The Mystery of “The Man in the Crime-Master’s Mask!”
Scripted by: Stan Lee
Plotted and drawn by: Steve Ditko
Lettered by: S. Rosen
Originally published: July 1965
This was a cool issue. There’s so much going on it’s hard to keep track of, especially with the addition of all the info I have from Untold Tales. From this issue it seems like former Big Man Frederick Foswell is the Crime Master, but I know from Untold Tales that the Crime Master is actually Nick Lewis. So what’s up with that? UT has also shown me that the Crime Master thinks the Green Goblin is J. Jonah Jameson, when we know he’s actually Norman Osborn. I guess Untold Tales is kinda ruining some of the suspense, but it’s giving me dramatic irony in spades, and I think I prefer that. This issue was super interesting to read, and I can’t wait for part 2 in the next issue.
Also, how awesome is it that Aunt May threw out Spider-Man’s costume, and he had to buy one from a costume store? (Answer: very awesome.) It was really sweet that it was a shitty costume, too, and that he kept having to use his webbing to make sure it didn’t fall off him. And, to have that come back and be an important plot point later – when the Goblin couldn’t unmask Spidey due to said webbing – was thrice brilliant.
Talk about a cliffhanger, too! You have Spider-Man unconscious and captured by the Green Goblin, the Goblin about to challenge the Crime Master, an entire warehouse full of criminals, cops on the way…super exciting!
This was a superb issue. Interestingly enough, both this book and the last one were plotted by Steve Ditko. Note that I gave them both 5 stars. I’m pretty sure Ditko continues to plot the rest of the series until he leaves (which is actually pretty soon), so I’m really looking forward to where this is going.