Spidey Super Stories #31

Background

A long time ago (the mid-to-late 70s) in a galaxy far, far away (the twisted depths of the writer's head)...

*cue the opening bars of the Star Wars theme that every male in the Western world will hum with the slightest provocation, even in the middle of open-heart surgery*

STAR JAWS

Spidey Super Stories
Episode XXXIII

A New Hilarity

It is a dark time to be
a Spider-Man fan. Amazing
Spider-Man has just introduced
us to the mind-numbing abomination
that is Rocket Racer. Spectacular Spider
-Man has given us Razorback, destined to top
lame superhero lists for centuries to come. The
Spider-Man live-action TV series is about to convince
millions of people that Spider-Man is about as cool as
root canal surgery. And over in our oft-ignored corner of
the Spider-universe, the evil dark overlord of Spidey Super
Stories, new writer Kolfax Mingo, in a desperate bid for a plot,
decides to rip-off the most beloved film of its time. The story he
writes proves so hilariously bad it still causes permanent laughing-based
spleen injuries. Many people today still remember it well, usually along with
several other repressed childhood traumas they recalled through the use of extensive
hypno-therapy. Need to fill space until end of line... LaLaLaLaLaLa.... *breathe* LaLaLa

Story 'Star Jaws'

That's right, folks, I thought in honor of the release of Star Wars Episode II: We Just Got Our Ass Saved By Some Clones, I thought I would do a review of Spider-Man's one and only interaction with the Star Wars Universe. In fact, it's so big and wonderful, it actually takes up the entire issue! It's the only Spidey Super Stories to do so, out of all 57 issues. Written by my favoritely-named human being whom I did not actually make up, Kolfax Mingo, it was probably the first ever Star Wars comic besides the official Marvel Star Wars comic. It dead-seriously stars:

Spider-Man as Luke Skywalker!
Moondragon, the bald mental priestess as Princess Leia!
Marvel Boy (the real old boring one... no, the one even older than that) as Han Solo!
Paul the Semi-Intelligent Gorilla as Chewbacca!
Sam, the Sesame Street Robot as R2-D2!
Because of budget cuts, once again, Sam, the Sesame Street Robot as C3PO!
A bunch of junior high dropouts as Alien Cantina Dwellers!
Doombots as Stormtroopers!
and (not to play the obvious disfigured-facemask-wearing-magician-overlord card or anything) Dr. Doom as Darth Vader!

So the epic begins, not in a blinding desert wasteland, but rather the wasteland that is Peter Parker's love life, which is just as empty and depressing, but much harder to look at. It's midnight, the full moon is out, and Mary Jane has driven Peter out to some deserted log in the middle of a forest to try and have some quality make-out time with him where no super-villain crisis can interrupt. Peter's got his arm around her (well ok, it's more like she grabbed his arm and placed it on her shoulder), and...

Peter thinks, "Spidey won't bother us tonight!"
Hahahahahaha. That's rich, Peter. I'm dying here. Yeah, sure this'll be different than the other 756 dates where you had to ditch MJ to become Spidey. I think maybe you secretly send out press releases to Doc Ock and Dr. Doom and the rest of your rogues gallery. "Attention! Peter Parker will be out on a date with Mary Jane tonight, now is the perfect time to unleash your latest villainous plan! Spider-Man'll be distracted and uncomfortable, and if you act now, you get ten-percent off the severity of your next beating! FREE with this limited time offer! Please God, don't make me kiss a woman!"

But old MJ's layin' on the lovin' pretty thick...
MJ: *bats eyes* Oh Peter, isn't this a lovely night?
Yeah sure, if you like being devoured by werewolves. Haven't you two ever seen any horror films? Odds that if two teenagers go deep into the woods to make out on a night with a full moon, their severed and indigestible heads will end up hanging from a tree by their intestines? 87%. Odds that they'll be decapitated by a crazed woodsman/hockey player/resurrected childhood pet instead of devoured by werewolves? 12%. Odds that Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute will walk out of the forest and assail them with his haunting melodies? 0.1% Any way you slice it, it's a grim prospect. Why isn't your parent's car (or in your case MJ, parent's trailer home) a good enough make-out spot? It's worked for thousands of too-horny-to-bother-with-romance teenagers for generations.

But so far, no super-villain has come to save Peter's neck and lips from Mary Jane's amorous attention. You'd think Peter was allergic to girls the way he avoids kissing her here.

Mary Jane: *trying to stare into his eyes... REALLY hard now* Alone... at last!
Peter: *closing his eyes tightly* Uh, just the two of us.

So after a panel of staring dreamily into Peter's eyelids, Mary Jane gets fed up with the lack of action, and grabs the back of Peter's shirt and pulls him in for the kiss. As soon as his lips come within a foot of hers, Peter suddenly realizes, "Oh! My Spider-Sense is talking!" Yeah, try not to act so relieved.

So Peter and MJ are sitting there on the log, he's being pulled in for the kiss, and a spaceship chooses that exact moment to crash into the other end of that log. And no, not just a tiny escape pod or something, no, it's a twenty foot rocket that just crashed there directly from orbit. When it slams into the Earth it creates a crater fifteen feet across and a giant fireball that incinerates the log and ten nearby trees. The comic shows all this. The comic also shows that after the rocket has crashed three feet from them into the same log (Mr. Sound Effect: CRASH!) Peter then grabs Mary Jane and they run away, only to look back and see the crater and the fiery inferno. Someone's a little unclear here on cause-effect relationships. I just don't buy the rocket hitting the log, then taking a ten minute coffee break while Peter and MJ run away, then creating a giant fireball and crater right where they stood. This would rapidly put firemen out of business if you could just tell the fire to shut up and wait while you decided which of your Milli Vanilli CDs to save.

But this is the kind of thing that happens to Peter all the time. He doesn't even comment on the weirdness of this or how their date was interrupted yet again even in the middle of an Appalachian forest at midnight (and not by werewolves, either). You know, it seems the closer he comes to actually kissing Mary Jane, the bigger the emergency that interrupts them. Last time, they just held hands, and the Hulk destroyed a carnival. Maybe Peter's just afraid that if he actually managed to kiss her, leaning over would trigger exponential seismic tremors that would grow into a tectonic plate chain-reaction, sinking the Eastern seaboard. God knows with this comic it could happen.

*Peter is dragging Mary Jane back to her car*
Peter: It could be an attack from space! You better go for help!
*and now this is the dedication that all men would sell their souls for - or at least, their wives' souls*
Mary Jane: *holding Peter's sleeve* But Peter, it's just a tiny rocket.

