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Amazing Spider-Man #10: Review

Mar 1964
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

The Enforcers!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #10 Review by (December 20, 2023)

Review: A bit of a different issue, this time around, with Spidey’s first dealings with a more crime boss type of enemy! The Big Man persona will stick around, though as other people, and rather sparingly. Foswell will become a returning supporting character a little down the line, making this his only villainous appearance. Not to mention, the introduction of the Enforcers, the eternal C-level mooks! They pop up every now and then, but are never very challenging, as is the case here. The only reason Spidey really had any difficulty was due to being weakened from his blood transfusion for Aunt May.

A pretty solid story here, even if the Big Man mystery is wrapped up rather quickly and easily, with no real motivation given. Just surprise! The small, timid guy was the big crime boss! How’s that for a shock! More interestingly, we have more humanization for Flash, as he’s slowly starting to show that he’s not such a bad guy, and the first explanation for Jameson’s hate toward Spider-Man, simple envy and a feeling of inferiority! It’s not as deep or layered as Jameson’s motivations will be in the coming decades, but it’s a start for more characterization for him. Not to mention the continued saga of what’s going on with Betty, to be followed up on next issue!

Comments: First appearance for the Big Man/Frederick Foswell and the Enforcers (Fancy Dan, Ox, and Montana). First explanation of why J. Jonah Jameson hates Spider-Man. Jack Kirby contributed to the cover by drawing Spider-Man, while Steve Ditko drew the rest.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #10 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our story begins showcasing The Big Man, new criminal mastermind, using his brilliance and resources to pull off a daring crime! He lifts his hired crook, waiting on a flagpole, via a cable to a waiting whirlybird hidden in the clouds. Spider-Man shows up and uses his web, attached to the flagpole, to fling himself towards the escaping aircraft. Just as he gets close however, Spider-Man is impeded by a blast of chemical foam, forcing him to spin a web parachute to slow his fall. Satisfied with his outsmarting of Spider-Man, the Big Man calls a meeting of all of the big crime bosses and announces that he’s planning on taking over all of the crime in the city, to be run like a business. As the other mob bosses try to retaliate, the Big Man showcases his Enforcers, there to dissuade anyone from acting against him. The Enforcers include Fancy Dan, a small man but a swift judo expert, Ox, a classic strong man, and Montana, an expert with a lasso. They use their various skills to convince the other mob bosses to fall in line with the Big Man.

We then cut to the hospital, where Peter went to visit Aunt May, and finds that Flash Thompson and Liz Allan have also stopped by to see how she’s doing, at Liz’s behest. The doctor informs Peter that Aunt May is doing better but needs a blood transfusion. Peter is reluctant to offer his blood at first, due to fact his blood is now irradiated from the spider bite, but eventually gives in because of how much Aunt May needs it. The blood transfusion is successful, with Peter realizing that he’ll be weakened for a few days as a result, as he sends Aunt May on a trip with some neighbors to Florida. As all this going on, the Big Man increases his hold on his criminal empire, pulling job after job, with police only able to catch the small fry, as the Big Man stays out of reach. J. Jonah Jameson, of course, believes that the Big Man must really be Spider-Man, and instructs one of his reporters, Frederick Foswell, to find proof.

As Betty Brant is leaving the Daily Bugle, she’s intercepted by the Enforcers, there to collect on a loan she took out. Peter tries to get involved but can’t do anything for risk of revealing himself. Betty avoids Peter’s questions and runs away crying, not wanting Peter to get mixed up in everything, leaving Peter confused and hurt. Pete switches to Spider-Man and interrogates the thug that pointed Betty out to the Enforcers, with the assistance of a large phony spider, made out of wood planks and webs. Spidey heads to the address given and gets pulled in via Montana’s lasso. Spidey dances around, avoiding and fighting the Enforcers as best he can, but he’s still rather weak from the blood transfusion, and is forced to make a hasty retreat. As he’s leaving, he spots J. Jonah Jameson walking nearby, and starts to wonder if he could possibly be the Big Man. At home, Peter tries calling Betty to no avail, as we find out she’s planning to leave town.

The next day, Peter finds out from Jameson that Betty has left, while Jameson tells him to get photos proving Spider-Man is the Big Man. Back at home, Peter devises a plan to get himself captured, in order to get close to the Big Man. The next day, Peter starts telling everyone that he knows who the Big Man is, causing Flash to uncharacteristically worry about his safety. Word reaches the Big Man regarding Peter’s claim, and he reveals that he knows Peter Parker, and sends the Enforcers to capture Peter and lock him in a room. Peter switches to Spider-Man and escapes the room, and finds the place packed with almost every mobster in the city. Spider-Man starts taking out the thugs, using his environment to his advantage, using oil drums, tires, anything he can against his attackers.

After catching his breath, Spidey attaches his spider signal to his web to alert the police to his whereabouts. They soon arrive to round up the mobsters, while the Big Man makes his escape, with Spider-Man too tired to reach him in time. Thinking that the Big Man is still Jameson, Spidey swings to the Daily Bugle and perches outside, where he finds a nervous Jonah, soon interrupted by Foswell with his new column. The police then arrive and reveal that they found all the evidence they need that Foswell is really the Big Man, leaving both Spidey and Jonah shocked! Later, alone in his office, Jameson admits to himself that he hounds Spider-Man so much because he’s envious of him. Spider-Man is the hero he could never be, so all he can do is tear him down. The story concludes with Peter, once again home, agonizing about where Betty has run off to, as we see that she has holed herself up in a hotel in Pennsylvania, desperate and alone.

Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko
Stan Goldberg
Steve Ditko (Cover Penciler)
Steve Ditko (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Betty Brant, Enforcers, Fancy Dan (daniel Brito), Frederick Foswell (Big Man), Liz Allan (Liz Osborn), Montana (Jackson Bryce), Ox.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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