Comics : Marvel Fanfare #27

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Al Observes

This review was first published on: 1997.

Background...

In our continuing efforts to aquaint our SpiderFan readers with as many obscure Spidey stories as possible, Looking Back presents Marvel Fanfare #27. The lead and cover story was a Daredevil piece by Bill Mantlo and Tony Salmons but our focus is on the backup tale, written, drawn, inked, colored and lettered by Marc Hempel of "Mars","Blood of the Innocent", "Breathtaker", and "Tug and Buster" fame. It's an eight page gem called "Spidey Gets Antsy".

In Detail...

Marvel Fanfare #27
Jul 1986 : SM Guest
Summary: Spidey Gets Antsy
Editor:  Al Milgrom
Writer:  Marc Hempel
Pencils:  Marc Hempel
Inker:  Marc Hempel
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1990
Articles: Daredevil, Jameson, J. Jonah

It is 9:27 PM and Spidey has just what he's always wanted. "No robberies... no murders... not even Doctor Octopus on the rampage!" His personal life is going great. "The Bugle paid me for my photos right up front. All my bills are paid. I even got to spend a few blissful days in Florida with Mary Jane without running into the Lizard." All he has to do is kick back and watch TV. Instead he is so bored he can barely see straight.

He flips through the channels. Nothing good on. "Not even a good bad movie." He's already alphabetized his record collection, gone through all of his photography magazines. "I could order a pizza but I'm not really hungry." Time drags on.

And drags on some more. Pete creates web sculptures of the Statue of Liberty, Ignatz Mouse, the Spirit of '76, even Al Milgrom's cartoon Marvel Fanfare face and he decides, "Maybe this would at least seem more exciting if I just wore my costume around the apartment. I could even leave the door unlocked then someone might burst in and discover my secret identity." Except, "No", he decides, "that would really be stupid. What am I saying?" Yet soon, there he is, in costume, yelling out, "Hey everybody! Look! I'm Spider-Man!" (Of course, he might be in some trouble doing this if it wasn't for the fact that everyone else who lives in the building is out having a good time.)

Slowly going nuts, Pete calls Harry and Liz Osborn and gets their message machine. He decides to call Aunt May ("Aunt May is always home.") but it has gotten to be 10:35 PM and Aunt May always goes to bed at eight. Later, Peter decides there is one more person left to call but he slams the receiver back in its cradle instead. "No. Even I'm not that desperate."

He decides to swing around town to see if any crimes are being committed. But there's nothing. Suddenly his spider-sense tingles... maybe... could be danger... waitaminute... it's getting stronger... and he sneezes instead. "Well", he says, "they do feel kinda similar."

Almost ready to give up, go home, and watch Letterman, Spidey spies a shadow, a looming multi-armed very familiar-looking shadow. He swings down to attack but discovers, not Doc Ock, but a bag lady with scarves and shirt sleeves hanging out of her packages, flapping in the breeze. A cop immediately steps up to protect the lady, ("Finally! Some action!", thinks Spidey.) but when he sees it's just Spider-Man, he apologizes for bothering him. A fed-up Web-Slinger screams at the cop, "I'm Spider-Man! I'm a lunatic! A menace to society! Don't you read the Bugle?" but the unflappable cop only offers to drive him home if he's had a few.

"Out of all the cops in New York", Spidey says as he swings off, "I gotta get Officer Friendly."

Back in his apartment, Pete changes out of his Spidey duds, grabs a soft drink from the fridge, and looks longingly at his telephone. "Naw, I couldn't," he says. He watches late-night TV, then, with a smile on his face, leaps for the phone. He dials a number and a sleepy voice answers. "Hello, Mr. Jameson", says our hero, "this is Peter." "Parker," an incensed JJJ replies, so loudly that Pete has to hold the phone away from his ear, "of all the... you lamebrain! Do you know what time it is??"

And as Jonah continues his loud tirade ("You'll never work for the Bugle again!" and so on and so forth.), Peter settles into his chair grinning from ear to ear. A successful conclusion to an otherwise dull day.