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556: Amazing Spider-Man #40 (v1)

" Spidey Saves the Day! "
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Amazing Spider-Man #40 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: John Romita Sr.
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: John Romita Sr.
Inkers: Mike Esposito
Letterers: Sam Rosen
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: September 1966
Release Date: June 1966
Story Arc: Green Goblin Unmasked (2 of 2)
Pages: 20
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 734                 Times Rated: 404
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #39 Go to Issue #41

Amazing Spider-Man #38 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #40 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1)
Tales to Astonish #88a (v1)
554: Amazing Spid...
#38 (v1)
555: Amazing Spid...
#39 (v1)
557: Amazing Spid...
#41 (v1)
558: Tales to Ast...
#88a (v1)
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Issue Blurb
While attempting to free himself from the clutches of the Green Goblin, Spider-Man goads him into revealing his origin. Using the ruse to buy time, Spidey is able to escape and confront the deadly adversary...with surprising results!
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Character Appearances
Main Characters
Spider-Man last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). Spider-Man next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Aunt May
Aunt May last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). Aunt May next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1).
  Betty Brant
Betty Brant last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #34 (v1). Betty Brant next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1).
  Harry Osborn
Harry Osborn last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). Harry Osborn next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1).
  Anna Watson
Anna Watson last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #34 (v1). Anna Watson next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1).
  Dr. Bromwell
Dr. Bromwell last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). Dr. Bromwell next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #49 (v1).
  Mendel Stromm
Mendel Stromm last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). Mendel Stromm next appears in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #68 (v1). He appears only in a flashback.
  J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). J. Jonah Jameson next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1).
  The Green Goblin
The Green Goblin last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). The Green Goblin next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #47 (v1).
Group Appearances
FDNY last appeared in Tales of Suspense #63a (v1). FDNY next appears in Fantastic Four #69 (v1).
NYPD last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #38 (v1). NYPD next appears in Thor #141a (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Web-Shooters last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). Web-Shooters next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1).
Pumpkin Bomb
Pumpkin Bomb last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). Pumpkin Bomb next appears in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #2.
Goblin Glider
Goblin Glider last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1). Goblin Glider next appears in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #2.
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Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

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Issue Review
There is no review of this issue.
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Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
  Mr. M. Says:    
  2012-07-25 19:07:15  
  After great first part, I was a little bit disappointed with ending. Even if I don't have anything against memory loss, which is quite cheap idea, I hate how Osborn simply talks about his life and activities. Villains usually do such things, but it's usually delivered in unbelievable way. Like here, I really had problems with accepting that he just started to talk while Peter frees himself. The rest of the story is very good though.  

  darkdragonne Says:    
  2012-08-30 13:39:35  
  The memory loss annoys me... Stan uses that device way too much. But still one of the best arcs so far.  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-08-11 09:12:32  
  I keep hearing Willem Dafoe as the Goblin when I read it. The memory loss is a little too convenient, but it was either that or a dead Goblin, I guess.
Stan gives a shoutout to a popular Chicago DJ of the time in the Betty Brant scene.

  Raistlin903 Says:    
  2014-01-14 16:17:23  
  So Stan pussed out and couldn't kill him off....... that would have made this story huge.......  

  duncanm Says:    
  2014-02-10 16:39:24  
  Loved the story arc, but they could have made the cover a bit more subtle. You're pretty much telling people how it ends before they even buy the mag.  

  specialque Says:    
  2014-08-16 11:01:46  
  The memory loss was a cop-out, but still it was a nice solid end to this story.

Aunt May still sucks.

  TheAmazingGatorMan Says:    
  2014-08-27 19:28:50  
  Minus 1 star for the amnesia cop out. Other than that, great closure to this 2 part story. Would have been 5 stars, but I gave it 4.  

  Parn Says:    
  2014-08-30 12:38:16  
  And Betty Brant comes back to haunt us some more :(  

  Safis Says:    
  2014-09-06 14:06:09  
  What a cover art! Actually the art throughout this issue was just fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this wrap up to the Green Goblin story. It seems worlds ahead of the other titles of the time in terms of story.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-11-01 20:03:48  
  4 stars for the Green Goblin E! True Hollywood Story!!!

