Amazing Spider-Man #219 (1981)

I love this issue.  It’s a single-issue story from the era where Jim Shooter is rumored to have issued an edict that all comics be self-contained and jam a ton of story in just 28 pages.  And that’s what’s in here.  It’s wonderfully written by the great Denny O’Neil, and seeing Luke McDonnell draw Spider-Man is a treat.

It starts with Spidey breaking into Rykers Island Prison because Peter Parker needs some fresh photos for the Daily Bugle.  Of course, he happens to arrive just as the Grey Gargoyle and Dr. Jonas Harrow are talking with the warden about a deal they have, where the warden lets them out of prison at night to commit crimes and they give him a cut from the take.  Parker gets some pics, but then gets nabbed by the prison guards who take his camera.

So now he’s in jail.  And of course, that means he needs a lawyer.  And of course, that means Matt Murdock makes a cameo.

The rest of the issue have Peter getting out of jail on bail and trying to find his camera, which is confiscated by a guard, then stolen by a civilian who mops floors at Rykers, who sells it to a pawn shop.  The villains and hero both track the camera down and fight over it, then Jonas Harrow shatters it in the end—ruining the film.  Oh no!  That means Peter Parker can’t prove that he was just doing investigative journalism and not trespassing!

But the nice pawn shop owner had the film all along—the camera was empty when Harrow shattered it.

Great dialogue, nice twists and turns, good tie-ins to the greater Marvel Universe, and a creative use of Jonas Harrow.

Excellent comic!

Creators: Denny O’Neil and Luke McDonnell
Grade: A-

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.


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