Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #92

Issue Date: 
January 1971
Story Title: 
When Iceman Attacks

Stan Lee (writer), Gil Kane and John Romita (artists), Artie Simek (letterer)

Brief Description: 

A fully-costumed Spider-Man stumbles upon his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, and district attorney candidate Sam Bullit in his apartment as he is coming in through the window. Taking drastic action to throw off suspicion as to his identity as Peter Parker, Spidey kidnaps Gwen. A passing Bobby Drake witnesses this and goes into action as Iceman to rescue the girl. After a brief quarrel, Spider-Man makes his exit and Bullit congratulates Iceman in front of the press. Later, J. Jonah Jameson informs Bullit that the Daily Bugle is pulling its support after Joe “Robbie” Robertson’s uncovered evidence that the politician is a corrupt bigot. In retaliation, the angry Bullit has some thugs kidnap Robbie, but Peter witnesses it and web-slings in pursuit. Unfortunately, Iceman spies Peter as Spider-Man again tries to take him down again but Spidey manages to fight him off. Returning to his pursuit, Spidey finds Bullit exiting a warehouse as his men prepare to execute Robbie. Iceman witnesses this as well, and realizes Spider-Man was a good guy all along. The two rescue Robbie and publicly expose Bullit’s corruption, leaving the politician’s career ruined as he is led away by the police.

Full Summary: 

Spider-Man, still in full costume, has returned via his window to his apartment only to find his girlfriend Gwen Stacy and politician Sam Bullit there. “Spider-Man! The one who killed my father!” screams Gwen, while Bullit gloats that they suspected a connection between Peter Parker and Spider-Man, and now they have the evidence to prove it! Realizing he needs to take drastic action to throw off suspicion, he quickly takes up Gwen in his arms and leaps out the window shouting, “You will never try to trap me again!” Bullit, however, grins maniacally as he thinks to himself that he doesn’t care what happens to the girl; Spider-Man has just won him the District Attorney election by emphasizing the need for his law and order campaign.

As Spider-Man wall-crawls up the building, he tries to convince Gwen that he didn’t come to see Parker, but to get to her. He doesn’t like being called a killer; her father’s death was an accident. “You masked murderer!” she replies. “Sooner or later you’ll get what’s coming to you!” She tells him that when Sam Bullitt gets elected, he’ll finish Spider-Man. “Sure he will! Just like Goliath finished David!” quips Spidey as he web-swings through town, Gwen Stacy kicking and screaming the whole way.

Down below among the startled onlookers, a girl remarks to her boyfriend Bobby how horrible it is that the poor girl has been kidnapped. “Why doesn’t somebody do something?” she pleads. Bobby Drake agrees but needs to ditch her before he can go into action as Iceman. “It’s getting late honey!” he suddenly says despite it clearly being the middle of the day. “A guy needs his beauty sleep!” is his only excuse as he hurries her into a taxi and takes off for a nearby alley. “I’ve been out of action with the X-Men long enough anyway!” he says to himself as he sheds his clothes and ices up. He races off into the sky on an ice-slide as amazed bystanders watch from the street.

A short distance away, Spider-Man has set Gwen down on a rooftop and tries to convince her that he has nothing to do with Peter Parker. “First about that dum-dum Parker…” he begins. She angrily interrupts by calling him a loathsome, arrogant savage for mentioning Peter. “He’s more man than you could ever hope to be!” she yells at Spidey. Spider-Man thinks how she’ll never now how he loves her when suddenly Iceman catches up. “You’ve had it you over-rated creep! I never thought you’d stoop to pushing females around!” Iceman says with a shout as he unleashes a blast of ice-balls, knocking Spidey across the rooftop.

Peter is stunned by this turn of events and realizes he needs to get Iceman out of there before he ruins his chance for clearing up things with Gwen. “You’re barking up the wrong tree, you frost-bitten freak!” he cries as he charges the former X-Man. “You’re not even in my league,” Iceman coolly replies as he slicks the roof with a sheet of ice. “Do you need a special passport… for that ego-trip of yours?!” retorts Spidey as he slips and slams onto his back.

