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Amazing Spider-Man #24: Review

May 1965
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

Spider-Man Goes Mad!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #24 Review by (January 31, 2024)

Review: Spidey’s gone crazy, or has he?? This was a fun little tale, with the surprise return of my favorite Spidey villain, Mysterio! Up to his usual mind-bending tricks, this time he tries to trick Spidey into thinking he’s going crazy! It’s the first time that Mysterio has used holograms and only the third time Spidey has encountered him, so I can forgive Spidey for falling for it, though he does start to doubt things a little quickly. “A famous psychiatrist says I’m going crazy, must be true!” There’s only so much you can do in 20 pages so it works well enough. This one always stood out to me a bit, as Mysterio never appears in costume, and it’s much more cerebral than his previous schemes. I will say that Mysterio’s plan falls apart rather easily. Foswell just discovers that he’s a fake, off-screen mind you, due to having no credentials, which you’d think Mysterio would’ve accounted for.

This issue does have its fair share of cute little scenes though. Seeing Jameson discover that Rinehart was a fake from Betty’s point of view and her wondering what that’s all about was a nice touch. Peter tricking Flash with his spider-signal is another clever little scene. I also liked that when Spidey sees Rinehart’s office upside down, that Rinehart’s speech bubbles are upside down too! It’s a nice little touch. And of course, the dramatic irony that Jameson accidentally helped Spidey is fun as well. Overall, a solidly fun little Mysterio story, even if it’s not one of his more grand or flashy schemes.

Comments: First time Mysterio appears without his costume.






 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #24 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our story begins in the Forest Hills home of Peter Parker, as he worries about the poor financial situation he and Aunt May are in. Peter then goes out swinging as Spider-Man to see if he can get any photos to sell to the Bugle. Spidey sets up his camera and swings down upon a group of escaping thieves, easily taking them out. However, Frederick Foswell then appears on the scene, asking Spidey about the situation, and Spidey realizes that he can no longer use the photos he just took, as Foswell would know that Peter wasn’t there. Frustrated, Peter heads to the Bugle, and ends up hiding from J. Jonah Jameson, not wanting to risk Jameson’s wrath with no pics to show him. Peter, still hiding, stops by Betty Brant’s desk to chat. She amusedly helps him hide from the passing Foswell, causing Peter to stumble upon another letter to Betty from Ned Leeds, and she admits that they’ve still been writing to each other, causing Peter to leave in a jealous huff.

Meanwhile, Jameson gets the idea to print some of the public’s thoughts on Spider-Man, for a change of pace. A reporter goes out recording the various public’s thoughts on Spider-Man, who have plenty of negative things to say about him, especially once they hear that will get them in the paper. Flash Thompson, being Spidey’s biggest fan, takes issue with this, harassing the reporter and causing him to run off. Liz Allan then asks Peter if he can tutor her in science, leaving Flash once again angry at Peter for supposedly making moves on his girl. Back at the Bugle, Jameson is approached by a Dr. Ludwig Rinehart, a psychiatrist who says he’s been studying Spider-Man. Rinehart claims that, in his professional opinion, Spider-Man is deeply unwell and liable to have a breakdown any day now, claiming to be able to provide proof.

The next day, Peter reads Dr. Rinehart’s claims in the paper, and calls Betty to see if she has any info on the guy. Betty tells Peter that Dr. Rinehart is a professional in cases like this, causing Peter to worry that maybe he is cracking up without realizing, setting out to find Rinehart to convince him otherwise. Flash sees Peter leaving in a rush and decides to follow him, thinking that he’s heading to see Liz. Peter quickly notices and rigs his spider-signal with some webbing to go off, distracting Flash, and allowing Peter to slip away. Spidey then swings in the vicinity of the Daily Bugle, in order to find Rinehart, when suddenly Doctor Octopus seemingly appears! Spidey notes that he’s eerily quiet, and as Spidey goes to attack Ock, he suddenly disappears! The same thing then happens with Sandman, suddenly appearing before vanishing right as Spidey tries attack.

Spidey starts to worry that he’s now suffering hallucinations, thinking it could be the start of a breakdown, which really would make him a danger to people! Then, just as with the others, the Vulture suddenly appears before vanishing just as quickly. Spidey worries that he’s starting to be unable to tell what’s real and what’s not, concerned that he might start attacking innocent people. He heads home to get some rest, but sees his pale reflection in the mirror, thinking he’s even worse off than he thought. He runs out, not wanting Aunt May to see him like this. Little does he know, that Aunt May did see him, causing her to worry that something is deeply troubling him.

Spidey then visits Dr. Rinehart’s home, after getting his address from the paper, in order to try and get some answers. However, when he enters the Doctor’s office, Spidey is shocked to see that the entire room is upside down! He runs out, as Dr. Rinehart chases after him, promising to help and showing Spidey that everything is now normal. Dr. Rinehart tries to examine Spidey, when the hallucinations suddenly start appearing again, before vanishing just as quickly, as Dr. Rinehart prepares to start Spider-Man’s treatment. Meanwhile, at the Bugle, Betty witnesses Foswell tell Jameson something about Dr. Rinehart, causing Jameson to run out in a hurry.

As Jameson gets to Dr. Rinehart’s address, he happens to run into Flash Thompson, who starts berating Jameson about his anti-Spider-Man articles. Jameson runs into Rinehart’s office to escape Flash and to find out the truth about Dr. Rinehart. At that moment, Dr. Rinehart tells Spider-Man that the root of his problems is his double identity and tries to get him to reveal who he is for further evaluation. Jameson then runs in, claiming that Rinehart is a fraud, as Flash then barrels into the room as well. Rinehart makes a break for it, activating the “hallucinations” once more to cover his escape, as Spidey notes that they look less convincing now that his head is clear. Spidey catches up to Dr. Rinehart, unmasking him and discovering that he was really Mysterio all along! Now caught, Mysterio details how he had been planning this for months, waiting for the right moment, and using the power of suggestion and holograms to make Spider-Man think he was going crazy! Mysterio even notes the irony that he almost had Spider-Man’s identity, before he was inadvertently stopped by Jameson! Our issue ends with Peter making good on his promise to tutor Liz, and promising Aunt May that everything is okay, before realizing that their money situation still isn’t any better!



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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)
Mysterio
Mysterio

(Quentin Beck)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Betty Brant, Frederick Foswell (Big Man), Liz Allan (Liz Osborn).

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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