Spider-Man No More!
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Johnny Romita
Inker: Mickey Dimeo
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Originally published: July 1967
Awesome, classic cover. I guess the 50th issue was probably a pretty big damn deal.
The issue opens with Spider-Man bustin up a robbery and it’s action action action. One of the victims is ungrateful and fearful, his head filled with J. Jonah Jameson’s brutal editorials. It really gets under Peter’s skin this time, too, and he starts really getting down on the public at large.
When Peter gets home, Harry informs him that his Aunt May has fallen sick (again), so Peter rushes off to her side. He finds her resting, but starts to kick himself over not being around when the call came in and not doing enough for her. Peter’s so upset he can’t even study for the big exam he has the next day.
Peter’s bitchin new sweater:
After the exam, which Pete is sure he failed, Professor Warren warns him that his grades are slipping; Peter promises to buckle down. Gwen then asks Peter over for a party that she’s having, but Peter has to turn her down and blames his alter-ego for his inability to date Gwen and MJ. Continuing his brooding on the way home, Peter also starts getting upset about the job Norman Osborn offered him that he doesn’t have time for. Turning on the TV, Peter is then assaulted by one of JJJ’s anti-Spidey rants – Jameson even goes as far as offering a $1000 reward for Spider-Man’s capture and conviction.
Overcome with bitterness and self-doubt, Peter decides that Jameson is right. In a really awesome sequence, he goes for a walk in the rain and decides to abandon Spider-Man, leaving his suit in a trashcan.
The next day, a kid rushes into JJJ’s office with a fantastic prize: Spider-Man’s suit. Jameson is thrilled and immediately publishes a story question whether Spider-Man really is gone. Reactions in the city are mixed, but the over-all sense is one of confusion. Spider-Man becomes the topic of conversation on talk-shows and across the criminal world. Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin (in his first ASM appearance) uses this as an opportunity to start taking over the NYC mob scene and organizes a meeting of all the bosses.
Blackie Watch! Another bad guy named Blackie. That brings us to at least six (assuming this isn’t one of the same Blackies as before).
Frederick Foswell, former Big Man and current Bugle employee / stoolpigeon, also decides to treat this as an opportunity to lead the crime syndicates himself, as Patch. In the meantime, the Kingpin is starting a crimewave across the city. The criminals attacks are brazen and frequent without Spider-Man to keep things under control (I’m not sure what’s up with the rest of NYC’s super-heroes and cops, but whatever).
Back in his uncostumed life, Peter has quit his job at the Bugle to focus on school, he has more time to hang with the ladeez, and he’s generally in a pretty darned good mood. He finds, though, that even with all his extra time, his friends and family don’t seem to have time for him. Tooling around town he can’t help but prevent a robbery, and the harangued security guard (who looks like Uncle Ben) makes Peter remember why he became Spider-Man in the first place and realize why he can’t give it up.
After this triumphant turn of events we return to Foswell, who confronts the Kingpin and demands to be put in charge of the city’s mobs – with Fisk as one of his lieutenants! The Kingpin reacts as you might expect and takes Foswell captive.
Having made up his mind to resume his crime-fighting, Peter scales the Bugle building and busts into Jameson’s office to take back his Spidey suit. When Jameson returns he’s greeted by Spider-Man sitting in his chair, feet up on the desk.
Pretty fantastic issue all around, especially the art. Romita really outdid himself with this one.