Comics : Trashmasters #1B

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This story is part of a Lookback Series: A Word From Our Sponsor

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

This is one of Marvels Specialty books that are produced for an end-client, rather than for distribution to the comicbook-buying public at large. While sometimes these comics are used to promote product lines, quite often (as in this case, they are utilized to promote pro-social causes. This particular comic was produced in cooperation with the New York City Sanitation Dept. in order to promote recycling. The print version of this comic was distributed in NYC public schools. This particular comic (there are two in this series) is targeted for Fourth through Sixth graders.

Each comic contains two stories and 6 pages of games and activities.

When a group of ordinary New York City kids turned their elementary school, known for its wasteful ways and totally messed up manners into a model champion of reducing, reusing, and recycling (RRR) they are turned into the ultra-cool, awe-inspiring warriors of waste, in other words, the Trashmasters. However, after a brief three months, the West Side Elementary (formerly referred to as Waste Side Elementary) won a Golden Apple Award for becoming the best RRR cool in the city, there have been some changes, and not for the better.

In Detail...

"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Repaint?"
Trashmasters #1B (Story 2)
SM Cameo
Summary: Spider-Man Cameo (Dream)
Writer:  Doug Bernstein, Vivian Trakinski
Pencils:  Alex Saviuk
Inker:  Bob McLeod
Staff Only
Issue
Review

Nick is walking outside the school after school has been released he happens upon three of his friends from another school. These three ruffians have determined that they want to tag the side of the school with graffiti. Upon seeing their friend Nick, they invite him to join them in their destructive ways. He doesnt but the next day, he does go to Rusty and ask for the custodians advice.

Nick wants to know what Rusty would do if some of his friends invited him to do stuff that he knew was bad. Would he join his friends doing the bad stuff, or would he not do it, and then turn them in, and lose his friendship? Rusty, indicates that he would tell his friends to stop doing the bad things and try to explain to them why what they were doing was bad. He then went on to explain that real friends stick with each other, and if these guys were really Nicks friends, they would listen to Nick and stop doing the bad stuff.

That night Nick goes to bed and dreams that, instead of his friends stopping defacing the building and helping Nick in his Trashmasters work, that Nick joined them in defacing the building, resulting in Nick getting caught, and sent to jail much to the dismay of the rest of the Trashmasters. Nick wakes up in a cold sweat, frightened by the possibility of going to jail and losing his friends the Trashmasters.

Determined to fix the problem himself, Nick returns to the tagging site with a can of spray paint. However before he can do anything, he is spotted by Ms. Rush, the School Principal, who incorrectly assumes that Nick has been tagging the building, and takes him to her office. None of the rest of the Trashmasters can believe that Nick was defacing the building, and feel that he was attempting to paint over what was there. In Ms. Rushs office, she knows that he is attempting to protect his friends and she wants a full confession.

Nick imagines himself surrounded by several Marvel heroes (including Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four as he reveals to the world that he is one of the Trashmasters. Then he realizes that this is ridiculous and that everyone will think that he is some sort of a dork. That day, after school Nick catches up to the boys who tagged the school and observes them littering on the basketball court. He convinces them to come with him back to Rustys sub-sub-basement office, and they do just that, expecting to see some fabulous ride.

Once there, Rusty introduces them to his magical time recycler, time travel device, and transports the kids and himself back to the 1970s. The wind up in Central Park, which is completely littered, as it was back in the 70s. They also get to see an El (elevated train), which is completely covered with graffiti, making it look ugly. Next up, is West Side School, which is not only covered in spray paint, but the grounds themselves are very dirty from trash that has been dumped everywhere, just like it was back in 73.

Returning to the present, the kids realize that theyve been bad not to pick up their trash, and vow to return to the basketball court to get the garbage they left behind. That done, they return to West Side Elementary and paint over the graffiti they left behind, only this time they paint a lovely park scene, and vow that next year they will attempt to win the Golden Apple recycling award away from West Side.

In General...

The story is cute and all, and as a comicbook story uded as an educational tool to teach recycling, Im sure taht it isn't bad at all, However as a Marvel comic, supposedly containing the appearance of Spider-man, it is a huge disapointment.

Currently this comic is all over the net (due, primarily to auctions on ebay and other sites), but it is being touted as a Spider-man specialty comic. Nothing could be further from the truth. As stated, Spidey only appears twice in the book (once in a daydream,amnd once on the back cover, and neither time is he an actual character).

Overall Rating...

Currently this comic is all over the net (due, primarily to auctions on ebay and other sites), but it is being touted as a Spider-man specialty comic. Nothing could be further from the truth. As stated, Spidey only appears twice in the book (once in a daydream,amnd once on the back cover, and neither time is he an actual character).

If you are a Spidey completist (Hi Pete!) then yeah, go out and snag a copy, just dont pay a load of dough for it, especially when you can simply read the entire comic (in Marvel-style dot.comic, pop-up form by going to www.nyc.gov and reading it for yourself. This link gets you to the main menu from which you can read either story.

Footnote...

This issue also includes cameos of Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four inside the book, as well as a second appearance of Spider-Man in the comic on the back page promoting recycling.

There are six pages of puzzles and games in the comic that do not appear in the on-line version.