Episode 49: Superhero Mergers and Acquisitions (Amazing Spiderman #1, Part 2) -- March 1963

  
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the rumors that Spider-Man has applied to join the Fantastic Four. What are the requirements for joining this superhero team? Why Reed Richards considering expansion? Are there synergies by bringing Spider-Man onboard? What are the risks based on Spider-Man’s recent reputation issues? Mike and Ed also make a bet on where the team will be by the end of the year.

In this issue:

Peter Parker recounts his origin story as Spider-Manto himself, and how he went from being a celebrity superhuman to enemy #1 according to J. Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle. He then attends the rocket launch of J. Jonah Jameson’s son John. The rocket has been sabotaged, and the only way to rescue John is if a guidance doohickey is inserted into the rocket. Spider-Man volunteers for this dangerous mission and, in a stunning series of classic Ditko art, is able to insert the doohickey and save the day. Despite his amazing heroics, Spider-Man is still branded a menace by the Daily Bugle, and the FBI is on the lookout for him.

Spider-Man nonetheless continues trying to live the superhero life. He breaks into the Baxter Building and tries to join the Fantastic Four. He is dismayed to find out that he would not make any money as a member of the team, and leaves in a huff. Meanwhile, the supervillain the Chameleon, who can disguise himself as anyone he wants, frames Spider-Man and commits a robbery. Spider-Man chases the Chameleon down and battles him, ultimately leading to the Chameleon being taken into custody. Spider-Man is victorious, but remains a menace to the world at large.

Assumed before the next episode:

Spider-Man’s potential addition to the Fantastic Four is being discussed throughout the world. Is a Fantastic Five in our future?

This episode takes place:

After news of this new, potential, Fantastic Five has leaked.