Rapid-Fire Al

Here, in rapid succession, are a number of items I wanted to discuss that have lost some of their punch because I let too much time go by. They are presented in Marvel Bullpen Bulletin style just for the heck of it.

Item: Did anybody pick up the Marvel Silver Age Trading Cards that came out a year or so ago? There were 135 total cards, with the first 100 detailing various highlights from the birth of the Fantastic Four to the death of Gwen Stacy. In addition, there were six Silver Age Tributes to Jack Kirby, nine Alex Ross salutes the Silver Age cards, nine Silver Age Heroes cards, and nine Silver Age Autographs (I got Sal Buscema). Of interest to Spidey fans are: #6: the Burglar (AF #15), #12: Spider-Man Wanted (ASM #1), #16: the Vulture (ASM #2), #19: Doc Ock (ASM #3), #21: the Sandman (ASM #4), #24: the Lizard (ASM #6), #27: Electro (ASM #9), #33: Mysterio (ASM #13), #34: the Green Goblin (ASM #14), #35: Kraven (ASM #15), #56: The Final Chapter (ASM #33), #63: Goblin Revealed (ASM #39), #64: Mary Jane (ASM #42), #67: Kingpin (ASM #50), #91: Death of Captain Stacy (ASM #90), #93: Goblin Drug Issue (ASM #98), #96: Four Arms (ASM #100), #97: Morbius (ASM #101), and #99: Death of Gwen (ASM #121). In addition, there is a Spidey card each in the Jack Kirby, Alex Ross, and Heroes sections. If anybody has one of the Jack Kirby Spidey cards with which they are willing to part, I am definitely interested.

Item: The Washington Post, on December 5, 1998, reported on the capture of a thief that the police dubbed 'Spider-Man'. Some excerpts from the article by Sue Anne Pressley: He did it without ropes or hooks or any climbing tools, relying on the sheer power of his muscles. For more than four years, he scaled the luxury waterfront condos from Cocoa Beach to Miami Beach, surefooted and sly, hoisting himself from balcony to balcony, slipping in through the unlocked sliding doors and helping himself to the fine jewelry he found inside. He was partial to diamonds and gold... He was never violent. If he happened to surprise someone at home, he retreated silently, quickly, a ghost who disappeared over the terrace railing.

The tallest condominium he breached was on the 30th floor; 10 floors was a routine evening climb. Now the suspect police say is Spiderman, Derrick James, 33, sits in Dade Circuit Court, his orange jail coveralls replaced by stylish suits. (Attorneys) say police have no fingerprints, no witnesses, and that the fuzzy figure caught on videotape leaving the Bristol Towers the night in question could be anyone. But police say they found the jewelry missing from the Bristol Towers condo. Police say one fact also satisfies them that they have the right man: Since James's arrest in June, not one more Spiderman-like burglary has been reported. Anybody have any follow-up to this story?

Item: I stumbled on this item in a Bullpen Bulletins from a comic cover-dated February 1989: As three million volunteers around the country prepare for UNICEF's annual Halloween fund-raising campaign, they're wildly excited to have the full support of the ever-amazing Spider-Man! That's right - - the wondrous web-slinger has been designated National UNICEF Day Safety Chair. In this distinguished new role, Spidey will deliver important Halloween safety tips on nifty posters and bookmarks designed by the ever-talented John Romita, and visit special sites in Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Puerto Rico, where he'll personally help collect money for millions of needy children overseas.

I know it's now about 12 years after the fact but I was wondering if anyone has any details on this. Anybody own the posters or bookmarks? Anybody attend any of these events? Let us know!

Item: Marvel and Graphitti Designs have re-issued almost all of the t-shirt patterns advertised and sold back in the 60s. Jack Kirby's FF, Thor, Hulk, and Thing 'It's Clobbering Time' silk screens are here as are the classic Ditko Spider-Man and Spider-Man logo prints. (But, why no re-issues of Sgt. Fury and Sub-Mariner? Come on, guys!) T-shirts come in XL and XXL. Also being sold are t-shirts featuring classic scenes from early Spidey. Released so far are Spidey vs. the Sandman, Vulture, Kraven and Spidey hanging from his web, all by Ditko, as well as Spidey escaping prison by Romita. More to come, I hope.

Item: Speaking of Ditko, there was a bit of a rumble in the pages of Time Magazine when Stan Lee was described, in the November 16, 1998 issue as the 'creator of Spider-Man'. This prompted a rare letter from Ditko, in the December 7, 1998 issue, claiming his rightful role as the co-creator of Spider-Man. The issue of Steve Ditko's creator credit deserves a much greater discussion than this small item but, let it be noted, that, while Marvel does not officially give credit to Ditko, Time Magazine, in its February 14, 2000 article on Stan's cyber comics, referred to 'The Man' as 'the co-creator (emphasis mine) of the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Parker's alter-ego, Spider-Man'. Way to go, Time! See, Marvel? It's not so hard. Repeat after me... 'Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko...'