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Quote1 My fault -- all my fault, If only I had stopped him when I could have! But I didn't -- and now -- Uncle Ben -- is dead..... Quote2

Appearing in "Spider-Man!"

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Synopsis for "Spider-Man!"

Part 1[]

Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 Title

A shy, unassuming high-school student, Peter Parker prefers the company of his teachers to that of his classmates, who call him "Midtown High's only professional wallflower." His only living relatives, Uncle Ben and Aunt May, think the world of

Peter Parker (Earth-616) from Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 001


One evening, while attending a demonstration of radioactivity at General Techtronics Laboratories East, Parker fails to notice a spider drop through a "radioactive ray" and receive a massive dose of radiation. It bites him and dies. Light-headed, Parker leaves the demonstration, only to be nearly run over by a car. He leaps to safety but is surprised to find he has jumped much further than intended-he lands on the side of a building and clings to the bricks by his fingertips. He quickly climbs to the roof and, once there, accidentally crumples a steel pipe in his hand. He believes that he has inherited the spider's speed, strength, and climbing ability. He begins to ponder the possibilities.

Shortly thereafter, Parker sees a wrestling ring and a sign: "$100 to the man who can stay in the ring three minutes with Crusher Hogan." He goes home, changes, puts on a hood, and returns to the ring. Hogan laughingly calls Parker the "Masked Marvel," but Parker lifts Hogan over his head and carries him up a post. Afterward, a man in the crowd introduces himself to Parker as a television producer, encourages him to go into show business, and gives him his card.

At home, Parker makes himself a spider-themed costume, a supply of sticky web fluid, and two jets for his wrists that can shoot the fluid. "Here comes the Spider-Man!" he says.

Part 2[]

The Spider-Man appears on television and becomes a celebrity. One evening, he goes backstage and finds a guard chasing a thief. Spider-Man lets the thief escape and, when the guard complains, tells him, "That's your job! I'm thru being pushed around by anyone!"

Peter Parker and Burglar (Earth-616) from Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 0001

Spider-Man learns his first important lesson

Some days later, Parker returns home and learns from a policeman that a burglar has killed his Uncle Ben. The police have cornered the man in the deserted Acme warehouse. Parker dons his costume and swings to the scene.

Once inside, he frightens the man by crawling down the wall toward him. Parker then covers his gun hand with web fluid and knocks him unconscious. When he sees the man's face, he recognizes the thief who got away at the studio. He wraps the burglar in webbing and leaves him for the police to find. Shocked, Peter realizes that, if he had caught the burglar, his Uncle Ben would still be alive. He eventually learns that with great power there must also come -- great responsibility.

Appearing in "The Bell-Ringer!"

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  • Other villagers

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Synopsis for "The Bell-Ringer!"

Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 015

On a small Mediterranean island of fisherfolk, Old Pedros is the town bell-ringer. One day, the volcano atop the island begins to erupt. The villagers evacuate and put out to sea. Old Pedros, though, stays at the church. "The bells must be rung," he tells himself. "Someone will hear. For centuries, someone has always heard!" Molten rock streams toward the church. Before it reaches Old Pedros, a ray of sunlight surrounds him. The superstitious villagers swear they saw him ride the ray into the sky. Did their eyes play tricks on them, or did Someone hear the bells?

Appearing in "Man in the Mummy Case!"

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  • Mummy
  • Egyptian slavedriver

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  • Sarcophagus

Synopsis for "Man in the Mummy Case!"

Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 019

Rocco Rank, a career criminal, breaks into a museum to escape a policeman. While he looks for a hiding place, he hears a mummy's voice promising to protect him from the police. All he has to do is lie in a sarcophagus. The mummy reassures Rank that he will not suffocate or become another mummy. Rank finally agrees and gets into the sarcophagus, which the mummy shuts. The policeman doubles back, finds a broken window, and searches the room. The mummy is motionless, and the sarcophagus is empty, so he leaves. Rank is safe from the police ... but he has become a slave building the Pyramids.

Appearing in "There Are Martians among Us!"

