Appearing in "To Die a Hero!"
- Daily Bugle Staff
- Mary Jane Watson
- Harry Osborn
- Gwen Stacy
- Flash Thompson
- Frederick Foswell (Death)
- United States of America
Synopsis for "To Die a Hero!"
Knocked out by the Kingpin, Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson are brought into the villain's basement. The Kingpin decides they should both be eliminated and has them placed in a giant water tight chamber and begins to have the chamber filled with water. Jameson pleads to be let free but to no avail. As the water rises, Spider-Man finally awakes and manages to break free from his bonds. However, there is no way to break free in time.
Meanwhile, at the Daily Bugle, Ned Leeds and his fiancee Betty Brant discover that their boss has gone missing as well. They are joined by city editor Joe Robertson. Joe tells them that he discovered the damage and called the police already. Joe tells Ned to get ready to cover the story. Betty pleads to him to not go, but Ned says this story is important. As he and Joe take off, Betty worries that her relationship with Ned will turn out like the same as her failed romance with Peter Parker. Back at the Kingpin's hideout, Spider-Man creates an airtight web bubble so that he and Jameson can breathe while the rest of the room floods.
Figuring his captives to be dead, Kingpin has the water drained, and Spider-Man goes on the attack. After defeating the Kingpin's goons, Spider-Man then frees Jameson and they try to find a way out of Kingpin's base. As they make their exit, more of the Kingpin's men arrive. Spider-Man tells Jameson to run for it while he takes care of these new attackers. Jonah complies but ends up knocking himself out when he runs into an overhanging pipe. Thinking that Jameson got away safely, Spider-Man webs up the crooks and goes looking for the Kingpin. Upstairs, his enemy informs Frederick Foswell that Spider-Man and Jameson are dead. Foswell is unhappy to hear this, as this was not his style. The Kingpin doesn't take kindly to being called a murderer and is about to eliminate Foswell as well when Spider-Man suddenly bursts into the room.
Meanwhile, back at the Silver Spoon, Gwen and Harry are happy to see that Flash Thompson has returned on leave from the military. He is warmly greeted, and when he asks where Peter and Mary Jane are, he learns that neither has been seen in a while. Flash is surprised to hear that Mary Jane is still dating Peter. As he begins telling them of his experiences in the military, Mary Jane arrives. The group then decides to throw a party to celebrate Flash's return. Back at the Kingpin's, Spider-Man is surprised to discover how powerful his foe really is. While the two men struggle, Foswell steals a gun from a nearby desk drawer and tries to escape. Seeing that this is a losing battle, the Kingpin makes his retreat through a secret escape tube hidden behind a bookshelf. When Spider-Man tries to follow after him, he just narrowly avoids getting a blast of toxic gas used to prevent people from following the Kingpin. Spider-Man decides to make his departure. Elsewhere, Jameson wakes up and panics when he thinks he is bleeding and flees down the hallway. His cries for help alert the Kingpin's men, but Jameson is found by Foswell before they can catch him.
Trying to defend his former employer, Frederick is shot by one of the Kingpin's goons. It's then that Spider-Man arrives and takes the thugs out. Although Jameson is safe, Foswell's wound proves fatal and soon dies from blood loss. Jameson can't understand why Foswell betrayed him to the Kingpin but vows to let the world know that he died a hero. Later, when the authorities arrive, Jameson informs Ned and Joe what happened. He becomes determined to continue crusading against organized crime in the city, as well as Spider-Man. Hearing this from the rooftops, Spider-Man is upset to hear that Jameson still intends to carry on his crusade against him. The wall-crawler has had enough, but he checks his temper, as he would do everything the same way all over again, and thinks that he and Jameson aren't really all that different.
- Betty worries that Ned will get hurt chasing news stories. She had this same fear of Peter Parker while they dated. This is because her brother Bennett was seemingly killed due to his involvement with crime, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #11.
- Mention is made of Frederick Foswell's past criminal career. He operated as the Big Man in Amazing Spider-Man #10. He appeared to reform when released from prison in Amazing Spider-Man #24.
- References to Flash Thompson serving under William Westmoreland and fighting the Viet Cong should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Although Frederick Foswell dies here, he manages to cheat death many years later, as seen in Clone Conspiracy #2.
- Page 3, Panel 2 bests fits the image on the cover
- Special Location: Slab of stone in Kingpin's basement
- Produced and presented by: Stan (The Man) Lee and John (Ring-a-Ding) Romita
- Embellished by: Mickey Demeo
- Lettered by: Sam Rosen
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