I have to start with this because I just love this theme song.

No no, the obligatory Spider-Man cameo is supposed to happen in issue #3!

Sledge Hammer #2 (FINAL ISSUE)

Marvel Comics (March, 1988)

“Illegal Weapons”

WRITER: Jim Salicrup

PENCILER: Alex Saviuk

INKER: Sam Delarosa

COLORIST: Evelyn Stein

LETTERER: Rick Parker

EDITOR: Don Daley

Sledge gets an early Christmas present when a woman falls on the roof of his car. It’s not one he wanted, nor is he happy Spider-Man is the culprit. Things get worse for him when Ollie Naught takes over temporarily as part of Police Commissioner Schmissioner’s new anti-corruption plan. What’s worse is they took away Sledge’s most important possession…his gun. With Captain Trunk as his new partner and Doreau assigned as Naught’s secretary, our heroes learn the goal was to silence Prison Warden Warden (that’s not a typo) about the actual corruption Schmissioner and Naught are a part of, as is the fake Spider-Man, who tries to kill them. Faking their deaths (remember when comic stories were this long in a single issue?) they learn that the Warden’s daughter (the car roof girl from earlier) is still alive and also part of the plan. Our heroes are taken prisoner but manage to win (as seen in one of my old Friday Night Fights) and Sledge gets his gun back in time for Christmas.

What they got right: For the most part the comedy of the original series is properly translated for the comic, and even using elements Marvel readers would know as part of the jokes, like how Spidey was in the black costume at the time but here “Benny The Bald Bruiser” is using the traditional outfit. There’s some good action and the story itself played with the “Iran Contra Hearings” that was going on at the time without being overtly political. Even if you agreed with Oliver North’s actions you find the use funny.

What they got wrong: Not every joke works, and a few are really dated. (One in particular uses a theme from a deodorant ad from the time that people who were around at the time might not remember. If I hadn’t read this comic numerous times over the years starting from when it first came out I’d probably be one of those people.) The Mary Hart/Entertainment Tonight gag is used in the story very well but the Three Stooges themed crooks robbing a Christmas tree stand (this does take place around Christmas) and a few others just feel like unnecessary additions. You could even make the case for the Oliver North reference. They don’t really add to the story. And yet they didn’t lean into the “Lethal Weapon” parody title and the Trunk/Hammer pairing…which in some ways is also a plus.

What I thought overall: I’d like to see the other issue they made and wish more issues were done. This was right in line with the show, which I also highly recommend, and worth checking out if you were a fan of the show.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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