Intimidating - So, if Norman Osborn's favorite color was pink, would we've had the Pink Goblin!??

Bringing Sexy Back - It wasn't as noticeable under Ditko, but now that Romita is drawing ASM. It looks like JJJ is sportin' a Hitler moustache!!!

'Nuff Said - "But I promise you one thing...the Green Goblin will never trouble you again!"-Spidey

  phogbear Says:    
  2014-11-15 19:21:43  
  I didn't mind that this was a villain telling his origin to the hero story . It worked in this case because of the mentally unstable Goblin. I thought Stan did a good job with that. Didn't care for the ending but this was a great arc. If hadn't read so much of the order at once and seen amnesia used numerous times maybe it wouldn't be a big deal.  

  CeeNote12 Says:    
  2015-02-01 14:31:18  
  This was a good story. I didn't have a problem with Gobby spilling his sad tale to Spidey as he was clearly having some sort of mental break. I'm also ok with the amnesia thing as it was probably a combination of his mental state and traumatic electrocution. After all it is a comic book LoL! I actually like this cover better than issue #39...well maybe about the same I guess.  

  MX5 Says:    
  2015-05-13 23:42:44  
  That was quite a long winded, extremely plot driven, and well written (aside from the memory loss) issue. This arc gets five stars for me. I didn't expect the Goblin to go down for the long nap this early in the series, though it would have been shocking, huge. I'm awaiting the day Spidey accidentally kills a villain and has to cope with it. All in all the memory loss didn't disappoint me enough to take away from the story.  

  g2thet Says:    
  2015-06-12 10:40:38  
  Good end to the arc, not as good as I expected though.
4 Stars

  mrcreek Says:    
  2015-06-13 01:51:14  
  "I'm stronger, smarter, tougher than anyone else! (...) I could become the greatest costumed criminal of all time" of course, how could he even think he might become the greatest anything else!!!
There were so few positive role models in 1966: the Nixon goons hadn't even bugged the Watergate yet, costumed criminal was the only logical outcome for a powerful ruthless male with hairdressing issues

  Beaustaff Says:    
  2015-07-29 10:57:42  
  I really liked the last 2 issues. Does anyone else kinda hate Aunt May? Her worrying about Peter and freaking out about nothing is insufferable.  

  rocketraccoon @ Beaustaff (original post):    
  2015-07-29 22:51:09  
  Just wait until you've read her do that for fifty years of publication.  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2015-09-26 20:29:47  
  A bit anticlimactic, considering such a strong lead-in, but we did get the necessary back-story on Norman Osborn's Green Goblin origin and chemically-enhanced insanity.

And I think Betty Brant actually left for Chicago and refused to come back until they hired a new artist. Va-va-voom!

  Big Frank T Says:    
  2016-04-16 09:08:44  
  I know it was minor but loved the J Jonah rants stuck in there  

  Calion @ mrcreek (original post):    
  2016-06-13 16:54:09  
  That's hilarious. I never noticed Norman's Nixon haircut.  

  Calion Says:    
  2016-06-13 16:56:52  
  1. “Osborn is obviously a psychopath! I’ve got to play on his emotions…got to keep hitting him where it hurts!” Um…

  2. You’re trusting your spider-sense to tell you that his amnesia is real, when it failed to warn you that he was playing possum a minute ago?

  3. Man, people have short memories in this world. It wasn’t that long ago that Spidey was generally accepted as a hero, but now people act like that’s the craziest idea in the world.

  4. Betty’s female intuition? Gimme a break, Pete. You pushing her away—for good reasons, I’ll admit—is what drove her away.

  5. “I’d trade places with almost any normal everyday man!” You can, Pete. Just throw away your uniform. That’s all. But your sense of responsibility won’t let you. Whose fault is that?

  6. There’s a lot of comments about Osborn’s amnesia. To me, it actually makes sense. The Goblin was created by some sort of deep brain problem; it makes at least a little sense that that electro-chemical explosion affected that part of his brain. I think I would have preferred that he knew Spidey’s identity, but was reformed, and swears never to mention it. But perhaps Peter having a rich and powerful ally would upset the balance of the storyline.

These Romita comics are so subtly different that I don’t know how to rate them. It’s not just the art; the tenor of the writing has changed, as well. Three and a half stars, I guess.


