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Bestand:Amazing Fantasy 15.jpg

Volume: 1
Issue: 15
Month: August
Year: 1962

Credits

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Stan Lee (All stories)
Pencils: Steve Ditko (All stories)
Inker: Steve Ditko (All stories)
Colourist: Steve Ditko (All stories)
Letterer: Art Simek (All stories)
Cover Art: Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko

Synopsis

Synopsis:

"Spider-Man!"
A shy, unassuming boy, Peter Parker was described as Midtown High's "only professional wallflower." Peter was adored by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, and respected for his hard work by the school's faculty, but was ridiculed by his classmates.

During a demonstration of radioactivity at the science hall, a spider was exposed to a massive dose of radiation. Just before dying, the burning, glowing spider bit the nearest living thing: Peter Parker. Light-headed, Parker leaves the demonstration, only to be nearly run over by a passing car. Parker narrowly manages to leap to safety, and is surprised to find he has leapt onto the side of a nearby building, clinging there. He scales the wall as effortlessly as he can walk. Reaching the roof, he grabs hold of a metal pipe, crushing it as if it were paper. It is then that Peter realizes the spider must have somehow passed on its powers to him. He climbs down a cable as easily as a spider glides along its web, and Peter tries to think of some way to use the amazing powers fate has given him.

On the way home, Peter sees a wrestling exhibition, promising $100 to anyone who can stay in the ring with "Crusher Hogan". Peter races home, throws on some old clothes, leaves his glasses, and finds a mask to conceal his identity (so he won't be a laughing stock if he fails). At first, Hogan was amused by the miniscule "Masked Marvel", but changed his tune when Parker lifted him into the air and carried him up a large post, confirming that he had the strength, speed, and agility of a giant spider.

One person in the amazed crowd was a TV producer, who gives Peter his card. The man tells Peter he could make him a fortune, and suggests that he keep "the mask angle" as his gimmick. At home, Peter decides to make a spider-themed costume, and construct two small web-shooters, one for each wrist, that can be triggered with the slightest pressure from any finger. The costume is even thin enough to wear unseen under his street clothes.

Part 2
Spider-Man performs a number of amazing feats on television, becoming an overnight sensation. After his first TV "spectacular", Spider-Man wades through phtographers, journalists, and showmen eager to make a deal with him. Finally getting back to the dressing rooms, he encounters a policeman chasing a thief. Spider-Man ignores the policeman's call for help, and lets the thief get to the express elevator, thereby escaping. When the cop criticizes him for doing nothing, Spider-Man says that catching criminals is not his job. Peter returns home to his aunt and uncle, who have just bought him a new microscope.

In the days that follow, Spider-Man's fame grows across the nation. One night, coming home from a personal appearance, Peter sees a police car parked in front of his house. The officer tells him that his uncle has been shot and killed by a burglar, who the police now have trapped at a the old Acme warehouse at the waterfront. Enraged, Peter dons his costume and swings toward the warehouse.

On the scene, the police have the warehouse surrounded, but know that the criminal will pick them off like flies if they charge in. Inside, the criminal is confident that he just has to hold them off until the moon goes down, when he can slip away in the darkness. Spider-Man surprises him, and the thug flees in terror from the bright figure clinging high on the wall. Spider-Man leaps after him, webbing up his gun and knocking him out with one punch. It's only then that Spider-Man gets a good look at the thug's face: the face of the burglar he failed to stop at the television studio! Later, the cops find him tied up and hanging from a spiderweb. A short distance away, a sobbing Peter Parker realizes that his inaction indirectly caused the death of one of the two people in the whole world who really loved him. In this way, he learns that with great power comes great responsibility.

"The Bell-Ringer!"
Nestled in the Mediterranian Sea liea a small volcanic island, inhabited only by a community of stalwart fisherman. One man on the island, Old Pedros, is not a fisherman; he is the town bell-ringr. Every day of his adult life, he has rung the bells of the town's ancient church, like his father, and his father before him, as far back as the church has endured. Guiding ships, sounding alarms, and tolling the days, the bell and Old Pedros are as much a part of the village as the soil beneath it.

One day, the volcano begin to fume and rumble. Realizing that an eruption could destroy everything on the island, the villagers gather their measger possessions, and sail out to see. One man, Old Pedros, remains behind, ignoring his neighbors pleas for him to flee. "The bells must be rung," reasons old Pedros. "Someone will hear. For centuries someone has always heard!" Just as lava is about to envelop the ancient tower, Old Pedros is bathed in a golden shaft of light. To this day, some who sailed away swear they saw an aged figure rising up on that shaft of light, up and up until he faded from sight. Perhaps it was their imagination, or perhaps Old Pedros was right... someone did hear.

