The first issue of Amazing Spider-Man is the first example of what Marvel would make its brand-defining style: The crossover.  The shared universe.  The use of existing titles to launch new ones.

Two stories in this issue.  in the first one, he rescues future Man Wolf John Jameson in a space adventure.  But the second story is where the action is.

Peter Parker is broke.  His show-biz career is dead, especially since he ties it to his uncle’s death, so he goes to see if the Fantastic Four will take him as a member and put him on salary.

Spider-Man is the first one to break into the Baxter Building, encountering its defenses…

He also meets Human Torch for the first time, sparking their bromance.

But he learns that the job doesn’t pay.

amazing spider-man #1

And so begins the legendary loner’s career as a comic book hero.

I love how in these early issues he’s still really out for himself and money–despite Uncle Ben’s death.  It makes sense to me. Very few people, if any, truly change based on one dramatic event.  For most of us, the dramatic event begins the change, but our true values and motives develop over time.

J. Jonah Jameson’s son John is introduced as an astronaut who needs Spider-Man’s help on re-entry to Earth–but he’s not got any powers yet.

Also in this issue: The debut of Chameleon.

Who ruins Spider-Man’s reputation for the first, but certainly not last, time.

And, Stan Lee is just a couple issues into writing his own comics, and he already can’t keep his characters straight when he refers to Peter Parker as Peter Palmer.

Anyway, there’s also this cool bonus feature:

This is one of my favorite single-issue stories ever. Top 100 here.

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