  Calion Says:    
  2016-06-13 17:41:55  

Alright, now that Ditko’s gone, I’m going to have a little rant. It’s actually interesting how non-Objectivist Spider-Man has been, given Ditko’s beliefs. In a way, Spider-Man is the perfect Randian victim. He keeps sacrificing for others, and gets screwed for it. His sense of duty and responsibility, and guilt for his role in the death of Uncle Ben, makes him keep giving and giving and giving to others, but never getting much of anything in return. He’s not praised for his efforts, he’s reviled for them. He’s not rewarded for his sacrifices, he just keeps losing out. Whether it’s Betty, or Gwen, or making Aunt May sick with worry, or his financial troubles that could be resolved by getting a regular part-time job or, better, putting his genius to work, the fact that he keeps risking his life for others not only doesn’t help him, it actively and repeatedly hurts him. His work is not only thankless, it causes almost everyone to hate him.

Now, all of that is Randian enough. But Peter never takes the next step. He never wonders: Is it worth it? Why should I risk my life, over and over, for people that hate me? Why should I give up so much and get nothing in return? Is that fair? Is that just? Now, I’m not saying that he should follow that logic and go on permanent strike—then there’d be no Spider-Man, no character to read about. But this is the question I feel like he should be struggling with, over and over. He should be a man caught on the cusp between altruism and egoism, never certain which way is right. That would be a good Objectivist story. As it is, I just get frustrated that while Peter often hates Spider-Man and blames him for his problems, he never thinks to look deeper, to ask whether perhaps what’s wrong is that he lives in a society that is willing to take everything he has to give while giving nothing back. Perhaps the problem is that he’s willing to, as Rand put it, cast pearls without even getting a pork chop in return.


  Russ Says:    
  2016-09-25 11:37:54  
  Norman's Nixon haircut.....that's funny. "I am NOT a crook! Oh wait a minute, yes I am!"

The ending was a step downward from the first part, but not a big step downward. At the time, the memory loss was the only logical course to resolve the dilemma since killing a bad guy was out of the question. (We're not discussing what Norman does seven years from now until we get there) Even though the amnesia was an overused device by then, as @CeeNote12 suggested, the combination of his mental instability and the chemical/electrical bath he got seemed to make it plausible and organic. I can live with this ending.

A couple of other notes on the story:
- As I stated in last issue's comments, this sets up most of the tone for the next 40 years of Spidey stories; in some cases, for the worse.

- @Calion: let's pick up your Randian theory in about ten issues and see what you think then.

- 4 stars. Should've been 5 considering the first part, but still a very strong and important arc for Spider-Man.

- My own "'Nuff Said": "I want to dictate an editorial about how the younger generation's going to the dogs! Then I'll do one about the older generation, too! Might as well blast everyone!" - Generation Gap Jonah

  Calion @ Russ (original post):    
  2016-09-27 12:54:34  
  I will, but that's post-Ditko!  

  Judassiah Says:    
  2016-10-27 05:55:08  
  + Romita Sr. fight scenes.
+ Green Goblin origin.
+ Psychotic Norman Osborn.

+ The cop not using his gun. Ohio this ain't!
+ Happy Harry
+ GG's gadgets were all great!

+ Spider-Man having the stones to call Norman a hero at the end.

3 stars. I wonder how long it will be until we see GG again, and I'm interested to see how Norman evolves as a character now.

  kungfufan Says:    
  2016-12-20 07:15:50  
  (This comment covers both this and the previous issue) OK the suspense was a bit drawn out, with the clichéd bit of the villain revealing all before striking the fatal blow, but the fact that both knew each other's identities compensated for that, just as the action nearly (but not quite) compensated for the almost predictable amnesia resolution that is doomed to affect all who learn of another's identity. Mind you, for the briefest moment there I thought Spidey would turn to the dark side, and blackmail Norman with the threat of harming Harry! Still, despite the flaws, I still give it four stars for being a thrilling read.  

