King Size Spider-Man Summer Special #1 in Review

“Hey Kids! This Doesn’t Suck!”

Now that I’ve covered Amazing Spider-Man Family #1 all up-close n’ personal, let’s turn our beady fan eyes towards the beefy opus that is King Size Spider-Man Summer Special #1. And as before, I won’t be holding back with the hot button Spider-Man opinions. Life’s tough, kids. Wear a cup. Okay, here we go!

Mortal beings may tremble at the terrible possibilities this beast which men call King Size Spider-Man Summer Special #1 represents. It’s not as massive in size as Amazing Spider-Man Family #1 (which I reviewed a couple of days ago) but you could still smack a hippie with it. Even more importantly it doesn’t have that same BND printing error in it! Nosiree, fans – this one’s BND free!

And really it tells you on the first page of the issue in giant letters – that all the stories inside are completely continuity free. How sad is it when a Spider-Man issue comes out and has to have a disclaimer about how it’s not relatable to any of the existing alternate Spider-Man universes, be it real ASM (which is now in fact dead), that Brandnewverse stuff or the Ultimate universe. These stories are ‘Neutral’ and there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Well except for you diehard Mary Jane haters – you’ll be let down by this. But no one will lose sleep over your salty, angst-filled tears.

Minor Spoilers Below!

Three large stories make up this $4.99 summer extravaganza. Starting the issue off is Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover’s excellent “Un-Enchanted Evening,” telling a tale of epic naughty as the Enchantress seeks to spread mayhem amongst some of Earth’s cutest heroines. A very BND-free Mary Jane leads a large cast here, saying “Night night” to Spidey as he goes out on patrol and landing smack-dab in the middle of the Enchantress’s no-goodery. Patsy “Hey, I killed myself!” Walker (aka Hellcat), Millie the Model, Marvel Girl, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk and Clea eventually help Mary Jane shut down the magical mischief being woven by Asgard’s hottest evil blond chick.

So why is this potentially my favorite Spider-Man story from this year? Well because it’s fun. And because of Coover’s artwork, which is very… well, again… fun. I love her stuff in the same way I enjoy Darwyn Cooke or Mike Allred’s work, and Tobin’s dialogue is as witty and snappy as Statler & Waldorf when they go back on their meds. Tobin & Coover also follow their lead story with a delightful two-page “Fat Spidey Kid” story. It’s kind of like Mini Marvels, though Spidey looks more like Chunk from ‘The Goonies.’ And I wanted it to be longer than two pages, damnit.

Keith Giffen and Rick Burchett thrill us next with another story-that-never-happened, this time involving Spidey and the Falcon, who unfortunately looks more like Kurt Busiek’s ultra-lame Triathlon character here. Giffen has the Falcon raise an interesting point to Spider-Man here regarding the baddies he stops (which I won’t go into here) and the writer also has a good handle on the smart-ass side of Spidey’s personality.

To put this issue in bed with a smile Chris Giarrusso brings his Mini Marvels out to play, showcasing Spider-Man and Venom as competing newspaper delivery boys working for that bastardly Old Man Jameson. Unfortunately for our two heroes (or more correctly one hero and one psychopath who is made out to be a hero) the Green Goblin and Harry are out to make them look bad. Giarrusso’s take on Venom, showcasing the one-dimensional aspect of the symbiote, had me cackling like Amy Winehouse with a bottle of chloroform.

LIKES: The mammoth hippie-smackin’ size. Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover’s “Un-Enchanted Evening” and “Take a Seat.” Mini Marvels from Giarrusso, which is never unfunny.

DISLIKES:That Marvel doesn’t give us more fun, goofy, BND-free Spidey stuff in general.

RATING:4 out of 5 Webheads. It loses a point for only having two pages of the short chunky Spider-Man kid.

Tell ‘Em George Berryman Sent Ya!

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