Down below on the streets, several police have arrived thanks to Sam Bullit. Spider-Man realizes that he will be trapped if he doesn’t leave soon. He web-slings away to make his escape, hoping he convinced Gwen that he has nothing to do with Peter Parker. Bullit is ecstatic that he has Spider-Man on the run, predicting he will win the election by a landslide. He shakes a fist defiantly as he hopes to take credit for capturing Spider-Man, dead or alive!

As Iceman brings Gwen down to safety, a police officer remarks, “It’s one of the X-Men! He saved the girl!” Bullit, however, is upset that someone else is getting credit. He quickly decides to try to use the human ice-cube for his own ends. In front of the gathered news reporters, Bullit tells Iceman he did a good job but next time Spider-Man can’t get away. Gleefully seeing that the press thinks Iceman works for him, he tells the hero to stay on the hunt. As he gets in his limousine, he is quite pleased that he will get the credit if Iceman brings in Spidey.

As the election is drawing near, Sam Bullit’s law and order campaign increases in popularity as he promises to bring Spider-Man to justice with the aid of Iceman. “With Spider-Man dead or captured, New York will be safe again!” he shouts to the press.

Bullit soon receives a phone call from J. Jonah Jameson, owner of the Daily Bugle newspaper. Jameson lets Bullit know the Bugle is considering withdrawing support for him after certain things have become known. The Bugle’s editor Joe “Robbie” Robertson cheers him on as Jameson tells Bullit he can knock off with any threats. Bullit angrily hangs up and tells one of his men that they are going to go pay Mr. Jameson a visit. “No one’s gonna pull the rug out from under me when I’m this close to bein’ DA!” he says as he heads for the door. “And if Jameson thinks he’s big enough to buck me… we’ll have to do a little convincing!” “Yeah, boss, and we got a mighty good argument!” his thug says while loading a revolver.

Minutes later Jameson is told that Mr. Bullit and his bodyguard have shown up. Robbie remarks that the man with Bullit is no bodyguard, just a hired thug. As Bullit enters the office, he demands that if Jameson knows something he needs to spill it now. Jameson replies that he will, but on the front page of his newspaper! “When your strongarm boys tried to put the muscle on Parker the other day, they forgot he works for the Bugle!” Jameson says as he chomps on his cigar. “The kid told us what happened, and it smells, mister!”

Bullit isn’t impressed until Robertson speaks up about some reporting he’s done. “I know about the lunatic hate groups who are backing you!” Jameson says as he jabs his finger at Bullit. “Anyone ever tell ya you know too much, black man?” Bullit coldly replies. Jameson tells him to shut up because, in light of Robbie’s investigation, they’re throwing their support behind his opponent, Nelson, instead. Bullit isn’t intimidated though because he lets them know evidence is only good if you can use it. “And Sambo ain’t never gonna use it!” he says angrily before storming out of the office. “I’m glad you listened to Parker, JJ,” says Robbie. “I hoped it would open your eyes.” “Nuts!” shouts his boss. “I had Bullit pegged the whole time!”

Later that day Peter Parker sees the two men who hassled him before go into Robbie’s office. As they lead Robbie out with a gun to his back, Parker realizes Spider-Man needs to follow. He races to the roof and throws on his mask just as the men get in a car down below. Spidey web-slings off in pursuit, when suddenly his feet are wrapped in ice! “Careful, little man!” says Iceman, standing triumphantly on one of his ice-slides. “I wouldn’t want you to fall!” Spidey quickly bends back and crushes the ice with his fists. “That’ll show him who he’s up against!” the web-slinger says as he goes on the run again with a trademark thwipp!

“Ok—that’s far enough!” Iceman shouts, determined to stop webhead’s escape. “You can’t swing when you can’t see where you’re going!” He quickly creates a wall of ice in front of the web-slinger, who smashes right into it. “What are you? Some kind of nut?” Spidey asks as he recovers on a rooftop below. He suddenly sees that the thugs’ car has been stopped by traffic. “See that car down there? I mustn’t lose it!” he cries. “Why not? Some other chick inside that you’re trying to get hold of?” is Iceman’s reply as he freezes the web-slinger in a solid block of ice. Flexing his muscles, Spidey breaks out and smashes Iceman’s ice-slide, sending him tumbling. Spider-Man webs him up and leaves him hanging as he quickly sets off in pursuit once more.

