Spider-Man [Peter Parker] (introduction, origin); Ben Parker (introduction); Crusher Hogan; Flash Thompson (introduction); Liz Allen (introduction); May Parker (introduction); the Burglar
Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains the abilities of a spider. When he fails to stop a burglar who runs past him, his uncle is killed as a result. He therefore swears never to shirk his responsibility again.
This story is divided into two untitled parts (6 pp, 5 pp). This is the first Spider-Man story published, the Burglar has never been definitively named. Winner of the 1962 "Best Short Story" Alley Award.
This is the way this little tale was told to us...
On a small Mediterranean island of fisherfolk, Old Pedros is the town bell-ringer. One day the volcano atop the island begins to erupt. The villagers evacuate and put out to sea. Old Pedros, though, stays at the church. "The bells must be rung," he tells himself. "Someone will hear. For centuries someone has always heard!" Molten rock streams toward the church. Before it reaches Old Pedros, a ray of sunlight surrounds him. The superstitious villagers swear they saw him ride that ray into the sky. Did their eyes play tricks on them, or did Someone hear the bells?
The discovery of a crashed flying saucer frightens a small town, especially when the townspeople realize that the Martians are among them. A month goes by with the aliens still at large. A man leaves for the city and tells his wife to stay in the house where she is safe. Later that day, though, she has to go to the store for coffee. On her way home she is captured! When her husband gets home and finds her missing, he makes a desperate phone call ... to another Martian, who like him must have four arms.