What, MJ? A possibly hostile alien spaceship just crashed into your make-out spot, nearly killing you, BUT YOU STILL WANT TO GET IT ON? You're trying to convince Peter it was probably just some tiny rocket invasion force, hardly worth the bother, they don't have to leave right NOW, do they? I mean, wow MJ, but an alien invasion is not exactly like hearing Dad's car pull up in the driveway and still kissing for another minute. It's not even like your Dad finding you and Peter naked in his bed, smoking his cigarettes, telling him you're pregnant, and still wanting to get it on. This is a potential alien freakin' invasion here. You know, Earth enslaved, people treated like cattle, All Hail Mighty Monnggorr, Overlord of a Thousand Galaxies, that sorta thing.

But let me tell you, if I was Peter and Mary Jane had said that to me, I'd have to hope Velcro had been invented by 1977. Because I wouldn't have time to bother with buttons and crap when getting MJ out of her clothes as fast as possible. If the woman wants me so bad that making out with me is about ten levels above saving the Earth in her priorities, and she doesn't care that it's in the middle of a burning forest, I'm not one to argue. I can tell you that from previous making out and forest fire experience.

So what is ol' loverboy Peter's response to MJ's desperate plea that, "it's just a tiny rocket?"
He says, "Don't argue, MJ!" and shoves her into her car without even giving her a hug. (Yeah, she even drove his virgin ass out there. Damn!)

I just don't understand. The super-villain attack has already happened, he's got a moment to breathe, so odds are low that kissing her now will destroy human civilization. Maybe Peter is somehow unaware of the golden opportunity before him. If Mary Jane had braces and acne, never combed her hair and smelled vaguely of used motor oil, I can understand maybe not kissing her. But seeing as how she's an incredibly sexy redhead who wants you so badly she doesn't even care if she becomes an alien sex slave, you should at least give her a "goodbye - hope we both survive the alien assault" kiss. (Those are always the best kisses...) I don't know what your freakin' problem is, Peter.

Peter: Go! There may be more coming!
MJ: *in one of those word balloons that is actually drawn with dripping icicles - she's that mad* Okay Peter, I'll go.

And as MJ drives off (I hope she booty calls Harry), Peter thinks, "Well, another date with MJ ruined. I hated to do it!" My ass you did, Peter. I'd think you were gay if I could believe that any self-respecting gay man would wear horribly clashing colors like fire-engine red and navy blue out in public. Speaking of which...

Peter rips off his own clothes (try again, dumbass - too late!) and changes into Spidey. He wanders off over to the crashed spaceship. Out comes a robot, that near as I can tell, is made from a shopping cart, a weathervane, and two ping pong balls with pupils and eyelashes painted on them.

Spidey: It's Sam, the Sesame Street robot!
*Sam starts spinning around wildly, flailing his retractable arms*
Spidey: Are you ok, Sam?
Mr. Caption: The crash shook Sam up!
Sam the Robot: I must find Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Man!
Spidey: But I am Spidey, Sam!

Look, Spidey, along with never seeing any horror films, you've obviously never seen a sci-fi film, either. Because when an insane, malfunctioning robot drops down from space chanting someone's name, even if it looks like a robot you know, you do NOT admit you are this person. Because do you know what the next three words out of its cold, metallic mouth are? 'Cause I do. It's "KILL! KILL! KILL!" That's right. Malfunctioning robots always want to kill people, especially the ones they're looking for. This was basically the plot that created the B-movie Sci-Fi industry. Anyone see Forbidden Planet? Insane killer robot, said everything three times. Lame Disneified sci-fi The Black Hole? Insane killer robot, called after its victims by name. Last year's bomb Red Planet? Insane killer robot they thought was friendly. *sigh* Somebody needs to get this man some pop culture. STAT.

But, against all laws of conventional probability, Sam manages to stop malfunctioning spontaneously (yeah sure...) and when Spidey asks how he got into the rocket, we jump into a six page mega-flashback.

First, we get the origin of Moondragon, and you know this is going to be good, because the title is dead seriously "She's Bald and She's Beautiful!" Hehehehe. I hope someday my origin story is titled "He's Hairy and He's Handsome!"

So before we start, you should know that Moondragon always dresses in a green one-piece bathing suit, a green Dracula-style cape complete with giant starched collar, and medallion earrings big enough to deflect small-caliber bullets. She also has eyebrows pointy enough to hook fish with. And yes, she is as bald as the day she was born. So Moondragon has the all sex appeal of a polished bowling ball, only her figure's somehow less attractive. If such a thing is possible. And this is who we get to play Princess Leia. (I would apologize to Annie Lennox and that Sinead O' Connor, but I do think they're hideous.)

So back in her origin (Moondragon's, not Sinead O' Connor's), some mutant gila monsters(?) are attacking a New Mexico trailer park(?) (Hey - even I couldn't make this up) when Moony stumbles by. She uses her "mind-force" to create a "wall of flame" to scare the mutant gila monsters away. Then the grateful trailer trash kids come over in awe.

Trailer-Trash Girl: How did she do it?
Moondragon: With the Force, of course!
*this must be before George Lucas copyrighted the word "Force" along with "Star", "Wars" and the rest of the 179th International Webster's Dictionary*
Trailer-Trash Guy: Wow, she's the smoothest!
Now, I think that was probably a bald joke the writer intended to make, but I can't ever be sure. With this comic, the line between intentional and unintentional humor is blurrier than my vision after downing a pitcher of Margaritas with a barbiturate chaser.

So to begin the bad Star Wars analogies in earnest, here in the flashback Sam the Sesame Street Robot goes for a ride in Moondragon's spaceship. And despite the fact that she owns a real-life spaceship, (though as we'll see later, practically everyone does) the best she can do for entertainment on a Friday night is to give crappy little robots a space joy ride. Hey, just give me a call. I may not be able to look at your hideousness, but a free ride in space, Hell Yeah, I'm up for that. I'll even let you feel my biceps if you stand behind me.

Anyway, Moony and Sam detect a strange signal from behind the moon, and because she sure as hell doesn't have any more urgent social engagements, they decide to check it out. And they find a "giant space station, as big as a planet!" It's round and grey, big trench around the middle (sounding familiar?), and it's not just planet-sized, as we'll see later it's actually more like twenty times the size of the earth.

Now, I don't know how good your Astronomy is, (if you're like most people, you think it's a fancy type of sausage) but I'm an Astronomer, and let me tell you, it's pretty tough to hide a space station twenty times larger than Earth right behind the Moon, which is about one-quarter Earth in size. See the dilemma? It's like when I'm playing hide-and-seek with my two-year-old cousin Luke and I hide behind a sock. Luke, he can (usually) find me (hey, he's only two), but not one single damn scientist or poet in this whole world noticed that the moon had a giant metallic halo at least ten times its normal size. I guess everyone's so embarrassed to live in the Spidey Super Stories universe they don't even look up or make eye contact anymore. I would be.

