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Cover Date: August 1971
Cover Price: US $0.15
Issue Tagline: Panic in the Prison!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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Letters Column: The Spider's Web
This is a relatively lighthearted, stand-alone issue that falls between the just-concluded three-issue Green Goblin drug abuse story and the upcoming six-armed-Spidey saga guest starring Morbius.
Peter is reunited with Gwen and wants to treat her to a fancy dinner, but is characteristically broke. He stops by the Daily Bugle and lands an assignment to snap photos of a riot at the City Penitentiary. Emboldened by Gwen's affections, Parker demands and begrudgingly receives from J. Jonah Jameson a promotion from freelancer to "spare-time staff photographer."
Parker switches to Spidey and sneaks into the prison, where he discovers the prisoners are rioting for better living conditions. Turpo, the riot's mastermind, has his own agenda--holding the warden at gunpoint to effect his own escape while everyone is distracted by the riot. Spidey quickly foils Turpo's plan and the warden agrees to address the rioter's concerns if they will cease rioting.
Swinging away from the prison Spidey is summoned by a shout from a skyscraper window--it's Tonight Show host Johnny Carson, who wants Spidey to appear on his program that evening and discuss the prison riot. A surprisingly mercenary Spidey doesn't believe in charity work, however, and demands and begrudgingly receives a promise of payment in return for his appearance.
Parker then delivers the prison riot pix to a delighted Jameson. No other newspaper's photographers could get inside, so the Bugle has a scoop. Parker fears, however, that Robertson is beginning to suspect the secret of how Parker gets his photos. Anticipating a big pay-off, Parker is discouraged to learn that as a staff shutterbug, he won't be paid until Friday.
Spidey dutifully appears on the Tonight Show and after a few stunts delivers a grandstanding speech on behalf of the prisoners. His speech is interrupted, however, by policemen seeking to arrest Spidey on his outstanding warrants. The Web-Slinger is forced to flee before he can be paid.
With nary a nickel to his name, Parker apologizes to Gwen for being unable to take her out on the town, but in a welcome happy ending, Gwen has prepared Peter a delicious home-cooked meal.
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Noteworthy ads include a half-page illustrated ad for "Original Unpublished Art Portfolios" from Marvelmania. The letter's page also features a one-third-page illustrated ad for CONAN THE BARBARIAN #8.
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