“There they are again!” says Spidey as he catches up to the car. “I’ll never complain about heavy traffic again! It kept me from losing them!” The thugs force Robbie into an old abandoned warehouse. Spider-Man sneaks inside to find Sam Bullit confronting Robertson. “So you’ve been keeping a file on me, huh? Not very smart, black man,” says Bullit as Peter watches from above. Iceman meanwhile has escaped Spidey’s web and has made his way to a skylight in the same warehouse. “You can’t keep me prisoner forever!” says a defiant Robbie down below. “Who’s talkin’ about keeping you a prisoner?” replies the sinister Bullit. He tells his men to eliminate Robbie as he makes his exit.

Seeing all of this from the roof, above even Spider-Man, Iceman realizes Spider-Man was telling the truth all along. He catches Spidey’s eye and the two prepare to make a move. One of the thug’s guns is suddenly grabbed with a web while the other’s is frozen solid. Spidey leaps down and gives both goons a kick to the face as Iceman slides down an ice-pole after him. As more hoods come running in Iceman cleverly ices the floor in front of them, as Spidey grabs one of the unconscious men and slides him into the others, sending them all flying like bowling pins. “Not bad for a guy with no talent!” says Iceman with a smile and asks what Spider does for an encore. “You wanna see me impersonate Cagney?” jokes Spidey.

As they free Robbie, Spidey laments that Bullit could be half-way to Siam by now. Robbie reminds him, however, that Bullit doesn’t know anything went wrong. Just as he says this, Bullit’s thugs, having recovered, make a break for it. “I’ve been waiting for a chance to do this,” says Iceman as he ices a slide right under the men. As he curves it up in front of them, the goons all tumble down on top of each other and come sliding right back. As Spider-Man webs them up and begins hauling them away, one of the men shouts, “Hey! You can’t drag us around like this!” “No? How do you wanna be dragged?” Spidey replies.

A few minutes later, Sam is at a fund-raiser banquet giving a fiery speech. He shouts that he will bring law and order and won’t be intimidated by turncoat newspapers and so-called superheroes! Suddenly, a shout is heard in the back: “Sam Bullit is a liar… and a crook!” Everyone turns to see Spider-Man and Iceman at the door. “It’s all over, Bullit! Your gunnies spilled everything to the police,” Spider-Man declares, revealing that Robbie has turned over his evidence as well.

Bullit is in disbelief that Robbie escaped as the disgusted guests begin leaving the fundraiser. “Wait! Come back! Don’t…don’t leave me! Listen to me…” cries a frantic Bullit as he realizes his career has been destroyed. He hangs his head in shame as the cops lead him away.

Characters Involved: 



Gwen Stacy

J. Jonah Jameson

Joseph “Robbie” Robertson

Sam Bullit

Bullit’s thugs

NYPD officers

Bullit speech attendees

Bobby Drake’s date

NY citizens

Story Notes: 

Gwen Stacy’s father George was killed by falling debris during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #90. Gwen Stacy blamed Spider-Man for her father’s death, which is why she refers to him as a murderer here.

J. Jonah Jameson mentions Bullit’s men roughing up Peter Parker. This happened in the previous issue.

Bullit’s racial epithet of “Sambo” is a slur of unclear origins, though its use in the United States has been documented as being common in by the Civil War. Its use in this publication in terms of cultural documentation is interesting, as decades later its use is quite archaic.

Spidey’s reference to “Cagney” most likely refers to James Cagney, renowned film star of the 20th century.

Spidey’s use of “Siam” is puzzling, as the nation of Siam had been renamed Thailand for some decades beforehand. However, perhaps Spider-Man is a fan of the play or film “The King and I,” which took place in that country when it was called by that name.

Issue Information: 
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