Cover Price: $.12
Value: $475 (Near Mint-)
"The Claws Of The Cat!" - 20 Pages
Amazing Spider-Man #30 starts with Peter Parker's soon to be ex-girlfriend recovering from last issue's battle with the Scorpion. During the Lee/Ditko run Betty has gone through a lot but watching a battle has apparently shaken her up beyond belief. She has been hanging around Aunt May too long. Speaking of Aunt May, we also see her in the very next panel worrying about keeping her illness from Peter. What illness? Well your just gonna have to wait for next issue to find that one out that begins one of the greatest Spider-Man storylines ever in the Master Planner storyline.
Spider-Man is out swinging and complains about the lack of action. Actually if he would have turned around instead of swinging away, he would not have missed the famous Cat. This guy is a Cat Burglar who knows what he is doing. He sneaks into a apartment and steals some documents from a safe. The Cat leaves and the occupant returns. It's our good friend Jolly J. Jonah Jameson. The police tell him its most likely the work of the Cat. Jonah puts out a bounty on the Cat. We now see the Master Planner's men (more on him next issue) attempting to rob a uranium truck. They do say however they are working for the Cat. Most people just regard this as a blooper. Spider-Man tries to stop them but he loses them. He hears about the bounty Jameson has on the Cat via radio, He then swings by Jonah's place and says he is going to capture the Cat for him. Jameson gets scared thinking of how embarrassing it will be for Jonah to give Spider-Man the bounty. The fantasy is rather funny: Jameson gets Bugle reporter Fred Foswell on the Cat's tracks so he won't have to pay Spidey.
Later, On his way to see Betty, Peter bumps
into Liz Allen in the street. He is happy to see her but she does not seem to
share his state of mind. She informs him that she is a working girl and does not
want to bore him with the details. Liz tells Peter that Flash is trying to find
out where she works and if he does she will never lose him. Pete agrees to help
and Liz runs out of panel and out of the titles (for 102 issues anyway in
Amazing Spider-Man #132). Flash comes and Peter stalls him and the two
get into a fight. Pete thinks he sees the Cat, so he knocks Flash out so he
could nab him. He does nab the crook but it is not the Cat. Pete returns to
Flash who comes too and Pete tells him that they knocked there heads together.
Pete lies about where Liz is working and Flash runs too see her, or so he
The scene switches to Betty's apartment where she tells Ned Leeds that she needs to think about his question. Ned leaves as Pete calls, as Betty says she wants to see him right away. From the moment Pete arrives he knows by Betty's tone he won't enjoy this. Betty drops the bomb and tells Peter that Ned proposed marriage. Pete is still Betty's boyfriend (for now) and is not happy to hear this. He concludes he must reveal his identity and propose to her himself. He is about to tell her everything but she explains that if Ned was anything like Spider-Man she would have shot him down. She does not want a man of danger. Pete loses his temper and storms out of the apartment telling her to marry Ned. Betty protest telling Peter it's him she loves and has always loved, but Pete is already gone. Betty blames it on "the secret" that he won't reveal.
A little later, Peter tackles some bank
robbers as Spider-Man. He nabs them and it turns out they were working for the
Master Planner's henchmen. We see the men in a truck talking to a voice on a
radio about Spider-Man's possible effect on his future plans. More on that next
issue. Peter returns home where Aunt May says Betty has been calling him. Peter
considers calling he but fears he may regret what he will say. He swings into
action to get Betty out of his mind. Daily Bugle reporter, Frederick Foswell is
hot on the Cat's trail and thinks he has discovered his identity. However, it
looks like the Cat will do a fine job getting captured on his own when he
accidentally lets a citizen see him and call the police. The police have him
cornered and its all over the news, and this makes Jonah very happy. He
almost has a stroke when he sees Spider-Man show up. Spider-Man and the police
both chase after the Cat. The Cat hides in a chimney where the cops find him.
Spider-Man takes a picture of the capture from a nearby roof so he can at least
make some profit.
Jameson is relieved that he won't have to give Spider-Man the reward now. The cops don't want it either. Peter shows up at the Bugle to give Jameson the pictures, as Betty Brant is waiting for him and wants to talk. He tells her not to bother and that Leeds is the guy she wants. Jonah offers Peter a lot of money for this photos but he is too depressed about Betty to care. This issue ends with a classic Ditko drawing of the Spider-Man pushing Betty and Peter apart.
This is one of my favorites of the Lee/Ditko era. The supporting cast (Jameson, Foswell, Liz, Flash and Betty) was used pretty well. Jonah was very funny in this issue. No super powered villains this issue folks, just a plain crook and the issue was still done well. The issue was also very down to Earth. I loved the scene with Liz and I really felt for her. We don't see her again until Amazing Spider-Man #132. I like it that way, just like in real life people grow apart and leave each other. Ned proposed to Betty this issue and it was his turn to pull a "Betty". For years we have witnessed Betty yell at Peter about Liz but this issue the tables are turned bit. Gotta love the early Spider-Man love triangles. Betty seems to still love Peter so she does not accept the proposal yet. Betty eventually leaves town in Amazing Spider-Man #34 because she is torn between her feelings for Peter and confused about those of Ned. She returns in Amazing Spider-Man #41 where Peter and her both realize its over for good. By Amazing Spider-Man #43 they are engaged and are finally married in Amazing Spider-Man #156. Good issue, I loved the fight with Flash and Peter. The Betty storyline was pretty good. I think Stan and Steve wanted a new love interest for Peter around this time. But whom? Well for that you are just going to have read the next issue.
By Julio Barone
Eric: The character of the Cat eventually made his way back in the Spider-Verse many years later in Spectacular Spider-Man #47 & #48, where he took the guise of the Prowler II, and worked side by side with the villainess Belladonna. This issue is usually one of the least "desirable" collectible early Spider-Man issues due to the lack of major villain and because of the relatively un-striking cover. Still, it played a very important role in the history of Spider-Man.
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Also This Month:
No Other Spider-Man Comics this month.