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Spider-Man Lost in the 1960s: Doc Ock Wins, Plus Ka-Zar!

Updated on November 19, 2014

Marvel Masterworks Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 6: A Great Run By Stan Lee and John Romita!

Marvel Masterworks Amazing Spider-Man Volume 6 contains issue Nos. 51-61 of the original series as well as Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 4. These tales originally appeared in 1967-1968, when writer Stan Lee was at the top of his game and each tale flowed naturally into the next.

Meanhile, John Romita had been at the art helm for more than a year now, and the look of the book now was all his style. The 11 issues of Amazing Spider-Man reprinted in this volume are simply gorgeous in the clean way they tell what is happening. In contrast, the art in the annual is just not very good. Larry Lieber just didn't have the skills to be a first-rate artist.

Here are some highlights from this Marvel Masterworks volume, which carries the ISBN 0785150544

Amazing Spider-Man No. 52 Kingpin
Amazing Spider-Man No. 52 Kingpin

To Die a Hero! Spider-Man Vs. the Kingpin!

Spider-Man No. 52

Amazing Spider-Man No. 52 is the end of a two-part battle against the Kingpin, the first time that Spider-Man has faced off against the foe. The gangster would return to bedevil the superhero numerous times in coming years but would really become the chief nemesis of Daredevil in the late 1970s and 1980s.

This issue marks the death of Frederick Foswell. Foswell had been a reporter at the Daily Bugle, where Peter Parker freelances, in the early days of the series before turning to crime and being caught by Spider-Man. After being released from jail, he is rehired by publisher J. Jonah Jameson but is eventually lured back to the dark side. In a change of heart, he dies saving Jameson's life.

The whole subplot of Foswell over the course of the series was used by writer Stan Lee to show that Spider-Man hater Jameson wasn't all bad. He was willing to rehire Foswell after he served his time, and in the end looks absolutely distraught that Foswell sacrificed his to save his.

Amazing Spider-Man No. 54 Aunt May Dr. Octopus
Amazing Spider-Man No. 54 Aunt May Dr. Octopus

Doc Ock Wins! Spider-Man Forgets Who He is! Aunt May Collapses!

A Great Four-Part Saga from Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 53-57

Amazing Spider-Man No. 53 kicks off a four-part battle against Dr. Octopus that puts Aunt May in danger and ends with Spider-Man forgetting who he even is!

In this first issue, Dr. Octopus wins the first battle and thinks he has finally killed his foe. Seeking a place to hide out, he arrives at the doorstep of Spider-Man's Aunt May in issue No. 54. Aunt May is seeking a boarder, and she remembers how charming Dr. Octopus had been in Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 1 (she hadn't realized at the time that he kidnapped her.)

So you can imagine how surprised Spider-Man, as Peter Parker, is when he arrives at his aunt's house and finds the super-villain in his former home! During a fight between the two Aunt May comes in and promptly faints, giving Dr. Octopus the opportunity to escape.

Amazing Spider-Man No. 55 Dr. Octopus
Amazing Spider-Man No. 55 Dr. Octopus

An Amnesiac Spider-Man Joins Forces With Dr. Octopus!

Amazing Spider-Man No. 55-56

Following last issue's fight that left Aunt May in the hospital, an angry Spider-Man tracks down Dr. Octopus. The fight that ensues is a good one, and ends with Dr. Octopus using a stolen ``nullifier'' secret weapon on the hero.

The blast leaves Spider-Man dazed and amnesiac, and Dr. Octopus seizes the opportunity to convince Spider-Man that they are partners in crime!

So in the next issue Spider-Man helps Dr. Octopus commit some headlines-making crimes. But in the end Spider-Man breaks away from Dr. Octopus's influence after ''Doc Ock'' asks him to unmask. The hero realizes that if they were really partners, Dr. Octopus would already know who he is.

The issue ends with Dr. Octopus defeated and an unmasked Spider-Man looking at his reflection in a window wondering who he really is.

Amazing Spider-Man No. 57 Ka-Zar
Amazing Spider-Man No. 57 Ka-Zar

Ka-Zar, Lord of the Savage Land!

Amazing Spider-Man No. 57-58

Amazing Spider-Man No. 57 picks up right where the previous issue left off. Spider-Man doesn't remember who he is, and while he is seeking the truth the friends of his secret identity, Peter Parker, become convinced that something bad has happened to Parker and that Spider-Man is involved.

Publisher J. Jonah Jameson hires the visiting Ka-Zar of the Savage Land to track Spider-Man down, which leads to a battle in Central Park. Spider-Man is defeated and is last seen drowning in a park lake.

Issue No. 58 kicks off with Ka-Zar rescuing Spider-Man, whose memory has returned. But in the meantime, because Spider-Man's life never gets any easier, Jameson has teamed up with a mad scientists to send a spider-slayer robot after the hero! Spider-Man and the robot fight across town, with the hero finally defeating his foe and making it home safely!

The Marvel Masterworks Series on Amazon! - Start Your Collection Today!

A search on Amazon for ``Marvel Masterworks'' returns more than 900 books! The series reprints many of the Marvel Comics originally published starting in the 1960s, as well as some pre-Marvel series from the 1940s and 1950s. The volumes are in full color on high-quality paper, making for some fun reading. It is also much cheaper to buy these volumes than all the original comics. Check out the Marvel Masterworks books here!

Dr. Octopus or the Green Goblin? - Who is Spider-Man's Greatest Villain?

Amazing Spider-Man 56 Dr. Octopus
Amazing Spider-Man 56 Dr. Octopus

Spider-Man has fought some terrific battles with Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin over the years. And of course, the Green Goblin is responsible for the death of Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy.

In the early days Dr. Octopus was portrayed as the evil genius, and usually gave Spider-Man a very difficult time. The Green Goblin was more mysterious and his schemes seemed more about taking over the gangs of New York. I always liked Dr. Octopus better, but maybe others like the Green Goblin more.

Who is Cooler -- The Green Goblin or Dr. Octopus?

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Thank you for visiting this review and I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the 1960s issues of Spider-Man as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

Here's your chance to give us your opinion on Spider-Man, this collection, this review or anything else comics-related!

Now It's Your Turn!

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    • profile image

      Amanda_Revel 4 years ago

      Awesome lens . I love spider man, I have loads of spidey comics on my ipad.

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 4 years ago

      Thank you .... your articles take me back to late nights with my friends discussing who was the better super hero...

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 4 years ago

      It's interesting to see how Spider-Man has changed from the original comics to the new animated TV series and the recent movies. But no matter who draws him or who plays him, Spidey will always be one of my favorite superheroes.