So Moondragon and Sam try to rocket away from the giant space station, but a big pincer claw reaches out to grab them. Apparently the concept of a "tractor beam" (BTW - that's one weird ass word, if you think about it for too long) is just too difficult for the kiddies to understand. So instead they have some giant crane claw come out, just like some kind of prize game at a bowling alley, and grab Moondragon's ship. I can hear my x-girlfriend now. "Oh, but I wanted the RED spaceship with TWO engines! You'll just have to try again!"

So the ship gets captured, and the Doombot Robots burn a hole in Moony's cabin door and start attacking en masse. Sam tells Spidey, "We fought hard", which I think is being a little over-generous. Moondragon fought hard, we see her pick up one of the Doombots, twirl it over her head, and throw it into the others. Hey Moony, you know, that was sweet, now maybe I'll even let you give me a back massage. Meanwhile, Sam is using one leg made out of a desk lamp to "STOMP!" on the feet of some of the Doombot ROBOTS, which I'm sure causes no end of problems with the care of their METAL ROBOT TOENAILS. Except that they don't have any, duh.

So eventually Moony and Sam succumb to overwhelming numbers and their own stupidity, and the Doombots capture them right as Dr. Doom makes his grand appearance on Moony's ship. Now, I don't exactly remember what Darth Vader's first line was (something about plans or throat-crushing, probably), but I'm betting it was nowhere near as cool as this. Dr. Doom takes one look as Moondragon and says, "Lock-up time, Baldy-Locks!"

Heh. You know, I think the writer meant that to be funny, and I have to admit, it almost, almost is. So I'll just leave that one without further comment. Except to say that the next bald person I see is definitely getting a "Baldy-Locks" sign taped to their back. Heh.

Moondragon tells Sam to "take the escape rocket and find Spidey!" The escape rocket, oddly enough, is about 3/4 the size of Moondragon's regular non-escape rocket. Where exactly she stored that on board, I couldn't say. Anyway, Sam runs over to it, Doombots chase after him, Dr. Doom shakes his fist impotently, and Sam gets in the escape rocket and blasts off, right through the SWINGING HINGED DOORS in the cargo hold. Just like those slatted doors in a country western bar, they just open right up when anything pushes on them. Now, I'm no aeronautical engineer, but I'm thinking that's a bad design for an airlock, if you want to not asphyxiate every time a ship docks at your station.

So then I guess the Spider-Man genetic tracking device standard in all spaceships locked on or something, because Sam rockets from the Moon to the Earth and tracks Spidey so efficiently he almost crashes his rocket directly onto Spidey's head as we've already seen. Damn, I don't even think the U.S. military has THAT kind of precision. It'd be a scary world if they could drop pennies or something directly on any specific person's head from orbit. Hmmm... maybe that's why the U.S. Government keeps pennies in circulation... hmmm... hey, building your own conspiracy theory is fun!

So the flashback finally, mercifully ends before I can order its execution, and we return to Spidey and Sam outside of the escape rocket and burning forest. Suddenly, three more spaceships come by, but they don't suck as bad as Sam when it comes to landings, and so they just hover there. Then they dump out a bunch of Doombots. And by that I don't mean the ships land and the Doombots walk out. And it's not even like they let the Doombots jump out one at a time with a parachute or something. No, these ships just open their cargo holds and like thirty Doombots plummet to the ground in a massive tangle of robot arms and legs. Sure, Dr. Doom went to evil graduate school for five years to get his Evil Mechanical Engineering PhD, and from his European country the size of a large Winnebago he can easily build a space station bigger than the Earth. (No mean feat, if you think about it.) But he must have skipped class they day they taught the difficult concept of "ladders."

So Spidey punches some of them metal Doombots (Mr. Sound Effect: SLAM!), then he shoots his web at one of their spaceships and crashes it into the ground by pulling with his Spider-strength, and then he sees more -- Wait, what the hell just happened? He smashed a frickin' spaceship into the ground by tugging on it like a big steel kite? Uh, since by definition these ships can accelerate fast enough to escape the Earth's gravity... that would mean that Spidey would have to be so strong that every time he did a handspring he could launch himself into a lunar orbit. And hugging Aunt May every night without killing her would be like a grizzly bear on steroids trying to hug an inflatable woman named Marge. Uh, not that I know any inflatable women. Certainly none named Marge. Uh... you should probably just ignore that.

So more Doomtroopers randomly fall out of a spaceship, and Spidey's on the ball this time and just webs them all up while they're lying in the big confused pile on the ground. But he just can't resist telling the robots, "to go have some net on your nose!", possibly because Spidey was dropped on his head as a baby. A lot.

So now we return to the Fatality Spheroid or whatever, and learn Dr. Doom's master plan, which he conveiniently tells Moondragon for ease of stopping him after she escapes. Of all the Spidey Super villains, Dr. Doom's plans always have that special something that some people might call "vision". I just call it a "fanatical devotion to mind-boggling idiocy". You can just tell Dr. Doom really, really wants to conquer the world, and will stick with his plan no matter what. If Dr. Doom was an adolescent girl from the suburbs, he would have spent years constructing elaborate fantasies about marrying Justin from N'Sync. He's got that same psycho-obsessive way where he'd endlessly revise wedding guest lists with the various N'Sync members placed at farther tables depending on what they said about Justin in last month's TeenBeat magazine. He'd know not to have both Justin's cousin and half-sister as bridesmaids because they still fight about her career as an insurance investigator. And Dr. Doom would throw a week-long crying and sulking fit after his Mom told him he couldn't really marry Justin in which he'd spend his time constructing elaborate running-away-to-follow-the-band-because-Justin's-the-only-one-who-understands-his-pain scenarios.

Unlike many of the villains in this comic, Dr. Doom's (probably) not an actual adolescent girl, but he still spends years constructing these detailed, insane plans he's absolutely convinced will conquer the world for him, no matter how many damning logical flaws they have. He refuses to give up hope and follows through on them no matter how bizarre. Like in this instance:
Dr. Doom: Nothing can stop me!
Moondragon: What are you up to, square eyes?
*You know, you're like a cosmic dictator now, you don't have to take that crap anymore. Especially from bald women. You can afford to kidnap girls with hair to insult you.*
Dr. Doom: When we reach the Earth, I'll pull this switch.
*Do you see this switch? This one right here. Yup, right here is the Earth ending switch, ok? Are you sure you see it? Pay attention, you'll need it to defeat me later! OK then, if you're sure.*
Dr. Doom: Then my Star Jaws will eat up the Earth!

