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Amazing Spider-Man #5: Review

Oct 1963
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

"Marked For Destruction by Dr. Doom!"

Review & Comments

4 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #5 Review by (November 14, 2023)

Review: This was a fun little tale, and the first time Spidey fights a villain that’s not one of his own! I remember glossing over this story a lot when I was younger, I guess because it doesn’t have one of the big Spidey villains but this story is actually pretty cool in its own right. There’s some weirdness with Doom being able to track Spider-Man because he gives out the same impulses and feelings of actual spiders but we can chalk that up to early installment weirdness. Stan was still working out how everything worked. The fight between Spidey and Doom was dynamic and creative, and I think it’s cool that Doom was establishing himself as a huge threat this early, as he’s winning the encounter when it gets interrupted. Spider-Man’s either on the run or losing pretty handily the entire time, and he certainly would have been defeated had the Fantastic Four not intervened. The little problem I’ve always had with this issue is that Doom captured “Spider-Man” in order to lure the Fantastic Four there and then just forgets that and is surprised when they show up at the end. He was a little occupied with Spidey but it still seems out of character for Doctor Doom of all people to overlook that. Still, a solid and fun issue, with Spidey fighting a stronger enemy than he normally does. Spidey won’t encounter Doom again for a while but it’s still something that happens every now and then, and it’s cool to see the start of that here.

Comments: First meeting and battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Doom. First time Spider-Man faces an already established villain. First time full names are given for Flash Thompson, Liz Allan, and Betty Brant. Aunt May mentions that she’s watching the Ed Sullivan show at one point. Doctor Doom recounts his previous appearance, which would have been Fantastic Four #17. There’s an odd moment where Human Torch realizes that Flash is not the real Spider-Man because he’s seen Spidey up close, but all of the Fantastic Four did, in Amazing Spider-Man #1. Beginning with this issue, Amazing Spider-Man becomes a monthly title.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #5 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

The issue opens with a TV program about Spider-Man, sponsored by J. Jonah Jameson, in order to expose Spider-Man as the menace Jonah thinks he is. Peter Parker and a number of his classmates catch the program while at a bowling alley. Peter, in order to make himself seem less suspicious, tries to talk against Spider-Man a bit, saying no one really knows anything about him. Flash Thompson, a huge fan of Spidey, takes offense to this and tells Peter to get lost. Liz Allan meanwhile, thinks Spider-Man is likely handsome under his mask.

Little do they know, the nefarious Doctor Doom also caught Jameson’s broadcast while in his lair and thinks that Spider-Man may be just the person he needs to help destroy his greatest enemies, the Fantastic Four! Doom recounts his most recent defeat at the hands of the Fantastic Four (from FF #17) and then uses a device that locks onto the same wavelengths as spiders, using an imprisoned spider he has, in order to try to contact Spider-Man. Peter, while practicing some tricks with his webs at home, suddenly receives the message via his spider-sense, and uses said sense to follow the message to it’s source, where he finds Doctor Doom in his lair.

Doctor Doom tries to convince Spider-Man to join him in taking down the Fantastic Four, arguing that they are both outcasts; Spider-Man is shunned while the Fantastic Four are praised. Spider-Man refuses the offer and attempts web up Doom, but it is revealed to merely be a Doombot, as the real Doom reveals himself and opens a trap door beneath Spider-Man. Spider-Man avoids the trap but is on the move from an assault from Doom’s finger lasers and is forced to jump out of the window to escape the barrage. Doctor Doom still plans to use Spider-Man for his plan however, this time by find out his identity and capturing him as bait for the FF. Spider-Man, now with his wits about him again, tries to return to Doom’s lair but the entire building explodes before he reaches it, ensuring Doom’s escape but giving Peter an opportunity to snap some pics for the Bugle.

The next day, Peter delivers the photos to J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle, where Jonah wants to try and pin the explosion on Spider-Man. Betty Brant defends Spider-Man and Peter realizes that he may have an ally in her, as well as realizing how attractive he finds her. We then cut to Flash Thompson, dressed up in a phony Spider-Man costume, in order to play a prank on Peter for insulting Spider-Man earlier. Doctor Doom meanwhile, uses a device that locks on to a spider’s impulses in order to lead him to Spider-Man. He ends up capturing Flash dressed as Spider-Man instead, as Peter was walking nearby at that very moment, leading Doom to think that Flash is the real Spider-Man!

Back at home, Peter finds Aunt May watching TV, when suddenly the signal goes all wonky. Doctor Doom hijacks the airwaves in order to send a message to the Fantastic Four that he’s captured Spider-Man, and that Doom will kill him unless the FF surrender themselves to him. Peter then gets a call from Liz and a bunch of the other students asking if he knows where Flash is and they tell him about the prank Flash was going to pull. Peter realizes it must be Flash that Doom has captured and briefly thinks that he’ll be rid of Flash but admits to himself that he can’t just sit back. Because of all of the dangerous figures about, Aunt May forbids Peter from going out, so Peter ends up messing with the fuses at the house to shut off the power so that he has an excuse to head out.

Spider-Man reasons that Doom needed a large amount of electrical power to send his message and so swings around areas where large dynamos may be located until he finds Doom’s lair via his spider-sense. While the captured Flash tries to implore that he’s not actually Spider-Man, the real Spidey sneaks in through an air vent and surprises Doom with his presence. Doom throws a number of traps and defenses at Spider-Man including lasers, an ice ray, rotating ball mechanisms, and fire from the floor. Spider-Man avoids all of them before being caught in an electrified field, which he escapes by tethering his web to Doom, sending it coursing through Doom as well, and forcing Doom to shut the field off.

Doom throws more at Spider-Man, such as doombots, a disintegration beam, and blinding flakes, before physically overpowering Spider-Man as well. Just as Doom has Spider-Man at his mercy, the Fantastic Four arrive and Doom thinks that he cannot fight all of them at once and makes a hasty retreat. Peter remembers he left Aunt May in the dark and leaves too. The Thing grabs Flash and Human Torch realizes he’s not the real Spidey. Invisible Woman implores Thing to put Flash down, while Mr. Fantastic notices the webs around the place and realizes that the real Spider-Man must have been there. The story ends the next day as Peter realizes he might have feelings for Betty and thinks that Flash must be incredibly embarrassed about his whole ordeal. However, he finds Flash bragging about how he escaped Doom himself and Peter thinks about what bad luck he has.

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.

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Peter Parker)

(Ben Grimm)

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

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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