Spidey Super Stories #5
Marvel/The Electric Company (February, 1975)WRITER: Jean Thomas PENCILER: Winslow Mortimer INKERS: Mike Esposito & Tony Mortellaro ART DIRECTOR: John Romita EDITOR: A. J. Hays
Only three stories plus a look at the Vulture (who is the villain of the first story) and Spider-Man’s Spider Sense, plus a broken up tale in which Spidey goes to Fargo North to decode a message from J. Arthur Crank asking for help getting out of a sewer but for some reason he scrambled the words “Throw me a web”. I admit I don’t remember Crank well enough to recall if that was a thing with him.
The first story, “The Wings And The Web-Slinger” has the Vulture on another crime spree. Peter convinces the cops (who for some reason just happen to be in JJ’s office) to go with his plan to lure the Vulture in, but when Vulture is ready Spider-Man is hiding in wait for him and defeats him. This could almost be a regular Spider-Man story if not for the length and easy read dialog in a kids comic.
“Spidey Fights Dr. Fright” is credited to Tom Whedon as the episode adaptation for the issue but I can’t find anything about this character besides the comic appearance. (And yet he does sound familiar.) Doctor Fright is so scary to look at that anyone who sees his face freezes in fear, so he keeps his face under a really large top hat to surprise his victims. (Don’t ask me how he sees through that thing, there are no eyeholes.) Spidey uses a broken mirror (which Fright made someone drop when frightening him) that he freezes himself, freeing his other victims. It’s your typical Electric Company villain. I just wish I could find evidence that he was.
The Shocker shows up in the final tale, “The Shocker!”. The villain is out to steal the prize cup at a music contest Peter is attending with Mary Jane and Kathy of The Electric Company is taking part in. And with lyrics like “My name is Kathy, Kathy is my name” the only reason she wins is by helping Spider-Man stop Shocker (and saving Spidey from a fall) by connecting one of Shocker’s gloves that Spidey managed to get off of him with her electric guitar, which boosted the power because kids comic. It’s not that great a story and while it makes Kathy look cool it doesn’t do Spidey any favors.
As an adult you only buy this comic for the unintentional humor in these comics (you’ve heard of the Thanos Copter, right?) or as in my case the nostalgia factor. It works on those grounds since today’s kids wouldn’t know any of the characters except Spider-Man and maybe his other characters.