Episode #150: Charitable fronts (Amazing Spider-Man #16) -- September 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss Spider-Man’s charitable work. His first charitable event turns out to be a front for organized crime. Was that coincidence? Bad luck? Or was Spider-Man working undercover from the beginning? To avoid these situations, should Spider-Man only work for well-established charities? Would that just mean the large charities get larger, and the small innovative ones are shut out? There are no easy answers, but that does not stop our hosts from asking questions!
Behind the comic:
The first Daredevil crossover and the first time he interacts with Spider-Man! Unfortunately, everything Daredevil does in this issue is unseen by the audience (who are in a trance), so he gets no credit in our episode. Also notable, this is the second appearance of the Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime. They first appeared in the Hulk, where it appeared that they were captured and detained by the authorities. Stan Lee does not even bother explaining why they are back in action and fully united. Maybe he was tired of always providing two pages of “criminal escapes from prison” before he bringing back an old villain.
In this issue:
Spider-Man rescues Matt Murdock from street thugs, not realizing that Matt is actually the costumed vigilante Daredevil. That evening, Matt and his co-workers Foggy Nelson and Karen Page go to the circus, not realizing it is the criminal mastermind the Ringmaster’s Circus of Crime. The Ringmaster advertises that Spider-Man will be appearing at the circus that night. This is a lie designed to get more people to attend the circus so that the Ringmaster and his thugs can rob them while they are hypnotized by the Ringmaster. Spider-Man, seeing the ad, decides to attend, as it looks suspicious. At the circus, Spider-Man and the crowd are hypnotized. Matt Murdock is not hypnotized, as it is apparently a visual hypnosis, and Matt is blind, such that it does not work on him. He changes into his Daredevil costume and fights a hypnotized Spider-Man, ultimately breaking him out of his hypnotic trance. The duo then take down the Ringmaster and his gang.
Assumed before the next episode:
People are starting to wonder about superhero advertising.
This episode takes place:
After the Ringmaster has been taken down.