And then in the next panel we see Dr. Doom's hopeful vision of the future, as he pulls the switch and the giant space station suddenly splits along the equator, revealing hundreds of pointy teeth the size of France. We can see that his "Star Jaws" is mostly hollow inside. And then his "Star Jaws" floats over to take a bite out of the Earth the size of the Pacific Ocean. He's not being metaphorical when he says "eat the Earth". No, he actually has designed a massive space station with the sole function of chewing the Earth into Luxembourg-size pieces.

O-kay... and in the immortal words of the Tick Animated Series, "You can't eat the Earth! That's where I keep all my stuff!" Um, yeah, Dr. Doom, you still kind of live there. You even have your own country and stuff. Are you sure you've thought this through? Wouldn't, like, your peasants be mad if they were devoured by a giant metal space station? And I guess you'd conquer the world, but the world would be little asteroidal chunks that would continuously slam into each other in the belly of your monstrous space station, so virtually the entire population of Earth would be dead. If they weren't already dead from being sliced up by hundreds of Kilmanjaro-sized teeth. And if they survived the oceans of lava spewing out of the Earth's core.

So yeah, I guess you'll be the proud undisputed dictator of a bunch of uninhabited floating rocks. If that's what you really wanted, we already have a whole asteroid belt just waiting for someone to come along and conquer. Why do super-villains (and Dr. Doom is far from the only culprit here) seem to equate CONQUERING THE WORLD with DESTROYING HUMAN CIVILIZATION FOR ALL TIME? They're really not the same thing at all, trust me. In one case, you get to lord it over all humanity and have Carmen Electra be your personal servant. In the other case, you get to lord it over whatever single celled organisms may have survived your holocaust and you have to get your beverages yourself. I've just never understood how one could be content going from building mind-control disco balls for world leaders to playing genocidal Space-Pacman with the Earth.

And wait, if you start thinking about it in a desperate-hack-writer-trapped-in-the-70s context, doesn't this whole scenario sound familiar? Giant grey thing glides along in airless environment, hundreds of pointy teeth rip and tear humans (or human civilization) to shreds? Mid-1970s? Star Jaws? That's right, now you can read this story as either a Star Wars adaptation or a Jaws adaptation! Sadly, after careful (and extremely painful) re-reading, I actually think the author intended it that way. Since Jaws is such a happy kid-friendly movie anyway, I guess he thought he'd capitalize on shark mania and Star Wars mania in the same story! The revised cast list stars:

The 'Star Jaws' as the Shark!
Spider-Man as that sheriff guy!
Marvel Boy, so boring he hasn't even shown up yet, as that oceanographer who's trying to get into the sheriff's wife's pants guy!
Moondragon as the grizzled sea captain!
Sam the Sesame Street Robot as harpoon number 3!
Dr. Doom as the shark's infected gall bladder!

Does anyone else realize how stupid it is to have a single comic story try and adapt two completely different movies simultaneously? I would say it makes the plot incomprehensible, but hell, this is Spidey Super Stories, I can't really tell the difference anyway. Now all we need is Moondragon covered in buckets of pig's blood and hey, maybe we could work in a Carrie adaptation too! I think then we'd have the trifecta of famous mid-70s genre films. All in one idiotic story! Just wait for the movie! Jaws biting Luke's arm off! Darth Vader taking Carrie to her prom and then all hell breaks loose! Sorry... I'm having too much fun speculating, I should really stop.

So way back in the shuddering, pale and limpid thing known as 'the story', it's time for... ANOTHER tedious origin page! Gah!

Mr. Caption: Marvel Boy - He's Out of this World!

So the Marvel Boy we're talking about here is the crappy one from the 1950s, and his only appearance in the real marvel universe is when the Fantastic Four fought him after he went insane and killed a bunch of people in some kind of religious crusade against investment banking. I'm dead serious. Then he killed himself. Out of the whole wonderful menagerie of cosmic characters in the Marvel Universe to choose from, how we got this idiot as our Han Solo, I'll never know. He wears some nancy-boy costume with a big blue cape, a shirt with the Imperial Margarine logo on it, and the tightest little Speedos you ever saw outside of gay erotica. He also has wanky magic bracelets.

Mr. Caption: They call him... Marvel Boy!

Yeah, I'll bet they do call him that on the credits of his 'straight-to-video' movies. Anyway, three crooks run out of a bank holding bags labeled "$10,000" (apparently, the bank managers thought the ones just labeled "$" weren't specific enough). Marvel Boy shines his "light of justice" or some crap, it shoots out of his magical bracelets and permanently blinds the crooks. Then the cops show up to take the now handicapped crooks away to get their prison-issue helper monkeys, and Marvel Boy runs over to his spaceship that he parked next to the bank, and rides off into the night to the cheers of the random passerbys. ("You did it again, Marvel Boy! He's a MARVEL!")

So yes, Marvel Boy has the fantastic power to terrorize you with his fashion accessories until you go blind. I'd just like to remind you, I do not make this stuff up.

Mr. Caption: And now, on with our story... Part Two: Marvel Boy to the Rescue!

So we see Marvel Boy, and his faithful companion Paul the yes-I'm-pretty-dumb Gorilla sitting at a tough outer space cantina filled with giant space fleas, just like Han and Chewie in Star Wars. The resemblance ends there.

Marvel Boy: I'll have another glass of milk, please!
Frog-Waiter: Only babies drink milk, punk! Are you a baby?

Damn, that's some unfriendly service. The really pathetic thing, though, is that the Frog-Waiter is carrying around a bowl of chocolate ice cream and a milkshake for other patrons. So it's not like everyone else was doing Everclear on the rocks in this cantina. But Froggy STILL thinks Marvel Boy is an incredible wuss for ordering milk and tells him to his face. And he's a giant frog. And Marvel Boy just takes it. I'm just trying to emphasize that while Han Solo is pretty much the epitome of bad-ass masculinity in the known universe, Marvel Boy is about as masculine as the illegal love child of Mr. Rogers and the Pink Teletubby. I think Mother Theresa would make a tougher Han Solo than this.

Frog-Waiter: I don't like your face, kid!
Marvel Boy: I think we'd better go!

ARGH! You've just been insulted twice by a FROG, and now you have to run away?!? This frog-waiter guy is like three phyla below humans on the evolutionary ladder. Its so sad. Marvel Boy shouldn't be allowed to play an Ewok, much less the most rockin' space pirate in the galaxy.

So Marvel-At-My-Wussiness Boy gets up and starts walking out of the bar, when Frog-Waiter grabs Marvel Boy's shoulder, totally (and righteously) convinced that he could take Marvel Boy with one slime-coated arm-like appendage tied behind his back, just for the hell of it.

Frog-Waiter: *pushing Marvel Boy* Not so fast, fink!