"Man in the Mummy Case!"
A criminal spends half his life fleeing from justice, and Rocco Rank is no exception. One night, as Rocco was running from the cops, he managed to slipp through an open window. The cop runs past, but Rocco knows he'll be back as soon as he sees that the street is empty. Looking around, Rocco realizes he's broken into the back of a museum. He mutters to himself that he'll stick out like a sore thumb. A voice behind him promises that he'll be safe, and Rocco turns to find himself face to face with a walking mummy! The mummy promises Rocco that the police will not find him if he hides in a large mummy case. Rocco is skeptical, and the mummy has to promise that Rocco won't be turned into a mummy or left to suffocate. The mummy closes the case around Rocco, and leans inanimatel against a wall, just before the police arrive. Suspicious, the police open the mummy case, only to find that it is empty. The police move on. And the mummy goes to open the case again. The mummy has kept his part of the bargain to the letter: he kept Rocco from his pursuers, and he opened the case as soon as it was safe. One can almost imagine a smile beneath those bandages as the mummy muses that Rocco will be safe from his pursuers... forever.

Elsewhere, Rocco is not as pleased with the arrangement. He realizes he can never go back, and he realizes what the narrow escape has cost him. He's not really sure how it happened, but now he knows where that mummy case led to. His egyptian taskmaster cracks his whip, commanding him and his fellow slaves to pull another enormous stone block towards the new pyramid, and Rocco Rank realizes why the mummy had been so anxious to help a stranger.

"There Are Martians Among Us!"
When a downed flying saucer is discovered in the woods, the town nearby goes into a panic, searching for the potentially dangerous martians on the loose. They know from the layout of the instrument panel that the martians must be humanoid, but there has to be some difference between them and humans that will identify them. The hunt goes on, and nothing has been found a month later. Authorities tell everyone to stay inside, as the martian threat is just as great now as ever. In one suburban home, a wife laments that her husband must go out into the dangerous city. He's more worried about her being alone, and orders he to stay inside, lock the door, and not open it for anybody. The search widens its arc, coming closer and closer to the city itself. Back at the house, the wife finds that they're out of coffee. Certain that her husband will be angry if there's no coffee with dinner, she decides it will be safe enough to go to the store for more. She finishes the errand quickly, and is on her way home when she hears footsteps behind her. She is captured.

The husband returns home to find the house empty. That can only mean that his wife has disobeyed him, and gone out. Frantically, he picks up the phone and dials for help. He tells the party on the other end that his wife is gone, and does't know what to do. The hounds must have picked up her scent, reasons the four-armed martian man, and that means the mobs will be coming for him next!


FEATURED CHARACTER(S):
SUPPORTING CHARACTERS:
VILLIANS:
OTHER CHARACTERS:
  • Peter Parker's classmates - First Appearance.
  • scientists
  • Young boy (who sees Parker climbing a building) and his mother (who thinks he's seen too many horror movies)
  • Crusher Hogan - First Appearance.
  • Crowd at the wrestling event
  • Television producer (unnamed this issue) - First Appearance
  • Television studio audience
  • Press at studio
  • Police Officer at the Parker residence (Unnamed)
  • Police Captain (Unnamed)
  • Police the warehouse

"The Bell-Ringer!"

  • Old Pedros
  • other villagers

"Man in the Mummy Case!"

  • Rocco Rank
  • Police Officer
  • The Mummuy
  • Egyptian Taskmaster
  • Slaves

"There are Martians Among Us!"

  • Police (discovered the saucer)
  • Search party
  • Wife
  • Husband
  • TV reporter
LOCATIONS:
ITEMS:

Notes

Trivia

  • The date on the cover (August) is one month earlier than the date in the indicia (September 1962) for this issue.
  • The "Experiments in Radio-Activity" was in room 30 of "the science hall" (General Techtronics Laboratories East).
  • The TV producer says tells Parker that he'd be a smash on Ed Sullivan's show.
  • Like many of the longer stories in anthology series, the "Spider-Man!" story is divided into two parts, one immediately following the other.
  • The comic describes Spider-Man as taking part in a television "spectacular". Though the usage has fallen out of vogue, the word "spactacular" was used in early television to decribe what would now be called television "specials".

Recommended Readings:

External Links



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