Cover Price: $.25
Value: $1,950 (Near
"The Sinister Six!" - 41 Pages
Annual's are comics that are usually
published once a year. They began as showcase for something special such
as Origins, Marriages, and many cross-overs that have taken place. The
first Spider-Man Annual was no exception as it showcased the first
super-villain group to go up against Spider-Man: The Sinister Six in a 41
page masterpiece! It was a get together for Doctor Octopus, the Vulture,
Sandman, Electro, Mysterio, and the just recently introduced Kraven the
Hunter. This issue also included a bevy of guest-stars from around the
The issue opens with Doctor Octopus, last seen in Amazing Spider-Man #11 & 12, in state prison where his mechanical were just removed and sent to another prison yet not out of reach of Ock's mental commands. The arms obey it's master and the two are soon re-united enabling Ock to break out of prison. The next day Spider-Man reads about this just as the Mighty Thor flies by him with Cameo #1! At the same time, a very historical meeting takes place between Ock, the Vulture (last seen in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #12), Sandman (last seen in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #3), Electro (last seen in Daredevil #2 and against Spider-Man in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #11), Mysterio (last seen in his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #13), and Kraven the Hunter (also last seen in his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #15). The concerns a "fool-proof" plan whereby they combine their forces in order to defeat Spider-Man as they all admit they have not been able to do this alone in the past.
Back on the streets, Peter comes across Cameo #2 as Doctor Strange makes a short appearance before Peter's spider-sense goes off when a man walks by. Peter changes into Spider-Man and follows the man who soon disappears leaving his coat and hat behind. It was the Sandman who fell through the gratings on the ground making his way to the villainous meeting. What follows is a short origin sequence that shakes Peter up a bit emotionally atop a building. Out of nowhere, he loses his balance and falls on to a flagpole and just a Cameo #3 occurs when the Fantastic Four flies by in their Fantasti-Car, he realizes that he has lost his spider-powers. He somehow makes his way back home safe and sound but there plans to do something about that as the aforementioned villains take numbers from a hat. On each card picked, is a certain location best suited for each participant's particular talents. The plan is to make Spider-Man face each of the six villains one after another and weaken him incrementally so that he will finally fall to defeat. What a Sinister Plan these six have huh? (OK, that was uncalled for).
Peter, still upset about losing his powers, uncharacteristically skips school the next day and takes a long walk where we see Cameo #4: Giant-Man and the Wasp. At the same moment, Aunt May bumps into Betty Brant outside the Daily Bugle building and they are soon kidnapped by Sandman and Electro and brought to Doctor Octopus (who remembers Ms. Brant from Amazing Spider-Man #11 & 12). Peter later learns of this from J. Jonah Jameson, who viewed the kidnapping from his window. Soon enough, the Vulture flies by to tell them that Spider-Man would have to come and get Ms. Brant and May if he wants them. Spider-Man must meet at an electric plant for his first challenge. Of course, we get another cameos, #5 & 6 to be exact: Captain America and the X-Men. Peter doesn't now what to do without his powers, but his Aunt May and Betty are held captive.
Spider-Man goes to the electrical plant and prepares for battle against Electro. If he defeats him, Electro has a card that tells him where his next battle is located. After Electro thrusts an electric bolt at him, Spider-Man mysteriously receives his powers back. He shuts off the plant's main power switch weakening Elector. Spider-Man knocks Electro out with a powerful blow in a gorgeous splash page by Ditko, of which there is one of each in this issue portraying Spider-Man against each of the Sinister Six. Spider-Man takes the card for his next location from Electro and heads out just as Cameo #7 arrives: Iron Man. Spider-Man's next stop: An area by the World's Fair.
Such an open space is very advantageous to the one and only Kraven the Hunter, who comes out to greet Spider-Man with two Leopards at his side. They all attack him at once, but in the second full-page splash of the issue, Spider-Man evades them all. Spider-Man grabs the card from Kraven with his next location and gets out of there fast then runs into Cameo #8: The Human Torch. If you are wondering how Betty and May are doing, they are still held captive by Doc Ock. The good Doctor serves them pastry and coffee and you can see how Aunt May was taken by him even this early. "He's such a charming gentleman" states May. In the future, these two almost get married in Amazing Spider-Man #131.
At the third location, Spider-Man battles robots of the X-Men until he realizes that the only villain that can be behind such a feat in Mysterio. Spider-Man spots him behind a wall and crashes in, but after another great splash page, Mysterio leaves in a cloud of smoke leaving Spider-Man's next location on a burning card. Spider-Man tries to decipher what is left of the card and does so successfully: He is to go to a walled-in court next.