Now that he's been pushed out of smacking range, Marvel Boy cheats and shoots out his auto-blinding ray from his shiny magical bracelet, causing Froggy to be blinded. After he's good and blind and stumbling around, THEN and only then Marvel Boy punches him. Our friggin' hero, maybe for a challenge next time he can blind a legless midget with his magic beams and take him on in Greco-Roman wrestling.

But wait, the Frog's head flies off, and we see that he's not really a Giant Frog who went to Intergalactic Rude French Sommelier School. He's actually an actor, and this entire space cantina scene has been one of those insane movies that Rita the Director's always making. Why is she making movies where obnoxious Space Frogs refuse to serve Milkshakes to Gorillas and junior high kids dressed like oversized fleas lurk menacingly in the background? Do you realize how insane that last sentence sounded? If you think that's whack, then imagine that you're Rita, and you actually wrote a script involving a scene like this, and then you tricked someone into INVESTING money to produce this film. I can't decide whether to euthanize her or elect her president.

And she even got a 'real' (non-Spider-Man) super-hero to star in this cataclysm of a 'movie'. I guess Marvel Boy had already blinded all the dangerous criminals in New York and had nothing better to do. I just don't understand how all these people who own friggin' spaceships HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH THEIR LIVES. Moondragon takes robots out on dates, and he stars in Rita's back-alley straight-to-fetish-video movies. Aren't there some planets or something that need some exploring? Some satellite emergency? Hello?

Before we leave Frog Guy altogether, I should point out that this guy is shown in the next panel being carried off stage by some extras, shouting "ARGH! I can't see!" He's permanently blind, screaming, and rolling around, and all Rita the Director says is, "You hit him too hard, Marvel Boy!" So word to the wise: if anyone ever asks you to play a giant Space Frog in their movie, that means no one gives a damn what happens to your lame ass.

Marvel Boy then gives his heartfelt apology for handicapping this poor guy and then smacking him around.
Marvel Boy: Gee, I'm sorry! *sheepish grin*

So after Frog Guy is hauled off stage, presumably to be disposed of in some kind of dumpster and/or car compacting junkyard, the Electric Company kids put back on their Space Flea costumes in preparation for "the big fight scene". Rita then grabs the nearest phone, and without dialing or anything she shouts into it, "We need some more extras right away!" and slams it down. You have two choices in what to believe she's doing. Either A) her movie 'studio' which consists of her Mom's garage and some cardboard furniture can afford to have it's own dedicated phone line just like Batman and the president, or 2) she's just desperately pretending to be important by shouting at the dial tone and everyone else just humors her.

Spidey and Sam suddenly come running in, and Rita of course mistakes them for the extras she just ordered from the dial tone (or maybe the please-hang-up-and-try-again lady), although her hand hasn't even finished slamming down the telephone. Now that's service! I spent a few hours telling the dial tone to send me international money orders and one-way tickets to the Bahamas, and then slamming down the phone, but all I got for my trouble was an FCC violation.

Rita: Right. After the big fight, you four will run into Marvel Boy's spaceship.
Spidey: But we are being chased by real robots!
Rita: Great. Save it for the camera.

Does anyone else get the feeling Spidey could have just told her, "But we're being chased by your dead grandmother! Who, by the way, passed away yesterday! Sorry!" and she still wouldn't have blinked? You know Rita, you really should listen when Spider-Man warns you about something. Not only does he have mountains of experience with robot chases, he even has a danger sense to remind him how dangerous things are if he forgets or gets distracted hitting on Junior High girls. While you, Rita, have a second-hand beret and a paper megaphone with your name on it.

So chaos ensues as the Doombots break onto the set to chase Spidey. Rita yells "Action!", because apparently she thinks there's room for 50 rampaging robots in her space bar scene. Real tight script she has there. In fact, Rita keeps telling the Robot Horde that they're doing great, only to maybe "not smash the set" so much. Rita deserves to be eaten by robots. Marvel Boy runs up to one of them, and they smack him (Mr. Sound Effect: BLAM!) in the chin and then ignore him, even robots can detect how lame he is. Can you imagine Han Solo being floored by one slap from a Stormtrooper?

But after various robot mayheming, Spidey, Sam, Marvel Boy, and Paul, who is so bored he hasn't even busted out his Gorilla Charades Act yet, all run over to Marvel Boy's spaceship, which we can now see has transformed into : the Millennium Falcon! Or at least a non-copyright infringing lookalike.

Then after six pages of robot fighting (and not the Battlebots kind, either), the Doombots shoot yellow disintegration beams out of their foreheads at our heroes. They all manage to miraculously miss as villainous death rays are wont to do. Now, I don't usually design hordes of robot flunkies, so I'm not sure I'm qualified to criticize here. But Dr. Doom, if you've bothered to give them all forehead-based death-rays like some pack of angry Hindu Gods, you should let them USE their damn forehead rays. Spidey wouldn't have had the chance to wreck like fifty of them if they'd busted out the death rays right away. That's fifty fewer robots you'll have for next month's Broadway production of "CATS" (to be performed on the lava-covered asteroid that used to be Broadway).

As they look back at the trashed movie 'set', Spidey makes the astute observation that: "Those robots are bad actors!" Well, they probably also make a terrible stir-fry, but that still has nothing to do with the fact that they're killer robots trying to kill you with their death rays. If they were really actor robots who just happened to become deranged and were trying to kill you, then I might accept that assessment as not quite so stupid.

So they all run into the Millennium Falcon, the robots think real deadly thoughts at them, but they fly off anyway. The Doombot spaceships are all now conveiniently parked right outside the movie 'studio', and they're now also coincidentally shaped like enormous pieces of Key Lime Pie, which I guess makes them look like shriveled Star Destroyers or something. Not only does everybody and their gorilla own a damn spaceship, they all own magical shapeshifting spaceships that always look like Star Wars vehicles! That sucks, I am way more deserving than these idiots. Anyway, this time the ships decided to LAND instead of making the robots jump at them as they flew overhead, and the robots climb in and give chase.

It's semi-semi-exciting outer space battle time. The Star Destroyers, each smaller than the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and yet holding fifty robots apiece, give chase and shoot out some "ZAP" beams. The Falcon dodges, they're shot at again, they dodge again. Woo-hoo. Paul the Gorilla and Sam the Sesame Street Robot have time for a game of Tic Tac Toe during this biting-my-nails-into-bloody-stumps-its-so-darn-tense chase scene. If I were Marvel Boy, I might be pissed they were scratching out Tic Tac Toe boards on my gleaming spaceship walls. Of course, if I were Marvel Boy, I would have long since killed myself - although I probably would have failed because of his genetic wussiness.

