Greetings and salutations! It’s time for a new Fabulous Find and this week I’ve pulled out an unusual one. It’s dated 1977 and it’s The Amazing Spider-Man Golden All Star Book published Golden Press, copyright Marvel Comics Group and Western Publishing Company.
This 59 cent comic sized publication is written by Mary A. Mintzer and it is illustrated by Alden McWilliams. I’ve never heard of either of these two people, and as far as I know, they have no ties to Marvel Comics. McWilliams art is pretty compatible with the Spider-Man comic book series. Take a look at his cover for this one shot publication:
The book contains three separate stories, all written by Mintzer. Their titles are; “The Captive Crowd”, “Aunt May’s Crusade” and “The Taking Of Manhattan Isle!” As I said the art is pretty nice but the stories, well, that’s another thing entirely! Mintzer takes liberties with the Spider-Man cast, as she sees fit. For example, she has a raven-haired Mary Jane Watson working at the Daily Bugle as a reporter! Peter Parker is still a photographer, but appears to be employed full time.
Peter and Mary Jane are assigned to cover a story at Yankee Bean Stadium(???) where there is going to be a rock and roll concert and a speaking engagement by a man ministering to the youths of America. The name of that man … Egg Foo Yung. Really? Egg Foo Yung? And his two able bodied assistants; Egg Drop Stoop and Won Ton Dupe! No I am not kidding you! Plus he’s got a body guard named … 3X Moo Shu Pak! I mean, that’s reason enough to stop reading right there!
Needless to say, this is an out of continuity story and obviously has nothing to do with the Peter Parker/Spider-Man found in the comics! But back to the story. the Reverend Egg Foo Yung has arranged a free concert and has corrupted the youth of America to be his army! He’s arranged to have the concert held in a domed stadium, where the sons and daughters of the most powerful industrialists will attend. His plan is to fill the stadium with poison gas unless the parents give in to his demand to hand over 51%, or a controlling interest, in their companies!
Of course, Spider-Man comes out on top, but not through heroics, as he’s actually too late to save the day, but because of an electrical fault that frys Egg Foo Yung!
The other too stories are equally as bad. The second one features Aunt May forming a protest group to protest charges for women’s public toilets. And that group’s name? … F.L.U.S.H. which stands for … For Leaving Unlocked Sanitary Habitats! But her group receives so much money they become a target for S.C.U.M., Society For Cutting Up Men! This group has killed an artist by the name of Handy Battleground, by shooting him 75 times! And of course, Spider-Man is blamed! Wow, when has Spider-Man ever used a gun? And to shot someone 75 times! How many times would that gun have to be reloaded? Ultimately Spider-Man is determined to be innocent and is pardoned, so everything ends well.
The third story at least features a villain we’re all familiar with, Doctor Octopus! In this story the city of New York has run out of money! Well, in this day an age we know this can actually happen, so Mintzer may have had something on the ball, she just ought not to be writing Spider-Man stories! So what does the city do? Why they borrow the money they need to keep operating from none other than … yep, you guessed it, Doctor Octopus!
Somehow this enables Doc Ock to legally own Manhattan! No really! That’s what Mintzer wants her reader to believe anyway! I know that when we read comic books we are to suspend our believe in the real world and just immerse ourselves in this fictional world, but Mintzer just goes to far out there for me to follow her blindly! Anyway, that’s where Spider-Man comes into the picture. And he, of course, beats up Doc Ock, but then what does he do? He threatens to kill him unless he signs the city back over.
Well this just has gone to far! Spider-Man threatening to murder someone? Sure, Ock is a bad guy, but Spider-Man, a hero, doesn’t go around threatening to kill people! Really? And this was marketed to children via Golden Books? Didn’t Western Publishing read this before they published it? Didn’t Marvel Comics read it before giving their okay for using Spider-Man?
I’m flabbergasted by it all! Needless to say, this book isn’t for children, or it shouldn’t be! And it sure isn’t for the comic book fan either! I don’t remember when I picked it up, and truthfully, before pulling it out for this Fabulous Find, I don’t think I ever read the thing. But if you want a truly unusual Spider-Man collectible, you’ll want to pick this up. You can readily find them on eBay at reasonable prices.
Thats all for this Fabulous Find but please check back next week for a new RETRO REVIEW. Be seeing you …
I’m flabbergasted by it all!
Hilarious, stuff, Greg! For the record, Al McWilliams is a very respected Golden and Silver Age artist–listed in Overstreet for decades. He drew a lot of the better illustrated Gold Key TV/film-based comics as well as various romance comics and sci-fi newspaper strips. Quite a varied career if you’re interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_McWilliams.
I do have to ask though, are you getting paid per exclamation point? Seriously! It! Can! Be! Annoying! LOL
Yikes, Mike, I didn’t realize than Alden McWilliams was Al McWilliams! Don’t know why I didn’t make that connection. Shame on me. Sorry, but I tend to talk in explanation points, so I tend to over use them, I guess. I’m trying to make a real effort to use them less, but this Fabulous Find was so out there, that I had no choice, I tell you, than to use lots and lots of them! I’ll try harder in the future, really.
I have this exact comic book. Any ideas on selling or holding onto it? 🙂 Michelle
Hi Michelle. This is not one of the rarest or most valuable of Spider-Man collectibles, so I doubt anyone would pay all that much for it, but as with any collectible, it’s worth what someone will pay for it. Golden Books were marketed towards children and this book is pretty much clearly in that mold.
Checking eBay, shows that there are numerous copies available for less than ten dollars currently, so I don’t think you’ll be able to retire on the profits from this book, so I’d say keep it and share with the next generation.
The name “Handy Battleground” was a takeoff on Andy Warhol, something that it took me years to figure out. And the whole SCUM thing apparently was tied into the fact that Warhol was once shot and wounded by a radical feminist who wrote a book called the SCUM Manifesto.
Thanks for providing the additional background, on “Handy Battleground” and “SCUM”. I had no idea that it had any connection to Andy Warhol. All I can say is; WOW!
And the mystery of one other name cleared up. “Mendacity Capon, famous author.” That’s supposed to be Truman Capote. (“Mendacity” meaning lying the opposite of being “True” etc.)
Eric, where do you keep finding these revelations? I find them very interesting, just wondering about your sources? Thanks for sharing!!!
You’re welcome! I have to admit they’re strictly after all these years a slow “comes the dawn” realization. Some of these pun-name parodies were very obvious to me even as a child (“Walter Gesundheit” – Walter Cronkite) but I didn’t catch the “Handy Battleground” thing until I read about what happened to Warhol and then it became easy to break down the hidden pun in the name.
Capote was tougher but that I realized stemmed from the fact that Capote was a frequent talk show guest back in the day.
I have yet to crack the mystery of who “famous politician Pricey Satin” was, but will post if I ever do figure it out! 🙂