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Quote1.png But I've always been a weak man ... a terribly terribly weak man... Quote2.png
Puppet Master (Phillip Masters)

Appearing in "...As Those Who Will Not See!"

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Synopsis for "...As Those Who Will Not See!"

Following his battle against the Puppet Master within the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building, Spider-Man is startled by the sudden arrival of the Thing who has returned home with his girlfriend Alicia Masters. The Thing demands to know why Spider-Man is in his headquarters and to explain the damage caused. The wall-crawler explains his battle against the Puppet Master with the Vision. Wanting to have a talk with the Puppet Master, the Thing picks up his unconscious body and shakes him awake. Hearing the voice of her stepfather, Alicia tries to rush to his side but is stopped by Spider-Man. However, when Alicia explains who the Puppet Master is to her, explanations are needed. The Thing then drags the Puppet Master into another room to interrogate him. He then returns to tell them that their foe has offered to take them back to his old hideout that he shared with the Mad Thinker. There, the Puppet Master claims, exists a cure for Alicia's blindness.

Deciding to look into this, Spider-Man, the Thing, Alicia and the Puppet Master head to this old hideout in the Fantasti-Car. Along the way, Spider-Man and Alicia ask why the Puppet Master suddenly has a change of heart. He explains that he feels guilty for the death of Alicia's biological father, Jacob Reiss. He explains how they were experimenting with the radioactive clay he would later use as a criminal in order to discover the "building blocks of life". Jealous of Jacob's marriage and daughter, the man who was once known as Phillip Masters began plotting against his partner. One night he tricked Jacob into coming to the lab where Phillip struck Jacob. The fight caused an unstable reaction in the radioactive clay and it blew up, destroying the facility and killing Jacob. Surviving unscathed, Phillip emerged from the rubble and see that Alicia and her mother had also come along and were caught in the blast. Checking on Alicia he discovered that she was stricken blind and vowed to do whatever it took to restore her lost sight. He concludes by telling them that his guilt led him to marry Alicia's mother and try and find a cure. However, when Alicia's mother later died, it pushed him further over the edge, leading to his becoming the Puppet Master. With his story explained, Phillip breaks down into tears, telling them that he is a weak man.

When they arrive on the island where the Mad Thinker's lab is located, a defense device springs out of the ground and stuns the Thing and Spider-Man. This allows the Puppet Master the chance to escape through a ground hatch. When the two heroes come to, they break through the ground and gain access to the facility. With no sign of the Puppet Master, the pair split up to find him. Meanwhile, the Puppet Master has located that his sometime ally, the Mad Thinker, is currently hiding out in the facility. He explains that he had no choice but to lure the two heroes to their secret hideout. Although the Mad Thinker is unimpressed, the evil genius believes he can easily destroy these two menaces. He activates a series of traps to try and kill their foes. Spider-Man finds himself falling down a deep shaft with walls that are greased enough to prevent him from clinging to them. While the Thing finds himself trapped in an airtight room to suffocate. Seeing that Alicia is still waiting in the Fantasti-Car, the Mad Thinker sends out one of his androids to recover her.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man narrowly avoids a spiky death by slowing his descent by rebounding off the walls and slowing him down enough to cling onto the bottom portion of the shaft, that isn't oiled before he can hit the spikes. Outside, the android approaches Alicia who begins screaming in fear. Demanding that the Mad Thinker stop tormenting his step-daughter, the Puppet Master is easily knocked aside. When he tries to knock out the Thinker with a wrench, Spider-Man arrives and gives him the extra boost he needs by forcing down the wrench harder thanks to a web-ball. Outside, the Thing destroys the android, Spider-Man emerges from the hidden facility and learns how the Thing survived his death trap. As they are comparing notes, the facility suddenly explodes, seemingly killing the Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker. Alicia mourns the loss of her stepfather, but tells the two men that they could never understand the length of the Puppet Master's insanity.

Solicit Synopsis

Spidey and the Thing - together!


Continuity Notes

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

Publication Notes

  • This issue contains a letters page, Mail It To Team-Up. Letters are published from Al Soles, Brian Howard and Norm Houseman.

See Also

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