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  • Police
  • Searchers
  • TV reporter

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  • Flying saucer

Synopsis for "There Are Martians among Us!"

Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 027

The discovery of a crashed flying saucer frightens a small town, especially when the townspeople realize that the Martians are among them. A month goes by with the aliens still at large. A man leaves for the city and tells his wife to stay in the house where she is safe. Later that day, though, she has to go to the store for coffee. On her way home, she is captured! When her husband gets home and finds her missing, he makes a desperate phone call ... to another Martian, who like him must have four arms ....


Continuity Notes[]

  • A number of details about this story should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as follows: All slang, technology, the amount of money that is being offered to beat Hogan in the ring, Spider-Man appearing on the Ed Sullivan show, and Chet Huntley being the newscaster.
  • Peter Parker isn't the only one affected by the radioactive spider. Jessica Jones was present and flubbed her chance at asking him out, as seen in Alias #22. The spider also bit Cindy Moon, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #1. The spider was later eaten by Carl King, a kid who used to bully Peter in school.
  • This story suggests that Peter created his webshooters after he got his powers. However, Amazing Spider-Man #-1 reveals that Peter came up with the design much earlier.
  • Peter Parker's identity was compromised when he left his home as Spider-Man to capture the Burglar, following the death of Uncle Ben. Amazing Spider-Man #258 revealed that Mary Jane Watson observed Spider-Man and deduced his identity.

Chronology Notes[]

Events in this story occur behind the scenes that impact the chronology of the following characters:


Uncle Ben:

Aunt May:

Flash Thompson:

Liz Allan:

Maxie Shiffman:

Crusher Hogan:

The Burglar:

Publication Notes[]

  • This was the last Amazing Fantasy comic until 1995. This is also the first one called Amazing Fantasy instead of Amazing Adult Fantasy.
  • Though the conclusion of "Spider-Man!" invites readers to return for the next issue, this would be the final issue of Amazing Fantasy (successor to Amazing Adventures and Amazing Adult Fantasy). In 1995, editor Danny Fingeroth inserted three stories (Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 16-18) between this one and Spider-Man's next appearance, in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 1 (March 1963).
  • Artie Simek was credited in this issue as Art Simek.


Steve Ditko's original cover
  • The cover ultimately published for Amazing Fantasy Vol 1 15 was not the one originally planned. Originally, Steve Ditko both penciled and inked the cover, but at the last minute Stan Lee decided to have Jack Kirby come in and redo it.[1]
  • The date on the cover (August) is one month earlier than the date in the insignia (September 1962) for this issue.
  • The "Experiments in Radio-Activity" exhibit (where Parker got his spider bite) was in room 30 of the science hall.
  • Anthology titles like Amazing Fantasy presented stories that were usually only three to five pages long. The "Spider-Man!" story was therefore divided into two parts, even though Part 2 immediately followed Part 1.
  • Plot elements in the live action Spider-Man movie originate from this issue.
  • The cover of this issue appears in the comic galleries from the video games The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (Sega CD version) and Spider-Man.
  • The scene depicted in this issue's cover is given a context in Amazing Fantasy (Vol. 2) #15. This issue reveals that "the guy under Spider-Man's armpit" is a man named Steve (named after Steve Ditko) who fell down his office's window while trying to catch a glimpse of Spider-Man, who was swinging by on his way to his first show. Spider-Man catches Steve mid-air, blurting out in the process the words in his utterance in the cover, but Steve screams in shock, unable to pay attention to what he says. Peter brings Steve to safety on the ground, gives him a ticket to the Ed Sullivan theater, and swings away.
  • The final story in this issue, "There Are Martians Among Us!", was inspired by an episode of Rod Sterling's The Twilight Zone entitled "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" which originally aired May 26, 1961. Both stories feature a Martian ship crash landing on Earth, and a search by police for its occupant, who has blended in with humans by wearing a large coat to disguise the fact that they have multiple arms (three in the TV episode, four in Stan Lee's story).

See Also

Links and References


  1. Brian Cronin,"Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed Vol 1 31!", Comics Should Be Good, December 29, 2005.