Amazing Spider-Man #51-52
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #51, Amazing Spider-Man #52
The Kingpin is very physical in his early appearances.
He gets into a serious melee with Spider-Man (and wins), and a big deal is made over the disintegration beam in his cane and the gas in his tie-pin (and the fact that his bulk is due to muscle and not fat is really hammered home as well).
'So big, so fast' alert A mob goon of the Kingpin: "How can anyone that size... move so fast--??"
Both Spidey and JJ are put into an Adam West deathtrap but Spider-Man breaks free and rescues an over-the-top Jameson.
Jameson is in shock and the only way Spidey can make him run to safety is by threatening him, which of course ensures that Spidey gets no credit for the rescue in JJ's eyes.
Foswell has a relapse of morality and turns against the Kingpin due to his willingness to murder. He ends up taking a bullet for Jameson because JJ was the only one willing to give him a second chance after the Big Man stuff. I thought they were going to reveal that Foswell was actually working undercover but it didn't turn out that way.
Spider-Man's rematch with the Kingpin is inconclusive as the Kingpin flees before the cops can arrive.
Flash Thompson returns from Vietnam on furlough (didn't he just leave?) and doesn't get that everybody likes Peter nowadays. Poor Harry doesn't get that he's the Jughead in the Gwen/MJ/Peter triangle. This will eventually drive him literally insane.
Robbie Robertson shows up for the first time.
His appearance in #51 is almost incidental. He shows up, unnamed, to suggest using Ned Leeds when JJ is looking for a reporter to replace the missing Foswell. In #52, when Ned and Betty are looking for the missing JJ, they go to Robertson, the City Editor.
Jameson is a little too goofy for me in this story.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #36, Marvel Tales #37
Inbound References (5): show 1967 / Box 3 / Silver Age
1967 / Box 3 / Silver Age
It's a shame that Robertson was portrayed so awfully in the Spider-man movie. He pretty much looked and acted like an embecile, though to be fair he wasn't given much to say other than whining "He's a hero-o-o!" Denzel would've been great as Robbie, though he's too big of an actor to play a small supporting role. But if they would've increased the role a bit he could do it, especially if Morgan Freeman did it in Batman.
Posted by: Mike | July 19, 2014 10:38 PM
I liked Robbie because it was great how someone at the Bugle had their head on straight and was nice to Peter, aside from Betty of course. What I didn't like was a bit of too much positive discrimination, Robbie was always nice, Jameson was always a jerk. Jameson was fun to read because he could get over the top and it was fun seeing the rug pulled from underneath him.
Robbie got better when he stopped being perfect, running the Bugle stressed him out, he got royally pissed when Spider-Man snuck onto his car for a talk and Jameson got a good side by standing up for human rights.
Posted by: david banes | July 20, 2014 3:10 AM
I love how Kingpin in the splash page declares that the city is his because Spider-Man is gone.
Do the FF, the Avengers, Daredevil and even 3/5 of the X-Men (Jean at college, Bobby and Hank so often in the Village) just not count? Or would they just not care?
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 19, 2015 3:45 PM
In Comics Interview #89, John Romita stated that Robbie's first name was indeed "Robert", not "Joseph", and that he was an ex-boxer who initially had a broken nose and a cauliflower ear.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 26, 2015 9:22 PM
I liked the rest of the Kingpin's intro and bringing in Robbie was a good move. I've always liked Robbie as he is sort of the conscience of the Daily Bugle. He was not perfect however as it was later revealed that he'd been involved with some bad people as a youth.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 12, 2016 6:41 PM
I always though Robbie being so level headed was the perfect balance to JJ Jameson. Their contrast is what makes them work.
Posted by: Adriano Moraes | July 6, 2017 9:10 AM
I don't like how the Kingpin is able to hold his own against Spider-Man in these issues.
The Kingpin is strong for a normal human, but he's still just a human. There's no reason why he should be able to last more than 15-20 seconds against Spider-Man.
Posted by: Michael Pratt | May 8, 2018 8:26 PM
Stan clearly intended for the Kingpin to have super-strength- he even had Peter refer to the Kingpin's super-strength in issue 83.
Posted by: Michael | May 8, 2018 11:06 PM
But later issues will make it clear that Kingpin doesn't have super human strength.
Posted by: Michael Pratt | May 9, 2018 12:42 AM
I think once Kingpin got co-opted by Frank Miller for his Daredevil run, he became peak non-superhuman strong so that DD could fight him, but there's little debating that Stan Lee intended him to have super-human strength (especially with his vault in AMS 69, which only his "naked strength" could open, and Spidey himself had to struggle to open it).
Posted by: mikrolik | May 10, 2018 2:48 PM
Even Miller plays the Kingpin as genuinely superhumanly strong; Daredevil has to open the same vault door in Daredevil #171, and he just about passes out from the effort. Miller never had Daredevil win a physical battle with the Kingpin, and always had characters shocked at his sheer physical power and presence.
Nocenti, for her part, never really had the Kingpin get into physical fights with people. During her era, Mark Gruenwald did let the Kingpin defeat the Red Skull in solo combat, back when the Skull had a body cloned from Captain America's. It's really not until D.G. Chichester's run that the Kingpin can lose a hand-to-hand contest with a trained normal human being like Daredevil.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | May 10, 2018 4:11 PM
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