Seven Teeth-Grindingly Stupid Spider-Man
Related Things That Hurt My Brain Real Bad!
by: Max Burbank
Yes, yes, fine, I'm as excited about Spider-Man 3 as the next dufus. I'll see it in I-Max. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two movies despite the Green Goblins dumb ass costume and I never gave a crap about organic web shooters VS. mechanical ones (and by the way, if you care about that at all, you will never ever have sex without paying for it). While Spidey has never been my number one favorite hero, off and on throughout my comic book reading life I've picked up his books and enjoyed them.
I'll tell you what though. The proof positive that he's an important piece of American art is that having been put through some of the most heinous embarrassments ever suffered by any fictional character, he's still a cultural Icon. It's as if Sherlock Holmes had retained his popularity while solving half his cases wearing a sequined tutu and a plantain shoved part way up his ass.
Briefly, and in no particular order, here's what I'm saying.
LIVE ACTION SPIDER-MAN TV SHOW
Every bit as good as this photo
I have only hazy memories of this show and a good thing too, because even those give me the kind of Migraines curable only by ripping your own head off, which is not easy, owing to problems of leverage. I do recall that it featured the agonizingly slow pace of all 1977 television action shows. If you like 2-3 minute establishing shots of cars pulling into driveways, you'll probably disagree. There were no Supervillians to speak of, just the same kind of thugs, spies, teens gone bad and sneaky foreigners you found lurking around the set of The Bionic Woman. This was probably just as well, since the one costume they couldn't skip, Spidey's, looked like one-piece Pajamas equipped with a Lycra stuff sack as a mask. I don't recall Spidey ever swinging from a web, but he did a lot of swarming up walls. This was achieved by filming a stunt man worming about and kind of dry humping a blue screen and then matting the results directly over stock footage of buildings. It made me uneasy in ways I was not ready to understand.
SPIDER-MAN FISHERMAN ACTION FIGURE
Maryjane's secret fetish: rubber hip waders.
I'm a very lucky man, because if someone ever sneaks up behind me, shoves a gun in my back and says, "Tell me the dumbest superhero toy ever or I'll blow your spine out", I'm good. Now you are too. You can thank me later. Peter Parker, though very busy, may have on occasion gone fishing. But can any of you think of a single, remotely plausible reason he'd do it in costume? And not just costume, but a modified costume featuring custom made Spidey hip waders. Which I guess means your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is into Fly Fishin'. On the plus side, I kind of dig the floppy fishing hat. I mean, try hanging your hand tied flies off a skintight facemask some time. THAT shit can get VERY painful VERY fast.
After the show got canceled I became a meth addicted dog prostitute in about a week.
On the 1981 animated series "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends" (and isn't the title kind of like eating broken glass?), Spidey hung around with a Lhasa Apso named "Ms. Lion". Know who else spends time with Lhasa Apso's? Offensively stereotypical Greenwich Village Nineteen-Seventies gaywads. I'm just saying.
THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-HAM
Jews do not care for this version of Spider-Man
A spider gets bitten by a radioactive anthropomorphic pig and becomes Spider-Ham. The comic runs for seventeen issues. I am BEGGING you to kill me. I had to get insanely high to even consider writing about this. Spider-Ham is the only thing in all of Marvel Comics worse than the X-Babies.
SPIDER VEHICLE TOYS
Wait! I can't drive! I'm just a picture of Spider-Man mounted into this car!
Okay, I have no problem with Batmobile toys, because a) The Batmobile is a time-honored part of the Batman Mythos, b) Batman is rich enough to have a Bat-car, c) It goes well with his obsessive compulsive Bat-boat, Bat-plane, Bat-copter and the Bat-ostomy supplies he will undoubtedly have custom made in his Bat-old age, and d) He has a cave to park it in when he's not using it. Spider-Man has none of those things. The only toy stupider than a Spider Vehicle, of which toy companies have made many, are Superman Vehicles. Because he can fly and it doesn't make him tired. However, that being said...
