marko doesn't believe her, and, to prove it, he starts to tear the place apart.

That's when our hero intervenes, smashing in through the window and joining the thug in a bout of fisticuffs. Convinced he's knocked Marko out, Spidey talks to the girl.

There's only one problem. Marko's not unconscious and, taking advantage of Spider-Man being distracted by his conversation with the girl, hits him with an armchair.

Down at the police station, something's to do. The Kingpin's bailing out his stooge Wilson.

Except it turns out it's none of the Kingpin's work. The bail's been paid by a man called Caesar Cicero, a character who's got "sinister" written through him like some sticks of rock have the word "Blackpool" through them. Unlike that holiday resort, Cicero's not the type to kiss you quick. He's with the Maggia and, from now on, so's Wilson.

Back at the flat, Marko's found something. It's a safe. Before he can open it, Spider-Man resumes their punch-up. Marko needs a distraction.

He finds one. He drops the Shocker's girlfriend out the window. Spider-Man leaps after her and saves her but, when he gets back to the flat, Marko's gone, with the tablet.

Marko takes his find back to his boss Silvermane, head of the Maggia and Wilson's new employer. But Wilson's not the only new arrival because, now that he has the tablet, Silvermane wants it translated. So far, the thing's hieroglyphics have foiled the finest linguists the world can offer. Linguists? Pshaw! Silvermane doesn't need them. He needs a chemist and he reckons he's kidnapped just the right man for the job - Dr Curt Connors.

Why do I get the feeling things are about to get scaley round here?

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