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Amazing Spider-Man #30: Review

Nov 1965
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

The Claws of the Cat!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #30 Review by (February 14, 2024)

Review: Although this issue features the debut of the Cat Burglar, gracing the cover and being the subject of the title, this issue has a couple much more important aspects to it. This is to be expected, I suppose, as the Cat Burglar is literally just a generic thief, so he easily gets overshadowed by the other aspects of the story. The biggest of these aspects is all of the drama with Peter and Betty. Their relationship had been fizzling for a while at this point, and this was the final nail in the coffin. Ned asked Betty to marry him and Peter realizes that Spider-Man will always come between them, acting as a definitive end to their relationship. I always thought the final panel of this issue was very memorable, with a ghostly Spider-Man image showing how he will always metaphorically push them apart.

The other notable bit is Spider-Man running into a bunch of the Master Planner’s masked guys an issue before they’ll be important. Some nice setup there. It’s really odd though, that at two different occasions, they refer to the Cat Burglar as their boss, even though he definitely isn’t. There’s nothing else to tie him to them and these two plotlines never otherwise intersect. I’m guessing it was just a mistake on Stan’s end when coming up with the script. The Cat is the villain of this issue and these are goons so they must work for him, something like that. Or just a case of Stan’s infamously bad memory striking again. Nevertheless, they DO work for the Master Planner, which will get followed up on in the next three issues in one of the most famous Spidey stories of all time! There’s also a slightly odd bit where Foswell calls Jameson as Patch even though it was never definitively established that Jameson knows that he is Patch. Could be just another Stan Lee mix-up. Overall though, a solid issue with important aspects, the title villain just isn’t one of them!

Comments: First appearance of the Cat Burglar. The masked men refer twice to the Cat Burglar as being their boss, even though they work for the Master Planner, as seen in the coming issues.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #30 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our story starts by recapping last issue, detailing Betty Brant’s distress at the Daily Bugle attack and Ned Leeds taking her home, as well as Aunt May’s fainting spells. When Anna Watson decides take Aunt May out, Peter decides to go out swinging as Spider-Man. He finds nothing worth noting about, narrowly missing the Cat Burglar, mentioned last issue, climbing up a nearby wall. The Cat Burglar praises his luck at not being spotted and hopes that he’s too small time for the likes of Spider-Man to deal with. The Cat enters an apartment and cleans out the safe inside. Later on, the owner of said safe comes home to find it empty, being none other than J. Jonah Jameson! This causes Jonah to put out a $1,000 reward for anyone who can bring in the Cat Burglar!

At that moment, across town, a group of masked mystery men attack a truck transporting uranium through the city. Spider-Man swings down to intercept them, as one of the men tells the one driving to get ready. Just as Spider-Man is off balance, they make sharp turn, sending Spidey flying off the truck, while the men are able to stay on due to their magnetic shoes. Spidey gracefully flips around, landing safely on a wall but finds that the men and the truck have gotten away. Spidey then hears about the reward for the Cat Burglar’s capture and swings by the Bugle to tell Jameson that he should have the reward money ready, as Spidey plans to bring him in! Jameson, livid at the idea of possibly having to pay Spider-Man, calls Frederick Foswell to get him to use his contacts to find the Cat Burglar first.

The next day, Peter is on his way to see Betty when he runs into Liz Allan! Liz reveals that she’s gotten a job recently and asks a favor from Peter. Liz has noticed Flash Thompson following her, in order to find out where she works, and she asks Peter to distract Flash for a bit. Peter intercepts Flash, much to Flash’s annoyance, before Peter spots a figure he thinks must be the Cat Burglar on a nearby roof! Peter and Flash tussle a little bit before Peter very lightly taps Flash, knocking him out just long enough to go intercept the figure. It turns out, it wasn’t the Cat, just a disgruntled ex-employee, there to get even with his boss. Spidey apprehends the man quickly before heading back to Flash as Peter, just as he comes to, and gives him a fake address of where Liz works.

Peter finally gets in contact with Betty and she tells him there’s something important she needs to say, so he races over to see her. Once Peter arrives, Betty reveals that Ned has asked her to marry him! Peter, shocked, decides he needs to reveal that he’s Spider-Man and propose himself. However, when he brings up Spider-Man, Betty recoils, saying that she couldn’t love someone who puts their life in danger, and says that she was attracted to Peter in the first place because he was nothing like that! Thinking she now wants Ned over him, and realizing that Spider-Man will always come between them, Peter storms out, leaving Betty crying, as she reveals to herself that it’s really Peter she loves. Peter walks through the city depressed, before hearing a shot, and coming upon a group of fleeing thieves as Spider-Man. Spidey easily captures the crooks, as one of the masked men from before looks on, before alerting his mystery boss to tell him that the group was captured.

Back at home, Aunt May quickly gets up after having experienced another dizzy spell, not wanting Peter to worry. She tells Peter that Betty called quite a few times but Peter feels there’s nothing left to say. Meanwhile, the Cat Burglar decides to make one last score and sets out with his gear. Foswell, as Patch, alerts JJ to some info he found on the Cat, as JJ hopes they can get him before Spider-Man does. While trying to break into an apartment, the Cat Burglar is spotted by another tenant and the police are alerted, shining a searchlight on the area, which draws Spider-Man there. Spidey chases the Cat Burglar, as he uses an explosive to try and drop a large water tower on Spidey! Spidey dodges around his gunfire, as police suddenly appear ahead of the Cat Burglar, blocking him off. The Cat sets off a smoke bomb to try and cover his escape, as the police search around. The cops end up finding him in a nearby chimney, and Spidey gets pics of the situation, while Jameson is relieved he doesn’t have to pay Spider-Man. Our story ends with Peter taking the photos to the Bugle, rebuffing Betty when she tries to speak him, as he leaves dejectedly, with the metaphorical spirit of Spider-Man pushing the two forever apart. 

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Anna Watson, Betty Brant, Cat Burglar, Frederick Foswell (Big Man), Liz Allan (Liz Osborn), Ned Leeds.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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