Amazing Spider-Man #22
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #22
...and change their name to the Masters of Menace.
On the one hand, you'd think kicking out the only super-powered member of your super-villain team would be a bad move, but on the other hand, circus performers are pretty dangerous in the Marvel Universe. They've taken out the X-Men, for example.
Peter is reading about some new chemical discoveries of Dr. Henry Pym (in his text book?), and trying to decide if he should specialize in bio-chemistry or physics. He should really just consider the Marvel Genius program that gives him extraordinary knowledge in everything.
He makes up with Betty who was mad at him due to the Johnny Storm/Dorrie Evans incident last issue, and they go to a modern art exhibit JJ is sponsoring.
After a big fight with the Masters...
...and nearly getting seduced by Princess Python...
...and then nearly getting eaten by her pet snake...
...Peter catches up with JJ and Betty. When he finally gets home it is late and Aunt May has been waiting up for him. She is not happy.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #160
Inbound References (3): showAunt May, Betty Brant, Clown, Ernesto Gambonno, Flash Thompson, Human Cannonball, J. Jonah Jameson, Liz Allan, Luigi Gambonno, Princess Python, Ringmaster, Spider-Man
The gallery panel with the foot painting was deliberately put in there as a response to critical letters about the way Ditko drew feet.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 6, 2013 4:12 PM
Believe it or not, the painting makes a reappearance in the "Avant guard" storyline in "Web of Spiderman" but it at least gets destroyed there.
Posted by: kveto from prague | March 8, 2015 10:03 AM
That guy wishing he could draw feet like that: first appearance of Rob Liefeld?
Posted by: Berend | April 12, 2015 7:11 PM
I thought it was interesting and very disappointing that Princess Python wasn't made leader of the new group. She's the one who steps forward and makes the call that a new leader is needed. The others follow her in that and it seems like she's about to say she will be the new leader...only to suggest The Clown should be leader. Based on what, I do not know. At any rate she's the only member of the Circus/Masters/Losers that comes out of this leaving any sort of memorable impression.
Posted by: Robert | February 14, 2016 11:04 PM
The Circus of Crime, like the Enforcers, are one of the few villains who operate like many heroic types - ordinary people who nevertheless operate at a level above normal humanity, but yet possess no actual super-powers. Batroc's Brigade is similar. If Batman and similar heroes are allowed to take out super powered villains, there is no reason these villains can't.
Posted by: Chris | February 15, 2016 12:42 AM
Spider-Man is pretty much dead-on when he tells these jokers they shoulda called themselves "the Union of the Useless."
Why was Stan so fascinated with circuses?
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 13, 2016 5:01 PM
Stan turned 10 years old in 1932. The circus was one of the most colorful things a kid could see in 1932. That and the Sunday newspaper comics section.
No color TV, no video games, few if any Technicolor movies even. Joe Shuster based Superman's costume on a circus strongman's suit. Stan's boyhood hero was Errol Flynn. Different times.
Posted by: James Holt | August 21, 2016 4:23 PM
And it's not just Stan. Ray Bradbury and several Hollywood film makers also seemed to be fascinated with Circuses.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 31, 2016 9:18 PM
Not sure if it would push the historical significance higher than a 7, but in addition to introducing Princess Python, I'd say it's worth noting that this issue (particularly the opening splash page) seems to be where the core membership of the Circus of Crime is very firmly established (characters who looked like the Clown, Great Gambonnos and Cannonball appeared in Hulk 3 and AMS 16, but didn't have the proper names yet and weren't as defined as they were this issue).
Posted by: mikrolik | December 7, 2016 3:39 PM
In response to Robert;s comment above, it seems like Ditko may have drawn and plotted the story with Python taking charge, but Stan Lee's sexism may have changed that in the script.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 10, 2017 2:18 PM
Who's more powerful? The leader, or the person who dumps the old leader and picks the new leader?
What's sexist about that? Art and script make it very clear who's in charge of this group.
Posted by: ChrisW | June 11, 2017 12:19 AM
Clown or Princess Python, I don't really think it's that important who leads the group this issue, since after this comic, the Ringmaster is back in charge anyway.
Posted by: mikrolik | June 11, 2017 10:53 AM
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