Cover Price: $.15
Value: $125 (Near Mint-)
"Panic In The Prison!" - 20 Pages
The last three issues of Amazing Spider-Man gave us the famous controversial drug trilogy and the return of the Green Goblin. Things were sure rough on Peter, however the last page of last issue showed us Gwen and Peter reunited after a long continent wide separation. The first page of this book takes place no doubt shortly thereafter. Peter and Gwen are walking down a New York street and in a world of there own caught in each others eyes. Peter and Gwen are so happy that Peter informs her that he wants to propose marriage to her. They kiss and after a while go their separate ways. After all, She just got back from London after a long separation and already they are parting again? I thought they were supposed to be recklessly in love.
Peter realizes that before he actually proposes to Gwen he needs to be able to support her. He rules out working for Norman Osborn as a good job has been offered to him in the past by Norman. He decides to head back to the Daily Bugle. J. Jonah Jameson and Robbie Robertson offer him a job covering a prison riot. Peter tells them no more giving his pictures for chicken feed (his words not mine) and that he wants a job with a salary. Jonah initially refuses but gives in when he realizes he needs Peter. Peter is in high spirits (how often does this happen), and he changes to Spider-Man and heads to the prison riot. At the prison, the prisoners are actually written in a sympathetic sense. They have been complaining to the Warden about the inhuman prison conditions. The Warden says he will try and change things. Eventually the prisoners stage a riot due to the lack of action. The head of riot group is holding the Warden up in his office. The Warden is actually doing his best to change the conditions but the head of the prison group does not care. The head honchos also have the rest of the prisoners convinced that the Warden does not care about them or their demands.
Very predictably, Spider-Man saves the day. He defeats the head of the riot group and saves the Warden. Spider-Man and one of the prisoners help explain to the riot group that the Warden really does care. The Warden promises the prisoners amnesty if they all return to the cells and drop the weapons. They all agree and everybody is happy, except for the baddies Spidey had to beat up. But we don't care about there feelings anyway. Spider-Man swings away from the prison as the Warden is speaking out against the inhumane prison conditions. As he swings by an open window, a TV producer spots Spider-Man and says he would make a great spot on his television show. Spider-Man agrees to appear on television that night to talk about the riot and the changes that need to be made in the prison. Spider-Man changes to Peter and develops the pictures he took of the riot. At first Jonah is mad because he heard on the radio that every photographer was at the riot except for him. Pete hands over the photos and assures Jonah he was at the prison. Pete then tries to get his money but Robbie informs him payday is not until Friday.
Peter is distraught again because now he
can't afford to take Gwen out. He then realizes that he still has the TV spot,
which should pay pretty well. He changes to Spider-Man and makes it to the
studio in the nick of time. The audience does not believe he is genuine but a
demonstration of his powers sways their theory. Spider-Man then starts to talk
about the riot and why it took place and what needs to be done. As he is
wrapping things up the cops rush into the studio. They remind him he is still
wanted (probably for the murder of Captain George Stacy in
#90). He is forced to quickly swing off without being paid. Peter shows up
at Gwen's door broke, and he apologizes saying he wanted to take her out and
show her a good time. She informs him that she spent all afternoon cooking a
dinner for him. Gwen tells Peter that tonight she has him all to herself and
that is just the way she wants him.
This issue is stuck between the famous drug trilogy and the classic three parter where Spider-Man fights the Lizard and Morbius with 6 arms. Overall, It is very nice stand alone issue. It is essential because Peter tells Gwen of his intentions to marry her. It is also when Peter finally gets a part-time job from Jameson. Ever since Amazing Spider-Man #2, he has been working freelance. We also learn from many thought bubbles of Jameson over the years, that Peter is not getting paid half as much as he deserves. Now he has a salary, and I felt glad that Peter was finally getting what he deserved. The prison subplot was done very well. You actually feel some sympathy for the prisoners. This story was written during the early seventies when demonstrations were happening regularly across the country. I enjoyed the scenes with Peter and Gwen. They were very sweet and the first few pages were very touching. His decision to marry her leads directly into his decision next issue. What does he want to do? The answer lays in the classic that is Amazing Spider-Man #100.
By Julio Barone
Marvel Tales #80
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