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Amazing Spider-Man #13: Review

Jun 1964
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

The Menace of…Mysterio!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #13 Review by (December 27, 2023)

Review: Things are not what they seem! This issue marks the debut of my personal favorite Spider-Man villain, Mysterio! I’ve always just found his gimmicks, look, and overall presentation and style to be a lot of fun that always makes for creative, interesting stories. The idea of Mysterio pretending to be a hero before being revealed as a fake, popularized by Spider-Man: Far From Home, has its origins in this issue! Mysterio commits crimes dressed as Spider-Man before taking on the real one, making the world think he’s a hero, before Spider-Man reveals the truth.

Interestingly, and in contrast to Far From Home, Spider-Man is not actually fooled by Mysterio. When fighting him the first time, Spider-Man correctly deduces how he’s mimicking superpowers and immediately realizes he was committing the crimes as the fake Spider-Man. Spidey has a brief moment of thinking Mysterio may actually have powers, but it’s really just a quick thought. Spider-Man isn’t actually fooled by the villain whose whole gimmick is subterfuge! There is a little bit of weirdness, where Peter dismisses the idea of an imposter at the beginning and immediately leaps to him committing the crimes unconsciously. It’s a bit of a leap in logic, especially as Spidey’s been impersonated before, but he is still a rather anxious teenager. Overall, another great villain intro issue, climaxing with a cool battle on a movie set, and establishing Mysterio for numerous fun future appearances!

Comments: Mysterio’s first appearance, origin, and battle with Spider-Man. The spider tracer is called the spider pin in this story. Mysterio’s real name is not given, even with his backstory.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #13 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our story begins with a shocking twist, as we see Spider-Man escaping after having just robbed a bank! He webs up the chasing police and swings away into the foggy night! The next day, the public reacts with shock at the apparent confirmation that Spider-Man has turned to crime. J. Jonah Jameson orders reprints of all of his anti-Spider-Man editorials, while Betty Brant is filled with disbelief. At school, only Flash Thompson thinks Spidey could still be innocent. Finally, Peter Parker himself thinks that it couldn’t possibly be an imposter, and begins to worry that he may be committing these acts unconsciously. He is so distraught by this possibility that he keeps dropping dishes and has troubling sleeping, causing Aunt May to worry about him.

Upon awaking the next morning, Peter hears of another apparent Spider-Man escapade, and decides to head to a psychiatrist as Spider-Man, to see if he can give Peter some answers. The psychiatrist in question revels at the possibility of having a superhero as a client, but Spider-Man realizes that he could accidentally give away his identity if he’s not careful, and leaves the psychiatrist’s office. Later at the Daily Bugle, Peter is still so dejected, that he snaps at Betty, before asking Jameson for a loan. Having been denied his loan, Peter tries going out as Spider-Man to get some photos to sell to Jameson but gets mobbed by an angry public.

The next day, at the Daily Bugle, Jameson is approached by a costumed figure calling himself Mysterio. Mysterio instructs Jameson to print a notice for Spider-Man in the Bugle, to meet him atop the Brooklyn Bridge, where Mysterio will put a stop to Spider-Man and his reign of crime, before disappearing in a puff of smoke. The next day, Peter sees the notice and goes to meet Mysterio at the Brooklyn Bridge as Spider-Man. Mysterio avoids Spider-Man’s blows by springing over Spider-Man and sticking to the side of the bridge. Spider-Man tries webbing up Mysterio but Mysterio seemingly dissolves Spider-Man’s web in mid-air. Spider-Man thinks he may have magnetized shoes or dissolving mist or other tricks up his sleeve. Mysterio then sets up a large smokescreen, nullifying Spider-Man’s spider sense and laying into him, with Spidey just swinging blindly. Spider-Man is forced to escape by diving into the river, and makes his way home, defeated, but at least believing he knows who was been behind the phony Spider-Man.

The following day, the public throws a parade for Mysterio, seeing him as a new hero who drove away Spider-Man. Only Flash remains unconvinced. At the Daily Bugle, Jameson formally introduces Mysterio to his staff, including Peter, his star photographer. Peter takes the opportunity to slyly place a spider tracer on Mysterio, so as to track him later. After Mysterio leaves, Spider-Man follows the tracer and ambushes Mysterio outside of a movie production building. Mysterio sets up his smokescreen, once again overwhelming Spider-Man, who admits that he can’t defeat Mysterio but at least wants him to admit to committing the crimes dressed as the phony Spider-Man.

Mysterio confirms this, and thinking he will be able to get rid of Spider-Man, recounts his backstory. Mysterio tells of how he was a stuntman and special effects artist for movies, who started studying Spider-Man, and used his expertise to mimic Spider-Man’s powers in order to frame him for his crimes. He reveals the smoke emitters his in boots, as well as spring shoes and an acidic spray to dissolve Spider-Man’s webs. As Mysterio announces he’ll now get rid of Spider-Man forever, Spidey reveals that he was feigning his defeat and secretly recording the entire thing. He springs out of the smoke cloud, running around the outside of it and swinging blindly until he lands a hit on Mysterio, sending him tumbling into the movie studio.

Spider-Man and Mysterio engage in a battle on the movie set, with Mysterio springing out of Spider-Man’s way and using his stuntman training to offset Spider-Man’s blows as best he can. Spidey flips behind one of the sets then dives through it, surprising Mysterio and knocking him for a loop. As Mysterio sets up his smokescreen once more, Spidey destroys the spider sense jammer, deducing that it’s stored in the eye clasps on Mysterio’s cape. Spidey makes sure to pick up his camera with all of the pics from the fight and drops Mysterio off at the police station with his taped confession. Jameson, dejected that he was once again wrong about Spider-Man, returns to the Bugle where he finds the photos Peter took of the fight waiting for him. Spidey swings in through the window and webs Jameson to the ceiling, in order to give him a “new outlook.” The story ends with Flash feeling vindicated for always believing in Spidey and Pete swinging off thinking how ironic it is that his bully is also his biggest fan!

Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko
Stan Goldberg
Steve Ditko (Cover Penciler)
Steve Ditko (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Quentin Beck)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Betty Brant, Liz Allan (Liz Osborn).

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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