So Spidey shouts "Dr. Doom's robots are catching up, hurry!" So Marvel Boy moves a little lever on his ship from "FAST" to "FASTER" all the way to... *wait for it... waaaaaaait for it...* "FASTEST". And the ship goes zooming off at light speed, (Mr. Sound Effect: WHOOSH!) leaving a nice pink and orange exhaust trail stretching all the way back to the Earth.

Dr. Doom gets a panel in here where he sees the Falcon rocketing (at light speed) towards him and cackles, "Well, look who's coming for dinner!" I hope he's being ironic. Because let's take a second and imagine Dr. Doom trying to feed someone, say, Lasagna. Normally, with Lasagna, you have three choices. There's the good meaty kind (Mom), the oily kind where they use CHEEZ and yesterday's meatloaf but no sauce (school lunches), and then that Vego-crap with spinach and other wet leaves (x-girlfriend). And while that's pretty deadly itself, I see three other possibilities for Dr. Doom's Lasagna.
A) The Lasagna will dissolve on contact with stomach acid, releasing a slow-acting poison, which Doom will tells us about, and then tell us the only antidote can be found in the wine we just drank. He will then proceed to laugh maniacally.
B) The Lasagna will claim my intestines in the name of Lasagna everywhere and set up an embassy, and give me diaharrea if I refuse to eat its friends and co-workers seeking asylum from Olive Garden.
C) The Lasagna will rewrite my genetic code to match it's own. This will allow Dr. Doom to absolutely rule a world of semi-sentient Lasagna people who are always licking each other. This has always been a dream of his.

So back on the Antediluvian Peregrine or whatever, Spidey's saying "Hurry up, we've got to save Moondragon!" What, light speed is too slow for you, Spidey? Well, so sorry, go beat the crap out of Einstein if you're so upset about it. Or better yet, God.

So Marvel Boy aims his spaceship right at the Star Jaws, but he sorta forgets that you can't just throw the emergency brake when you're going lightspeed. So "they can't stop in time" and are all set up for a swift but messy bug-on-windshield-style death, but the Star Jaws is polite enough to open its jaws instead and "swallows our heroes". Of course, instead of being trapped in an airless void larger than the moon like they should, in the next panel they're in the exact same Death Star docking bay that the real Millennium Falcon got tractor beamed into. Well, except for the hot pink docking bay walls, I don't really remember that.

Doomtroopers come onto the ship and search it (which strangely enough, now also has hot pink walls). Now apparently "Searching" is right up there with "Remembering they have Death Rays" in Doombot ability, because they forget to look in the 'cockpit' before they yell out, "The spaceship is empty, master!" Jeez, who would ever think people would be in a cockpit? Wow, that's just craziness.

In fact, Sam the Shopping-Cart Robot and Paul the Gorilla have scratched out a new Tic Tac Toe game while they wait. But this time, Sam has decided to cheat. He's already got 4 "X"s on the board, while Paul only has 2 "O"s. Hmmm... you're a two-foot robot made out of things found in a 1977 Radio Shack dumpster, and you're blatantly scamming a 400 pound Lowland Mountain Gorilla so you can feel superior at Tic Tac Toe. I... just don't know what to say to that.

Then it starts getting weird. Spidey and Marvel Boy each grab a Doombot and punch him in the face, which knocks them into unconsciousness. Man, these are just the crappiest robots ever. *sigh* Then they rip out all the robot innards and climb into the robots' outer shells, which handily includes a fliptop face with eyeholes. Good thing the robots were just their size, not a lot of alteration you can do to an immobile metal suit. Not to mention it's filled with countless pointy connector things from where you ripped out all their circuits. Then I guess(?) they rewelded the suits over themselves, because they come out looking exactly like two Doombots and leading Sam and Paul, telling Dr. Doom that they've "caught two of them!"

They are just _relentlessly_ beating the Star Wars plot points into this story, even if they don't make a lick of sense. And then they skip all the good stuff, like making Moondragon kiss a giant slug. Wait, wrong installment. Wait, I don't even think Jabba the Hutt would kiss her to punish her. That's just punishing yourself.

After he sees the two prisoners, Dr. Doom says, "Lock them up over there!" nicely pointing our heroes in the direction of the cells where Moondragon is held. He ignores the little moans of pain as every step digs metal shards further into their shins. If the villains didn't help them so damn much when they needed it and ignore them at all the right times... I'd be out of a job faster than George W. Bush's personal grooming assistant.

Now, Dr. Doom already showed us some of his mad decorating skillz by painting the Death Star landing bay the same color as Barbie's Dream House. But it gets even worse. On the way to the cells, we can see that all the Death Star corridors have wooden paneling running the length of them. And what's more, Doom's painted them all mustard yellow. That very specific shade of yellow that along with burnt orange and sea foam green is only ever found in relics of the 1970s. Just think about that for a sec: The Death Star has the same wooden paneling you'd find on the side of a Ford Station Wagon from the mid-70s, but Dr. Doom decided to go that extra step and paint it a 'hip' new color. Heh.

So they mosey over to the cellblock, which has no door on the hinges and a bare orange lightbulb screwed in above the empty doorframe where the word "CELLS" is written with magic marker. The prisoners 'break free' and overwhelm the robot guards, mayhem ensues, they learn where Moony is being kept, see the movie if you want the highlights (or actual entertainment). They get the key to her cell, which is a skeleton key of the kind you routinely see Scooby-Doo using to open forbidden doorways in old decrepit mansions. I get the sense that maybe Dr. Doom ran out of money for things like locks and lights after building the important parts of the Earth-eating space station. I mean, Jesus, he can't even afford a screen door for his cellblock. I can afford screen doors. I just choose not to.

So they find Moony in her cell, she's about ready to punch them out when Marvel Boy takes off his cannibalized robot head and says, "we've come to save you!" Then they all run off, Moony doesn't even bother to say hello to Spidey or Sam or thanks for the rescue. So she's stuck-up AND bald AND can read your mind, I'll bet she hasn't ever had a date with someone not actually in prison. The robots find them again and suddenly remember their Hindu Death Rays, the heroes all run away back towards their ship... except for Spidey. Spidey valiantly stays behind to fight the robots. This is good, he's got a lot of experience. But he decides the best plan when fighting robots armed with forehead lasers is to stand perfectly still, and wait til each robot runs up near him, and then web their feet to the floor. (Spidey: That should hold you, heels!) So then they can stand and fire their gleaming foreheads directly at Spidey, rather than trying to target him while running. Great plan! He does this like five times, so there's five robots standing there firing at him, and though he should be more like Swiss-Cheese Man by now, Spidey just laughs and runs away. Seriously, I think these have to be the absolute crappiest robots of all time. This is even worse than that damn "A.I." movie, where they didn't have death rays or anything.

