Cover Price: $.25

#140
January 1975

Value: $42 (Near Mint-)
1st Gloria Grant

 

Supporting Cast:
 1st Gloria Grant, J. Jonah Jameson, Flash Thompson, Betty Brant, Ned Leeds


Guests:


Villains:
Grizzly, Jackal

"...And One Will Fall!" - 17 Pages


Writer -
Gerry Conway
Artist - Ross Andru
Inker - Frank Giacoia & David Hunt
Cover - Gil Kane
Letterer -
Artie Simek
Colorist - Petra Goldberg
Editor - Roy Thomas

In Amazing Spider-Man #139, Spider-Man tangled with a new villain named the Grizzly, who terrorized the Daily Bugle offices. As Peter Parker, he tracks the Grizzly to a mansion in a fashionable neighborhood. However, Peter is attacked from behind and captured by the villainous Jackal, who tells the Grizzly, "Wherever Peter Parker goes, Spider-Man is not far behind!"

Peter denies the connection, but the Grizzly squeezes him into unconsciousness. He wakes up back at the Bugle building, where Ned Leeds and Betty Brant find him in the lobby. "You disappeared - we were afraid you'd been hurt," Betty tells him. They take Peter to a coffee shop to clear his head, but when he steps into the men's room, he discovers a metal harness on his right arm. When he touches it, he hears the Jackal's voice via remote control: "Don't act too hastily, my teenage tool! If you tamper with this device, if you try to force it open or jimmy it in any way at all, the harness will vibrate itself to powder -- destroying both itself and your arm!" The Jackal intends to use the harness to track down Spider-Man, not aware that Peter and Spider-Man are one and the same. After a day of thinking, Peter decides he has to try to disable the harness, despite the Jackal's warning. So he goes to a chemistry lab at Empire State University and puts his scientific knowledge to the test. Using an acetylene torch, he neutralizes the harness and is able to take it off. Artist Ross Andru does a great job of building the tension in these panels - no text is even needed.

With that out of the way, Spider-Man swings back into action. He stops by the Daily Bugle to see if he can learn anything about the Grizzly and why he attacked the newspaper. He discovers J. Jonah Jameson sleeping on his office couch and awakens him by ticking his feet (a hilarious panel).  Jonah tells Spider-Man that the Grizzly used to be a professional wrestler named Maxwell Markham who was notoriously brutal in the ring; I guess Jonah thinks wrestling is a real sport. No wonder he never had much luck catching Spider-Man. Anyway, Jonah launches a newspaper crusade against Markham and gets the wrestling commission to ban him from the ring. "It wasn't your business, Jameson," Markham tells him. "Boy, my business is selling newspapers," the arrogant publisher says. "If a crusade will sell a newspaper, then J. Jonah Jameson will have a crusade." Spider-Man tells Jameson that after hearing that, he's tempted to let the Grizzly have his way with him. Jameson responds by throwing one of his expensive shoes at Spider-Man - and out the window! Spider-Man uses that information to track down the Grizzly to a 34th Street gym. And this time, he's got a plan for battling the big man. He uses his webbing to tear off the Grizzly's costume, exposing a metal exoskeleton, which he also removes. Without the exoskeleton, the Grizzly is "Just a shlump named Max Markham." He webs Markham up to the wall and calls the police. "If you ask me, he needs a hospital, not a prison," Spider-Man tells them. The Grizzly resurfaces years later in Web of Spider-Man #58, also written by Gerry Conway.

He also knows that his work isn't finished. The mastermind behind this scheme - the Jackal - is still at large, but Spidey promises to bring him to justice one day. The Grizzly may not be the greatest villain ever introduced, but this two-part storyline does a nice job of moving along the Jackal plot. The Jackal now has made the connection between Peter Parker and Spider-Man, which can only be trouble for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

This issue is mostly action, but it also features the first appearance of Peter's new neighbor, Glory Grant. Glory will soon become a regular member of the supporting cast, both as a neighbor and as a co-worker at the Daily Bugle.

The Gil Kane cover is somewhat reminiscent of John Romita's classic cover on Amazing Spider-Man #135. This general motif - Spider-Man in the middle, with multiple scenes around him - has been frequently used in various Spider-Man titles over the years.

Next issue: Mysterio returns - or does he?

Reviewed by Bruce Buchanan.

Quality Rating: 3
Significance Rating: 3

Overall Rating:

6

Reprinted In:
Marvel Tales
#117

Amazing Spider-Man #139

Also This Month:

Marvel Team-Up #29
Giant-Size Spider-Man
#3

Amazing Spider-Man #141