Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #5

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This review was first published on: 2004.

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"The Parents Of Peter Parker!"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #5 (Story 1)
Year 1968 : SMURF 000.130 : SMURF 000.150 : SMURF 062.600 : SMURF 062.700 : SM Title
Editor:  Stan Lee
Writer:  Stan Lee
Pencils:  Larry Lieber
Inker:  Mickey Demeo
Cover Art:  John Romita, Sr.
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 Reprinted In: ASM Annual #5 (JC Penney Promo)
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #264
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #265
 Reprinted In: Marvel Visionaries, Stan Lee
 Reprinted In: Essential Spider-Man #4
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1978
Articles: Aunt May Parker (FB), Aunt May Parker (FB), Aunt May Parker, Ben Parker (FB), Ben Parker (FB), Green Goblin II (Harry Osborn), Gwen Stacy, Human Torch

The story opens at night in the Algerian Casbah, where Spider-man has been ambushed by a well-armed group of thugs in a dark back-street. Spider-man evades their initial attack and takes down several of them, but a lucky shot wings his scalp and he falls from a rooftop to the river. The attackers leave him for dead, going to report to their master that Spider-man has been dealt with.

Spider-man crawls from the river downstream and passes out, his mind drifting back to the reason he has come to the Casbah...

Peter Parker was helping his Aunt May clear out the attic of her Forest Hills home, when he accidentally broke open an old trunk. Picking up the spilled contents, he stumbled across old newspaper clippings about his parents- Richard and Mary Parker. The newspaper stories revealed that his parents were international spies who had betrayed U.S. secrets and were killed in a plane explosion over Europe.

Peter confronted Aunt May with the stories, who admitted that both she and Uncle Ben had hidden the story from Peter, since they never believed it was true and didn't want to cause him grief. For years after their deaths, Uncle Ben had attempted to contact a man in the Casbah who knew the Parkers and might be able to clear their name, but the man never responded.

And so Peter took up the search, flying overseas and confronting the tavern-owner as Spider-man. The man panicked, and called the Master for help. Thus was Spider-man attacked...

Spider-man trails the tavern-owner to a secret headquarters for an international spy ring. Sneaking into the central office, Spider-man finds a file on his parents, including an ID card for the spy ring. Before he can dig further, he is confronted by the head of the ring -- the Red Skull. The Skull drives Spider-man away, and sends an assassin known as the Finisher after him.

Spider-man and the Finisher battle through the streets and rooftops of the Casbah, as the Finisher launches tailored weapons that grow deadlier and more accurate. The Finisher is killed when Spider-man leaps under his car and rolls out the other side, luring one of the Finisher's missiles into the car.

Spider-man returns to confront the Skull about the Parkers. The Skull gloats that he engineered the Parkers treason-- in reality, they were U.S. agents who had infiltrated his spy ring. He discovered their duplicity and had them killed, framing them for treason as his final revenge. A fierce battle ensues as the Skull unleashes an incredibly strong henchman, laser traps and finally, a personal arsenal arsenal of missiles and smoke bombs.

The headquarters is destroyed in the battle, and the Red Skull escapes. But the heat from the flames partially melts Richard Parker's ID card, revealing a U.S. intelligence ID underneath. Peter returns to America with the proof that his parents died defending their country, never betraying it.