Meanwhile, in a particularly insane panel, Moondragon, Marvel Boy, Paul and Sam have made it back to the Millennium Falcon and are climbing aboard. But for some reason, the Millennium Falcon doesn't have a cargo ramp like in the movie; it has an escalator instead. That's right, as the robots keep firing the four of them are all calmly arranged single file, holding the handrails, waiting for the 12-foot escalator to ponderously propel them. Even stupider, the escalator doesn't even take them into the ship - it takes them to a ladder attached to the landing gear that they then still have to climb to get into the ship. So the purpose of the 12-foot escalator ramp seems to be to raise them two feet so they can easily step onto the ladder without dirtying their knees by 'bending' them. I think Marvel Boy should maybe invest some money in a new wardrobe before building handicapped access ramps to his spaceship's landing gear, but that's just me.

Spidey runs through a tunnel with wood flooring (painted mustard yellow), and then through a different tunnel with wood flooring (this one painted burnt orange). Still on the Death Star, yup. Spidey rounds a curve and "Uh-Oh!" Dr. Doom is waiting for him with a lightsaber. Would anyone like to guess what color his lightsaber is? You? Yes, that's right, it's HOT PINK. So then Dr. Doom swings his hot pink lightsaber at Spider-Man and the sound effect is: "SWISH!" Aggh! Does everything in this story have to be so damn fruity?

Spidey dodges the lightsaber swing. He then notices a spare lightsaber hanging in a lightsaber trophy display on the wall in this random corridor next to the docking bay. The writing beneath it is too small to read, but I imagine it says, "In Case of Cliched Duel, Take This". Spidey grabs the bonus lightsaber, turns it on, and starts dueling with Dr. Doom. (Mr. Sound Effect: CLASH!)

Mr. Sound Effect is really starting to piss me off. So far in this story the effects we've had are: CLASH! SWISH! SWIPE! BLAST! SLAM! and CRASH! Look buddy, those aren't even sound effects. Those are frickin' VERBS. They already have a function in the English language, and it sure as hell ain't making noise. I don't know who hired you, Mr. Sound Effect, but you are the absolute worst member of the Spidey Super Stories production team. (Now that's an insult!) Well, except for maybe Mr. Colorist. Here you're trying to adapt a movie with some of the best sound effects of all time. This should be butt-lickin'-easy, George Lucas has already done all your work for you. But instead of lightsabers humming and crackling, we get SWISH! Instead of a giant explosion, we get CRASH! And when Marvel Boy-Toy shoots light out of his magic bracelets, we get the oh-so informative noise, BLAST!

Anyway, Spidey (who, by the way, also has a hot pink lightsaber) and Dr. Doom duel for a while, and then Spidey gets the drop on Doom and cuts his head off. Or at least, that's what SHOULD happen, since Spidey whacks Doom directly in his metal noggin with his lightsaber. But no, instead it makes a CLANG! noise (Damn you Mr. Sound Effect!) and Doom is just fine in the very next panel. Apparently lightsabers are just like giant metal Glo-sticks or something in this universe. Man, they leave out all the best parts...

So Spidey shouts "Ta-Ta, Tinhead!" and runs over to the Millennium Falcon, takes the escalator, then climbs up the landing gear to the hatch. Here we get the chance to see that the Millennium Falcon also has wood flooring, also colored mustard yellow. 1977 must have been a happy year for people with the inborn fashion sense of albino mole-rats.

So the heroes fly off into space unmolested, and Dr. Doom once again does the fist-shaking-with-impotent-rage thing and has one of the goofiest lines he's ever uttered on or off the surface of the Earth. As they fly away free and clear, he shouts, "So long... suckers!" Ack, I thought a cosmic super-villain dialogue seminar was required back in Evil Graduate School, but maybe that was the same day they were supposed to teach you about 'ladders'.

Moondragon reminds us all that, "Dr. Doom is still a danger!" Oh yeah, that whole damn Earth-eating thing. Yeah, whatever, I guess. But before anyone can stop him, Spidey says "Oh, I have a plan!" And since I already know what his plan is, I can tell you frankly that we all would be a lot better off being eaten by the space station.

So they land the Millennium Falcon in the central courtyard of the Pentagon, and get an immeadiate meeting with all the top U.S. generals, instead of thrown in prison for the rest of their lives without being charged. Marvel Boy storms into the war room and says, "We need one million tons of TNT, general!" I'm sure the U.S. government would be thrilled to give four atomic weapons worth of destructive power to two foreign nationals in capes, a known menace wearing a mask, and a Gorilla. Especially if you don't even tell them what it's for. But the top general just gets a dreamy look in his eyes and says, "Anything you say, Marvel Boy!" What? WHAT? The only way that line makes any sense at all is if the next words out of the general's mouth are "Now ask me for a back massage and my phone number, Marvel *wink* Boy!" Well, it's either that or the Pentagon just loves blowing crap up so much they don't care who blows up what, as long as it looks cool.

So the generals dig out the one million tons of TNT that they squirreled away in the basement of the Pentagon for a rainy day. We see the generals help attach the giant box of TNT to the Millennium Falcon with some bungee cords and wave at them as they fly off, saying "I hope they can save the Earth!" These are like the most super-helpful four-star generals ever. Oh, and guess what color the box holding America's Emergency One Megaton of TNT is? That's right, it's HOT PINK. Apparently there was a fire sale on hot pink pigment down at the print shop or something, because the colorist used it like it was going out of style... oh, wait, sorry, it WAS going out of style twenty five years ago, now it's way, way too late.

So "they put the TNT in space!", detaching it from the space bungee cords. The magical hot pink TNT box grows from being half the size of the Falcon to twenty times its size. Now we get to find out all about their alleged 'plan', and if you had any hope that this comic would somehow redeem itself with an ending worthy of Star Wars, prepare for: disappointment! Maximum speed!

Moondragon tells everyone to shut up because she "must think hard!" And that's not even one of her pick-up lines. I'll let Mr. Caption try and explain what the hell she's doing.
Mr. Caption: Moondragon makes a picture of the Earth with her mind-force!

So around the magic pink TNT box floating in space, which is now approximately the size of Greenland, Moondragon makes a giant illusionary Earth. She couldn't escape from Dr. Doom and his craptastic robots with her awesome mental powers, but she can make illusions 10,000 miles across by just squinting hard. More reasons not to date her, not that we needed any.

Wait, here comes the inevitable Spider-pun, like a half-deformed thing shambling out of the primeval mists.
Spidey: That's using your head, Moondragon!

Jesus, will you shut up and let her think? Re-creating the entire Earth with her well-polished head can't be too easy. Great, there goes illusionary Europe. Happy now?