  Leander Malurt Says:    
  2017-06-17 03:44:38  
  Okay, so finally we have a two-parter that shows how strong their connection can be. After reading the brilliant first part, the suspense grew even bigger in the second. Not the mention the fantastic fight at the end, where the broomstick-flying-thing finally got destroyed, which shows some great development at the consequences part of Marvel. Still as good as the first part (if not better), so a definitive 5-star for this one as well

  Allencthulhu @ Calion (original post):    
  2017-07-10 12:44:15  
  You're right on this. However, I think the answer to why Spider-Man doesn't go into the full Randian tunnel is right at the beginning. "With great power comes great responsibility." Stan Lee allowed a lot of Ditko's stuff to be out there but never to the point of Spider-Man being less than a hero.  

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-07-10 12:46:22  
  One thing I did like: it wasn't Spidey escaping because Gobby was too busy monologuing. It was Gobby releasing him because in his fantasy world, Spidey had never defeated him and could never defeat him.  

  jakeisquite Says:    
  2017-11-09 16:35:51  
  I feel like the monologue was a bit too long. Other than that, great issue.  

  ignaciotixi Says:    
  2018-01-26 11:09:30  
  What a finale for the Goblin, i loved this story  

  RobinHoodMtl @ Beaustaff (original post):    
  2018-02-12 11:38:25  
  Unbearable as it may (no pun intended), there are people like that in real life. I have vivid memories of my own mother worried sick whenever I got home too late. It's awful to read, but it is totally plausible, particularly from a old lady whose husband was killed by a petty thief.  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2018-02-12 12:33:34  
  • That's my line – "I'll make it my favorite color... green!" (Norman Osborn) – And you'll fit in with about half of the existing villains.

  • Okay, not only Osborn willingly revealed his secret identity, but now he goes on a detailed villain monologue explaining everything to someone he wants to kill. Pretty pointless, but probably therapeutic!

  • Osborn's backstory is incredibly solid for Silver Age material and adds a lot not only to his own character but also to Harry's. One of the most interesting so far.

  • So now we have a new contender for worst daddy in the world where he will compete against Odin, Puppet Master, and Thunderbolt Ross.

  • It truly annoys me when a villain decides to free or spare the hero to make his victory even more complete, when in fact it is the writers that have ran out of ideas on how to get the hero out of trouble. But in this case, since Spidey was just about to break free, it helps the plot by showing how the Goblin desperately needs to prove he's in control.

  • Also, Green Goblin getting a brain reboot bringing him back to normal is a bit too convenient, but the writers had to find some way to keep Spidey's identity secret. I feel a bit like I've been tricked myself. But at least it was not a mind wipe or a Gift of Forgetfulness. And as others have brought up, in his case, it makes more sense.

  • I like Spidey's logical decision not to deliver Osborn to the authorities after considering the context and consequences. Not only he lets him free, he also makes him a hero. That is quite mature for such a young hero. And this opens up many doors in the Osborn family and Parker/Spider-Man relationships.

  • This was a great arc with a decent ending, but to be honest with myself, I cannot give it the same score as last issue so 4 stars it is.

Issue Detail Divider
Essential Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 2
This collection includesAmazing Spider-Man #21 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #22 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #23 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #24 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #25 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #26 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #27 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #28 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, Amazing Spider-Man #29 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #30 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #31 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #32 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #33 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #34 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #35 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #36 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #37 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #38 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #40 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #41 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3, Amazing Spider-Man #42 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #43 (v1)
Marvel Masterworks: Amazing Spider-Man, Volume 4
This collection includesAmazing Spider-Man #32 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #33 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #34 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #35 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #36 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #37 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #38 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #39 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #40 (v1), Amazing Spider-Man #31 (v1)
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Date User Name Update
   February 13, 2018 RobinHoodMtl Added FDNY to the issue.
   February 13, 2018 RobinHoodMtl Added NYPD to the issue.
   February 12, 2018 TStarnes Added J. Jonah Jameson to the issue.
   February 12, 2018 RobinHoodMtl Deleted listing of J. Jonah Jameson.
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes Added Goblin Glider listing.
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes Added Pumpkin Bomb listing.
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes Added Web-Shooters listing.
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes
   November 22, 2017 TStarnes
   November 20, 2017 TStarnes
   January 11, 2014 Raistlin903 Deleted listing of Fantastic Four.
   January 11, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for Fantastic Four.
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