Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Reader's Diary #1127- Adam Blaustein (Writer), Jim Craig (Pencils): The Amazing Spider-Man/ Dead Ball

It's yard sale season once again, much to the enjoyment of my wife Debbie. Me? I like yard sales in principle, but I usually feel let down. I'm all excited to go out a find some rare books or CDs to add to my collection, but find myself sifting through electric kettles with frayed cords and size 40 skinny jeans trying to find something, anything to make getting up at this ungodly hour pleasant. Then, because I'm determined to make this fruitful, I buy a board game I vaguely remember as fun from my childhood but now either it sucks or there are pieces missing or both. So, I rarely go any more.

Luckily Debbie still enjoys it and occasionally returns home with a gem like this one: a Spider-man comic from 1993 featuring... the Montreal Expos?!

For my non-Canadian and/or non-baseball following readers, the Expos were a Major League Baseball franchise from 1969 to 2004 when they abandoned ship and became the Washington Nationals. Why in the heck did a Spider-man comic feature the Expos? It turns out that in the early 90s, Spider-Man was caught holding up a Tim Hortons and was forced to do a series of PSAs about drug abuse, bicycle safety, and honesty. While others in the series were set in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Toronto, this one sees Peter Parker on an assignment for J. Jonah Jamieson to cover a story about a bicycle safety contest winner who got to meet the Expos. Because you know, that's the kind of thing New Yorkers would pay good money to read about in the Daily Bugle. Mary Jane Watson shows up for a modeling gig, and while it's not explained (but I suppose it must have been a story line in Spider-Man comics at the time), she brings along Norman Osborn's son. When Norman Osborne (aka the Green Goblin) catches wind of this he strikes this ridiculous pose

and takes off to Montreal to seek revenge. There, he throws pumpkin bombs at the Expos, throws pumpkin balls at some kids on their bikes (because he's not a total monster-- and did you catch that they were wearing their helmets?), and of course Spider-Man who manages to put a stop to the insanity, but not capture the green menace.

Oh yes, it's quite bad. But enjoyable in that. I've wanted to see how Spidey would do in a field, with no high buildings to swing from, and would have gotten to see it too, if it wasn't for the rafters in the stands that provided a nice anchor. The old ads were fun to look at and the sheer Canadian cheddar cheesiness of it all was worth the 25 cents.

3 comments:

Nicola Mansfield said...

Cool! That explains why I was always coming upon the issue where he's at the Calgary Stampede when I lived in Calgary! Always wondered what was up with that.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

So much awesome in one little comic book! Keep sending Debbie out to yard sales.

John Mutford said...

Nicola: I've not seen that one, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that they put Spidey in a cowboy hat for at least one panel.

Barbara: If not actual merchandise, she comes back with some interesting stories. Recently she saw someone selling a Kate Winslett/ Leonardo diCaprio Titanic t-schirt for $100. They had written "collector's edition" on it. Apparently it was all a big joke, but it had caused a lot of head scratching. Are these people out to lunch? Is there an autograph on it somewhere? What gives? It would have been sweet had they actually made the sale.