So the heroes' grand plan, if you haven't guessed it by now, is to get the Star Jaws to eat the fake Earth, and then blow up the TNT inside of it. It hinges on these key factors:
1) That Dr. Doom must choose the fake Earth to eat first. This is VERY important. Even though he watched the fake Earth being created, he has to get all mixed up about which Earth is which and then just go blindly ahead. That's a longshot my grandma wouldn't even take. Dr. Doom may be an idiot, but even he couldn't be that dumb. Right? RIGHT?
2) Dr. Doom must have forgotten to install radar, along with the screen doors, or he's going to notice that the Earth in front of him is, well, not actually in front of him.
3) Dr. Doom must not notice during the multi-hour process of opening and closing the Star Jaws', uh, jaws, that no people are screaming or fleeing and his ship is actually chewing through empty space instead of the Earth's rocky crust.
4) Finally, he has to not notice that Moondragon doesn't have more than the vaguest clue what the continents actually look like. She's missing half of Canada, and her South America is shaped like a giant spermatozoa attached to North America's foot.

But like a true Special Olympic champion vying for the Gold Medal of Total Idiocy, Dr. Doom succeeds beyond everyone's wildest dreams in a way that deserves its own inspirational made-for-TV-movie sponsored by Johnson and Johnson. He actually does all of the stupid things listed above, PLUS a bonus dumb thing I didn't even think of. He doesn't even bother to open the Star Jaws's jaws fully, he just floats over to take a bite of the fake Earth and 5,000 miles of Earth just pass right through his Star Jaws, allowing it to swallow the entire fake Earth without opening its jaws wider than the 'appetizer' position. Ho-hum, Doom doesn't think this is the least bit weird.

Well, he gets what he deserves in the next panel. His entire Saturn-sized (the planet, not the car) Star Jaws blows up from the one megaton TNT explosion, despite the fact that fifty one-megaton bombs weren't enough to destroy dinky little Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific. Uh, *mumble* chain reaction *mumble mumble* electromagnetic forces *mumble* exponents... ah, whatever. The sound effect as the Death Star explodes is, and I quote, BOOM! That is it. I am putting out a hit on Mr. Sound Effect right now. I want the last thing he ever hears to be the actual noise that guns make, just to prove that it doesn't sound like SHOOT! or ASSASSINATE!

So just to reassure us (and the ASPCS-V) that no super-villains were harmed in the making of this comic, we get a final panel with Doom floating in space on a random metal shard, with three of his robot flunkies who are all asking, "What shall we do now, master?" Doom tells them all to "Just shut up!" Well, I don't know about you, but I feel much better knowing that rather than a nice quick flash-fried death, Doom will slowly asphyxiate floating in space just before he runs out of water. Yeah, I bet the kiddies felt a lot better about that.

The heroes head back for Earth and drop Peter off at the Daily Bugle. The first person he runs into is Mary Jane, who I guess spent the night in J. Jonah Jameson's lovin' arms, because once again she's there at six in the morning, despite the fact she doesn't actually work there. She sees Peter and she's still so mad at him she's got the icicle word balloons thing still going.

Mary Jane: I hope you had a good time.
*She holds up the just printed Daily Bugle proclaiming "Earth Saved" with a picture of the detonating Star Jaws*
Mary Jane: While you were playing on the beach, some real heroes saved the Earth!

Wait, what story were you just in? Didn't this story begin in the Appalachian woods? Isn't that where Peter ditched you last night to go fight the alien invaders? Has all the drugs and sex in JJJ's office affected your already not-terribly-impressive brain? Uh, there was no beach in this story, I'm nigh positive, just a bald chick in a swimsuit. Oh, wait, maybe she's still stuck in Jaws adaptation mode and a few wires got crossed. Probably the wires in writer Kolfax Mingo's head, which we have secretly replaced with an Atari 2600! Can he tell the difference?

*circle wipe to star background, get some bright blue text on the screen and...*

Ba-Dum Ba-Dum Ba-Dum Ba-dadada BOM, BOM badada... sorry, that Star Wars end theme is just as catchy as the opening one. Damn John Williams!

General Comments

You know, I think this is the longest thing I've ever written, I just broke the 10,000 word mark right... right... NOW. You can count if you want. I think this may be the longest review of a single 32 page issue in the history of comic reviewing. And I just realized that I've written more words and spent more time on this review than I did on my 25 page Junior research paper on Mongolian Communism. I put more effort into this than I did into graduating high school. Eh, I think it just shows that I know where my priorities are.

Now, having read this review by me, this fact may frighten the holy livin' crap out of you, but I used to teach a class on nuclear weapons at my university. Yup. So I can say with no small authority that A) one megaton of TNT takes up about 2,000 times the space occupied by the alleged TNT box, and I don't think that much exists in all America, much less in the Pentagon basement. (And isn't it such a great idea to have our military leaders sitting on top of enough chemically unstable explosives to make Hiroshima look like a Pop Tart!) and B) one modern nuclear weapon, which we have about 10,000 or so lying around, can do the same job as a million tons of TNT in a space smaller than a Mazda Pinto. I just don't know why they didn't dig out a spare nuke. The generals usually LOVE nukes, all those pretty sunsets you get.

What I really want to see is Sam the googly-eyed Sesame Street Robot go on a violent killer robot rampage and break Big Bird's back across his knee like he's Hulk Hogan. Then I also have this just great mental image of him with blood dripping from his metal jaws, proudly wearing a Snuffelupagus trunk as a cape. Ok, maybe 'great' is a little subjective in that last sentence, but hey.

Did uh, Marvel Boy actually do anything? Besides look fruity and use his boyish charm on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all he did was punch out ONE robot and some actor dressed in a Frog Suit. *ack* But along with his magic bracelets that cause permanent blindness, I bet he has an entire boudoir filled with magical fashion accessories. Magic glitter nail-polish that causes your arms to shrivel up and fall off, magic necklaces that give rickets and/or gout to anyone who touches them, and some magic barrettes that worm their way in thru the ear canal to give criminals an auto-lobotomy. It's the fashionable way to fight crime! If you think 'fashionable' means 'totally gay'!

And did anyone bother to remember that they're still all going to die as a billion billion tons of flaming space station debris rains down on them over the next few hours? Blowing up something twenty times the size of Earth one Earth-length away is not really going to save anybody. Well, whatever, have a nice four hours. Peter, I'd suggest that since the Earth is going to die anyway, getting it on with Mary Jane would at most shave an hour or two off the death of human civilization, so I say, go for it! ... what? *sigh* Yes, Peter, on her LIPS.

Overall Rating

5 webs. I think George Lucas should hire Kolfax Mingo to write Episode III. It can't be any worse than Episode II, and it may have more escalators!