At the walled-in court, Spider-Man meets the Sandman. The battle begins with yet another beautiful splash page and the battle proceeds into a air-tight cell where the Sandman can't catch his breath and begins to pass out making it easy for Spider-Man to take his card with the next location on it. It was a good thing that Spider-Man could hold his breath much longer than the normal person.
Next location is atop a tall platform in the middle of the city and the Vulture is waiting. The Vulture wants him to remove his web-shooters as they have helped in defeating him in the past. If Spider-Man doesn't do so, he will just fly off. After battling for a couple of pages, Spider-Man gets the upper hand on the Vulture in another fine splash page before tying the Vulture to a flag pole. Spider-Man now continues on to his final destination.
Spider-Man's last destination turns out to be an old castle and he prepares himself for battle before entering. Inside, he finds Doctor Octopus without his mechanical arms. Ock takes Spider-Man by surprise by mentally commanding his arms to attack Spider-Man from behind. Ock escapes for awhile and while Spider-Man goes searching for him, he falls through a trap door falling into a giant fish-bowl filled with water. Ock prepares to battle Spider-Man underwater by donning some scuba gear and in the last of the gorgeous splash pages by Ditko, he plunges into the water. After these two battle for awhile, Spider-Man comes up to get some air then begins to tangle up Ock's tentacles with some webbing. Ock eventually immobilizes himself and is the last of the six to be defeated by Spider-Man. Spider-Man next looks for then locates Betty and Aunt May, having called the police just before, and after changing back to Peter Parker, they return home for milk and cookies.
As for the villains, all six of them are kept in the same cell arguing with each other. It would be many years before Amazing Spider-Man #334-339, when the Sinister Six would band together again. Individually, Doctor Octopus would appear next in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #19. The Vulture would fly again in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #20. Sandman would make his next appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #18 & #19. Electro makes a cameo in Fantastic Four Annual #3 before making his next full appearance in Daredevil Annual #1 where he leads the newly formed Emissaries of Evil. Electro's next shot at Spider-Man is not until Amazing Spider-Man #82. Mysterio returns impersonating a psychiatrist in Amazing Spider-Man #24. Lastly, Kraven appears next in Tales Of Suspense #58 and makes a cameo in Amazing Spider-Man #18 before going on the hunt again for Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #34.
All in all, an incredible classic special issue with more action in it for anybody! Get a reprint of this fast! The original is very hard to find in top condition, so you may want to settle for a Good to Very Good condition copy if you want the real thing. An interesting side note, Spider-Girl #25 is somewhat of an homage issue to this legendary issue. In it, Spider-Girl goes up against the Savage Six and just like in this issue, there are 6 full-page splash's of her battling each villain. What's also interesting is that Spider-Girl faces an electric powered villain Killer Watt last where she loses her powers, whereas Spider-Man faces an electric powered villain Electro first re-gaining his powers. Pretty neat huh? Snag this issue or a reprint!
"A Gallery Of Spider-Man's Most Famous Foes!" - 14 Pages
Short profiles of the Burglar, Chameleon, Vulture, Terrible Tinkerer, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Doctor Doom, Lizard, The Living Brain, Electro, Enforcers (Big Man, Ox, Montana, Fancy Dan), Mysterio, Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter
All 1 page Pin-Ups with New Art, First
Appearance and text on each.
"The Secrets Of Spider-Man" - 9 Pages
Inside facts about Spider-Man's powers
and his life in general. Gives his origin, examples of his powers, how his
web-shooters work, how he can use his webbing, how his spider-sense works,
and details about his mask and costume.
"Peter Parker As...Spider-Man" - 1 Page
Pinup page by Steve Ditko.
"Peter Parker's Favorite Heel And Heart-Throb" -1 Page
Pinup of J. Jonah Jameson and Betty Brant.
"Peter Parker's Classmates" - 1 Page
Pinup of Flash Thompson, Liz Allan, and
Peter Parker's classmates.
"Peter Parker's House" - 1 Page
A detailed look at the Parker residence with
a cameo by Aunt May!
"Guest Star Page" - 1 Page
Pinup of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four
and the Hulk.
"How Stan Lee And Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man!" - 3 Pages
A humorous look at how Stan Lee and Steve Ditko create the Amazing Spider-Man comics.
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #6
Marvel Tales #150
Marvel Special Edition Treasury
Marvel Masterworks Vol. 10
Spider-Man Essentials I
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