The Transparent Fox:
Amazing Spider-Man #163-164
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #163, Amazing Spider-Man #164
The fact that their outfits are purple recalls to me the early Master Planner build-up stories, but purple is a standard-issue bad guy color so i'm not sure if that's intentional. The guy in charge of the bad guys in this case will turn out to be the Kingpin, but Spidey doesn't learn that yet. This time they manage to get away with some hijacked equipment.
Peter then returns to his apartment and finds that his friends have organized a surprise housewarming party. Since Glory Grant noticed that his apartment was unfurnished, everyone chips in and provides an unwanted item. This includes the stuffed "bear" (dog) that has been a minor mystery to me (see also the comments on that entry).
It also includes the "Every day in every way I am getting better and better" poster that is also frequently seen in Peter's apartment even through the 80s.
Peter's dealing with some competition from MJ from Flash Thompson. Liz and Harry, however, are getting serious.
Later (much later; see Considerations below), Spidey checks the ConEd records for unusual spikes in energy, and then makes his way to the Kingpin's lab, where the Kingpin proceeds to pound Spidey into the ground (and, i admit, some help from the gas weapon in his tie-pin).
The Kingpin's recent efforts have been around building a device that will transfer life energy to his son Richard, who has been unconscious and dying since his fight with the Red Skull. And the life energy that the Kingpin wants to transfer is Spider-Man's.
And he does.
Spidey is dumped in the street...
...but manages to make it first back to his apartment and then over to Doc Connors' lab. Connors puts Spidey in an enervator (i'd say he and Tony Stark should compare notes, but we'd probably wind up with a Lizard Freak)...
...and gives him a device that will steal his lifeforce back if he can zap Ricard with it.
Meanwhile, the Kingpin family is at the docks, squabbling over whether or not it was right to steal someone else's life force.
Spidey shows up and successfully zaps Richard, and while the Kingpin chases Spidey up and down various scaffolds...
...Vanessa has the goons open fire on Spidey. But when the Kingpin seemingly falls to his death, she lets him go.
It's worth noting that Vanessa Fisk is referred to as "Mrs. K" by both the goons and Spider-Man in this issue, because the Kingpin family has not yet been given a last name.
Also worth noting that the Kingpin is still very physical in these appearances; a super-strong guy more than a mob boss.
Wein and Andru are delivering competent Spidey stories.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Spider-Man is on a highway outside the city, taking a ride on the top of a bus, at the start of this issue when he's attacked by the Kingpin's goons. I don't know where he's supposed to be coming from. Last issue's fight with Jigsaw ended in the city, as far as i can tell. So i'm assuming it's not relevant. Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #1 and Marvel Team-Up #52 take place during issue #163, in the "24 hours" after Peter's housewarming party.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
There was a weird lettering change in #164; Joe Rosen did the first 2 pages and John Costanza(uncredited)did the rest.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 18, 2013 4:16 PM
I see one and a half "So big...so fast!" uses in those Spider-Man/Kingpin confrontations. The half is Spider-Man marveling at how fast the Kingpin is climbing the derrick.
Posted by: Todd | July 30, 2013 7:39 PM
I'd assume that the Kingpin's unusually high-tech gadgetry here, like the souped-up helicopter and his men's jetpacks, are leftovers from his time with HYDRA.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 5, 2017 6:30 PM
Compressed timescale example here: Gerry Conway previously had the Jackal referring to Gwen Stacy's death as happening two years ago (as it was in real time), but now it's "months ago" according to Peter here.
Posted by: Enchlore | December 26, 2017 3:57 PM
It often seemed like Pete's supporting cast had nothing better to do than clean up his flat, throw surprise parties, and basically wait around for him. Its almost like "Truman show" the way they only appear when needed, usually to create a little scene where he has to hide his identity.
You wonder that they don't stumble across his costume, web shooters, web formula, etc with all the redecorating they do for him.
Posted by: kveto | February 5, 2018 8:30 AM
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