Comics : Trouble #1
This review was first published on: 2004.
This story features four young teens - two brothers named Ben & Richard, plus a pair of girlfriends named May and Mary. Ring any bells?
Yep, Marvel would have us imagine this is Peter Parker's mom & dad, uncle & aunt, learning how to do that Wild Thang!
Sep 2003 : SM Spin-Off
Part One really doesn't tax the brain too much. Brothers Ben & Richard are driving in their red Mustang out to the Hamptons, to work in a holiday camp for the summer vacation. Meanwhile, redhead May and blonde-headed Mary are doing the same, heading out on a Greyhound, with a stolen bottle of Bourbon in their bags.
It's a bit hard to tell what decade we're in. My American culture evaluation is a bit flaky, but I'd say we seem to be back in the fifties some time. So attitudes among the camp owners are pretty severe... there's to be no snogging among the staff. Well, that's too tragic, 'cos all the teens are horny as Rhinos on heat! Ben & May seem to hot to trot, and ditto Richard & Mary.
So, after a day of being hassled by the patrons, the four of them head off for some midnight skinny-dipping, and then back to their rooms for a bit of hide-the-sausage. Ben forgot to bring his condoms, but that's OK, 'cos May is loaded with 'em. But Mary just wants to talk! Aww... poor Richard, looks like he got the one that won't put out!
Firstly, no, I didn't miss out part of the story. Really, that's all that goes on. Yeah, there's a bit of puerile stuff about the guys on their waiter shift spitting into the food of the rudest patrons. There's a spot where the nasty camp owner is left holding a bikini top, which he needs to explain to his uptight wife. But really, there's nothing in this.
Secondly, please don't even TRY and tell me that this is supposed to be a story about Ben or May Parker, or Mary or Richard for that matter. The history of those guys as teens is very clearly laid out in a number of past stories. Ben has been clearly established countless times as being MUCH older than Richard. While Ben and May were dating, they were forced to take their younger brother Richard with them.
Furthermore, May's first love wasn't Ben, it was Johnny Jerome, as shown in Spectacular Annual #4. Look, just believe me, anybody who has read Spidey back issues can see that this story is never gonna fit into any classic Spider-Man continuity. For those interested in the real background to May Parker, you should also check out "The Web", a backup story from Amazing Spider-Man #370.
So it's not Peter's folks - which is one heck of a relief! Because frankly, seeing "Aunt May Parker" naked, with a sheet draped around here ready to jump onto "Uncle Ben Parker" would be... just... disturbing. It would be like running across a 1950's girly magazine with a photo of your grandma on the cover. It's just not right.
Given that, I really have to judge this comic on it's own merits. And hey, while I'm no teen anymore, I really don't think I'm that old and past it. And I say this story sucks. There's no depth, no chemistry between any of the characters. There's no gags, no message, and there's not even any really steamy artwork to make up for it. Nah, this is just L.A.M.E.
Just flag this away. Go rent American Pie on DVD... or Porky's for that matter... or American Graffiti, if you can remember back that far! As pop coming-of-ages stories go, this one blows. One lousy web.