Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 9 by Stan Lee is an okay collection of Spiderman stories. This is the weakest volume so far in terms of story and memorable action and storylines. There’s a lack of long form storytelling, which is explained and does make sense, if you had a long form story and miss one issue there were no comic book stores in the 1960’s to get the missed issue, but it was definitely a step back in storytelling. The adds to the Marvel universe in this issue are the The Prowler who is not bad just misunderstood, he ends up donning the spider suit once in this volume and to a greater effect later, we also meet Vanessa Fisk the woman behind The Kingpin, and The Black Widow makes an appearance where she changes costume which is pretty close to the outfit she wears today. The only villains in Spiderman’s rogue gallery appearing in these issues are Electro, The Chameleon and the Kingpin. The notable issue that is also on the cover is Spiderman unmask in front of Harry Osborn, Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacey, Gwen’s father Captain Stacey, when he come’s to his senses he fixes it but this issue will place doubt in some that find the truth later. Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 9 by Stan Lee collects Amazing Spider-Man issues 78-87.
Plots: The Prowler is born and runs into peter parker who tries to stop him fearing he shows to much strength in front of J. Jonah Jamison throws himself out the window, with the Prowler believing he killed him, the Prowler get set straight and vows to do only good. Electro works at a tv studio that just booked Spiderman for an interview, this will not be good. The Schemer takes away all of Kingpin’s old property while he is in hiding, the Kingpin comes out of it to deal with the Schemer. Spiderman want the bounty for The Schemer and things end up getting personal for the Kingpin. Black Widow after having been in a relationship with Hawkeye and briefly joining The Avengers wants to go on her own she wants to learn the secrets to Spiderman’s powers. The Kangaroo is an Australian villain that can jump high. Spiderman thinking he lost his powers shows his friends that he is Peter Parker, only to realizes what the problem is and having to fix what they just saw. Spiderman stays with Aunt May and sneaks out makes a dummy out of web which Aunt May finds and has a passed out, Peter has no choice to lie to her making her think she’s starting to go crazy.
What I Liked: The lying to Aunt May was pretty soul crushing and was done really well. The internal monologue was written really well showing the indecision of the moment. The way Peter Parker fixed the reveal that he was Spiderman was clever and desperate. The Electro Fight was the only real good one this issue, but it was really good. Gwen and Peter’s relationship is so up and down but you see what he falls for.
What I Disliked: there’s some really dated sexism and it is from the smartest most thought provoking character Captain Stacey. “You know Peter women are not like men, they think only with their heart”, this line is said twice, causing me to role my eyes both times. The Black Widow and Kangaroo storylines are horrible. Stan Lee even admits this is a promo for Black Widow’s own book and that is what it feels like.
Recommendation: Most of this book is skippable because it does not impact the larger story for what Spiderman becomes and it is just not as fun as the previous issues. I would recommend reading the 2 issue Prowler Issues 78-79 and the reveal of Spiderman’s identify issue 87. The Chameleon and Electro issues are fun as well. But the 5 other issues are skippable. I rated Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 9 by Stan Lee 2 out of 5 stars.