Now I have everything I need to seduce Annette Funicello!
How ironic that owning a Spider Dune Buggy immediately turns you into a eunuch!
In the 1974 "Amazing Spider-man" # 130, Johnny Storm, AKA The Human Torch, gifts Spidey with a Spidey-themed Dune Buggy. I SHIT YOU NOT! A car company wants Spider-Man to endorse its non-polluting engine. I SHIT YOU NOT! They want his endorsement despite the fact that he is largely viewed by the public as a dangerous criminal lunatic. I SHIT YOU NOT! It has web shooters and a Spider Signal. I SHIT YOU NOT! Even though Spider-Man was the driver so who the hell would he be signaling? I SHIT YOU NOT! As stupid as the Spider Dune Buggy was, it was far from the stupidest thing ever done in the Spider-Man Comic! I SHIT YOU NOT!
SPIDER CLONE SAGA
Just don't kiss! That's what ruined 'Moonlighting'!
the stupidest thing ever done in the Spider-Man comics.
In 1975, Spidey fights a clone of himself and the clone dies in an explosion. Afterwards, Spidey dumps the dead clone's body down the smokestack of an incinerator. As Comic Book stuff goes, this is barely noticeably dumb. Happens all the time. Wait, though. In 1988, a Clone of Spidey's dead girl friend Gwen Stacy hooks up with the High Evolutionary, a dude who can evolve things. A fella named Ben Rielly, who will later turn out to be the not dead not incinerated clone of Spider-Man starts hanging out with this guy named Kaine, who, as sometimes happens, is also a clone of Spider-Man. Kaine. In 1994, a mysterious stranger lurks around Peter Parker and his family and after a year of pussy footing they come face to face and WAAAAAA!! The mysterious stranger is also Peter Parker, probably a clone I'd guess. They fight and then team up and then the clone looks like he died in an explosion, but really goes off into exile so he won't bother anybody. Meanwhile, somebody creates another Spider-Man Clone. By my count there are now at least three Spider-men. The Ben Rielly clone starts fightin' crime as the Scarlet Spider. Mary Jane gets pregnant and Spidey starts having dreams that really he's the clone. In 1995, another clone of Spider-Man is introduced. Maybe it's that third clone, or maybe it's a fourth one. Three of the Spider-men meet and fight and team up and Ben Rielly takes Spider-Man's place in jail and Spider-Man takes on the Scarlet Spider identity. (HAH! I said 'titty'). It turns out Ben is the real Peter and Peter is the clone and the third clone (who's bad, by the way) Takes on the Identity (titty) of Spidercide, allowing him to deliver Spidercide chats. Spidercide kills Kaine and then falls to his death, so we're back to two Spider-men. Spider-Man has a breakdown and retires and Scarlet Spider joins the new Warriors because that's where characters that suck ass generally wind up. Turns out the guy who's making clones used to work for the High Evolutionary. Oh, and Kaine comes back from the dead, so it's three Spider-men again. And Ben dies his hair and starts being Spider-Man instead of the Scarlet Spider. I think. And somewhere in there we got a robot Scarlet Spider, who's bad. Peter (retired Spider-Man) Looses his powers. Kaine shows up again, and they find a skeleton is a spider costume is a smokestack, which probably means that first clone really was dead. Powerless Peter shows up to help investigate. In '96, Peter gets his powers back. The Mastermind behind the whole thing turns out to be Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin, who everybody thought was dead, as opposed to the Green Goblin that's his son or the Hobgoblin or a clone. I think. Mary Jane looses the baby, it turns out Peter was the original Spider-Man, not the clone, and Ben dies. Which I think means there's still two Spider-men left. After that, writers, editors and fans all try hard to PRETEND THIS NEAR DECADE LONG SUCK FEST NEVER HAPPENED. The Batman franchise surviving George Clooney and his nipple suit got nothin' on the Clone Saga, baby.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go shower in boiling water, rinse my mouth out with Lysol and bash my skull in with a brick.
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