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Amazing Spider-Man #19: Review

Dec 1964
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

Spidey Strikes Back!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #19 Review by (January 17, 2024)

Review: After getting out of his funk, Spidey is back and better than ever! And all it takes to redeem him in the eyes of the public is to stop one little gang of crooks! Seriously though, it does feel like people’s opinions on Spider-Man change like the weather sometimes. This was a solid little issue though, with the Enforcers teaming up with their third different partner in under 10 issues! First the Big Man, then Green Goblin, and now Sandman! These guys really move around. They continue to not really be that big of a threat, with Sandman proving the bigger problem, as would be expected. It does create an interesting occurrence, as Sandman doesn’t often work with regular goons like in this issue. Even more interestingly, this is Sandman’s last time fighting Spidey for quite a while, with them not encountering each other again until Marvel Team-Up #1, almost 10 years later! He wouldn’t show up in the main Amazing Spider-Man title again until #154, spending a lot of time in between fighting either the Fantastic Four or the Hulk!

The real highlight of the issue is showcasing Spidey and Torch’s friendship. The issue shows how much they actually care for each other and how well they can work together, at least, most of the time. They do trip each other up a little, causing Sandman to be captured by regular police rather than the heroes which is…questionable to say the least. The justification is that he’s too tired from the fight to resist but…Sandman, my dude, you can turn into sand, getting physically restrained by two regular cops is just embarrassing. Though that’s kind of par for the course with his earlier appearances, with first the vacuum cleaner incident, and then cutting off his own air in his second appearance, and now this. Sandman doesn’t have a particularly strong showing in these early Spidey stories. Maybe that’s why they moved him over to FF and Hulk for so long! Speaking of questionable, Betty actively tries to make Peter jealous with Ned in this issue, causing me to be kind of happy at this point that their relationship is just kind of fizzling out. Betty’s internal thoughts and actions in a lot of these recent issues have been rather annoying. Overall, a solid issue, with an early cameo for Mac Gargan, who will become much more important as the Scorpion, next issue!

Comments: First time Spider-Man mentions for people to include the hyphen when they write about him. The Human Torch mentions being tired from a fight he just had, which occurred in Strange Tales #127. This is Sandman’s last appearance in the main Amazing Spider-Man title for a surprising number of years. First appearance of Mac Gargan, the man tailing Peter at the end, who will become the Scorpion next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #19 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

This issue opens up action-packed from the get-go, as Spider-Man intercepts a fleeing gang of crooks, easily taking them out as the public looks on. Meanwhile, one crook hangs back, making himself seem innocent, as he goes to warn his boss.  We then cut to a nearby lecture hall, where J. Jonah Jameson is about to give a lecture on how he proved Spider-Man was a fraud. However, just at that moment, one of Jameson’s underlings comes in and breaks the news to Jonah that Spider-Man is back as his face quickly falls and he leaves. As Jameson is venting his frustrations outside, the Human Torch is flying by, when he suddenly gets ambushed by the Enforcers, snagged by Montana’s fireproof lasso! Ox pulls him down and Fancy Dan uses some chemical foam to douse the Torch’s flame. Sandman then appears and smothers the Torch, extinguishing him for good, before taking him back to their lair.

Satisfied with his night of crimefighting, Spidey heads home, to check on Aunt May, none the wiser about the Torch’s predicament. The next morning, Peter heads to school, where Flash Thompson is popular once more, having been right about Spider-Man all along. While Liz Allan remains angry at Flash due to his harsh treatment of her last issue, Peter tries to console him, earning his usual threats from Flash, leaving Peter frustrated that their interactions always go in circles like this. After school, Peter spots Fancy Dan and follows him discreetly as Spider-Man back to his hideout. There, he ends up tussling with the Enforcers and the other mooks for a little bit, but the Enforcers end up escaping in all the confusion.

At the Daily Bugle, Peter runs into Betty Brant, who introduces him to Ned Leeds, a reporter for the Bugle and the man Peter saw her with last issue. Betty admits she’s been seeing a lot of Ned and Peter seems rather unconcerned, confusing Betty. Back at the villains’ hideout, Sandman and the Enforcers plan to use the Human Torch as bait to lure Spider-Man there. They cleverly have the Torch trapped in a glass cage, with only enough air for him to breathe, but not use his powers. Spidey, meanwhile, swings by Jonah’s office to let him know he’s back for good, before interrogating a stoolie named Louie for information about the Enforcers. Spidey learns that the villains have the Torch hostage and swings over to save him, easily maneuvering around the lookouts they have posted.

Spidey finds the Torch, but just as he’s about to rescue him, Sandman reveals himself, causing Spidey to have to contend with Sandman and the Enforcers simultaneously! Spidey jumps and dodges, taking out the low level mooks, as he avoids the bigger threats. He then rolls to avoid Sandman, using the momentum to roll right into the Torch’s prison, smashing it and freeing the Torch! The two heroes then work together to fight their enemies, noting how they make a pretty good team! As both Spidey and the Torch are grabbed, they knock their various opponents into each other, taking out the Enforcers, leaving only Sandman to contend with. As the two heroes rush to chase the fleeing Sandman, however, they get in each other’s way, causing them both to get tangled up in Spidey’s webs, needing the Torch to use a concentrated nova flame to burn through them. Before the two heroes can reach Sandman however, he gets caught by a couple of police officers, too tired from the previous battle to put up a fight.

The next day, at the Daily Bugle, Jameson is still sulking in his misery over Spider-Man’s return, when Peter stops by with photos of the fight, perking Jameson right up. Peter asks Betty if she wants to go out, but she says that she already has a date with Ned, leaving Peter once again unconcerned. This worries Betty, as she was hoping he’d feel at least a little jealous, leaving her wondering if she’s lost him for good. The issue ends with a mysterious figure tailing Peter on his way home, who then reports to yet another mystery person, one who wants Peter kept under surveillance before the time is right to act!

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.

Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Mac Gargan)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Betty Brant, Enforcers, Fancy Dan (daniel Brito), Liz Allan (Liz Osborn), Montana (Jackson Bryce), Ned Leeds, Ox.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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