Amazing Spider-Man #20:The Coming of the Scorpion! Or: Spidey Battles Scorpey!

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This issue starts where the last left off, with Spider-Man realizing a mysterious figure is following him, and he turns things around and follows him back, although with limited success. This game of tag, however, does not last long, as we (the reader) quickly learn who the mysterious figure and his boss is. But if you’d like surprises, please read this issue and check back here for my thoughts.

Ok, you have been warned; the mystery figure, a man named Mac Gargan, checks in with his boss, none other than J. Jonah Jameson, who hired the shady character to follow Peter and find out how he gets so close to Spider-man. Things, however, quickly learn as Mr. Jameson develops a new plan from a proposed story about a scientist causing artificial Mutations.

Jameson employs the scientist Named Dr. Farley Stillwell to transform Mac Gargan into someone that can defeat Spider-Man, turning him into The Scorpion. This is a transformation that the Doctor quickly regrets, and learns that there will be consequences for Mac Gargan if not reversed.


We get to see Mr. Jameson go to new lengths to destroy Spider-Man after the reversal of the past couple of issues. Pushing him, at least temporarily, into a darker, more drastic realm. His hiring and creating a foe that proves worse than even his fears about Spider-Man.

We also get to see a new villain, someone who may prove to be a nobody changed by the scientific advancement of another. He is a character who may have been shady to start, but then with his sense of right and wrong warped by the process, pushed much further than he might otherwise have been.

Characters & Development

The most significant development for Mr. Jameson in this story is him going down his dark path andseeing an error in his ways. Does this mean he will have a change of heart on Spider-Man? Not by a long shot, but it should ensure a more secure limit on how far he will push outside of the scope of his newspaper.

The only other real development is for Betty Brant and her relationships with Peter and Ned. She seems to harbor an interest in Peter still but also seems to feel the drive to possibly move on, misreading our hero some of the time, mainly due to his internal conflict with being Spider-man and with the needs of Spider-man

Originality & Continuity

What makes this story good is what it is not. It is not a story of a Mad scientist turning himself into the new villain of the month. It is the story of a member of our main cast going too far and pushing others to villainous ends. It is the story of the comeback of a hero and how that impacts those around him.


I find the design of Scorpion could be better, particularly when paired against our hero. Visually I find him uninteresting, and even in the opening spread and cover where he should look his best, it falls flat. So much so that his tail almost looks like a third hand on both pages. But beyond that, the artwork lives up to the expected quality for the series.

Book Information:
Cover Date: Jan 1965
Read At:
  • Steve Ditko
  • Stan Lee
  • Sam Rosen
Review Ratings:
Character And Development&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734&#9734
Originality And Continuity&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734
Mad Motives&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734&#9734
  • Spider-Man
  • The Scorpion
  • J. Jonah Jameson
  • Aunt May
  • Betty Brant
  • Flash Thompson
  • Liz
  • Ned Leeds
  • Dr. Farley Stillwell






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