Episode 13: Ladies and gentlemen... The Amazing Spider-Man! (Amazing Fantasy #15) -- August 1962
In this episode:
Mike and Ed take a break from the weighty issues to discuss Spider-Man’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. There is clearly more to superpowered people than fighting monsters - sometimes they can just awe and entertain us.
In this issue:
High school student Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and, rather than getting sick with radiation poisoning, is gifted with superpowers - super strength, the ability to climb walls, and a “spider sense” which warns him of danger.
As luck would have it, Peter is also a super genius. He uses his engineering skills to design and build “webshooters”, which shoot super strong webbing that allows him to swing from building to building - just like a spider can.
Now, while you may assume that Peter would use his incredible powers to fight crime, you would be mistaken. Instead, Peter dazzles the world with his amazing abilities, all while masked as the “Amazing Spider-Man!” He sells out shows on Broadway and is on all of the talk shows, leading to rumours that this “Spectacular Spider-Man” will get his own TV show.
But that is not to be, as fate deals Peter a different hand. Peter has the opportunity to stop a robber who is escaping, but he chooses to not get involved and lets the robber escape. The robber races away and, in another twist of fate, ends up killing Peter’s beloved Uncle Ben. Peter, as Spider-Man, tracks the murderer down and, when he realizes it was the same man whom he had allowed to go free earlier, decides that he has made the wrong choices in his life. He decides then and there to give up being a famous entertainer, and dedicates his life to helping others, honouring the words his uncle lived by that “with great power comes great responsibility”.
Assumed before the next issue:
The public are just about to be disappointed that Spider-Man has retired from the entertainment business.
This episode takes place:
During the height of Spider-Man’s fame as an entertainer. Parker has just appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, and he is a star on the rise.