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Comic Book / Spidey Super Stories

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Spidey Super Stories is what happens when you take the kid-friendly, often wacky adventures of Spider-Man from The Electric Company (1971) and turn them into printed material. Several stories were based on segments from the show, but there were many original stories as well, using established Marvel villains and characters. The comic ran from 1974 to 1982.

Spidey Super Stories was made to appeal to younger readers, and is most often remembered for hilarious scenarios, derivative plots, and a slew of original characters, most of whom originated from the TV show. The comic is notable for having the first appearance of a Spider-Woman in any Marvel continuity, with Valerie of the Electric Company taking the role years before Jessica Drew.

Also, this is the series where the infamous Thanoscopter came from.

This is not to be confused with either Spidey or Spidey and His Amazing Friends.

These comics provide examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Oft-mocked Spidey foe the Kangaroo beats Spidey up no less than three times in a 5-page story, only losing because he stops to explain his origin which lets Julie bonk him on the head.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Almost every established Marvel villain suffers from this, but it can't get much worse for poor Thanos than to be arrested by the police after accidentally dropping the Cosmic Cube.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The backstories of guest characters and/or villains are compressed into a four-panel page with around six or seven lines of explanation, so Ice-Man and Storm are just explained to have been born with a strange/special power and Hank McCoy is just a scientist who was turned into the Beast because of an experiment gone wrong.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The comic runs on this trope (even by the already incredibly-loose standards of regular comic books), leading to scenarios like the entire Grand Canyon being full to the brim with garbage, a toddler climbing the Statue of Liberty and reaching the tip of the torch, and Dr. Doom's Star Jaws attempting to eat the Earth.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A surprising amount of the Electric Company-based comics end this way.
    • Spider-Man successfully defeats Mr. Measles, but contracts the measles himself.
    • After defeating Dr. Fly and his hot dog stand of doom, Spider-Man is told he needs a permit to operate a hot dog cart and is given a court date.
    • When battling the Queen Bee, Spider-Man stops her poisoned bees but she and Fang get away.
    • Spider-Man manages to stop the Wall from ruining a baseball game, only to get thrown out for disrupting it.
  • Bowdlerise: Patsy Walker was known as Hellcat by the time Spidey Super Stories #39 came out, so the comic used her older, more kid-friendly alias of The Cat instead.
  • Canon Foreigner: The Electric Company characters and villains originated from the TV show, not the comics.
  • Easy Amnesia: Spider-Man loses his memory in issue 21 when he runs out of webbing and falls head-first onto a piano. A bonk on the head from J. Jonah Jameson restores his memory.
  • Evil Knockoff: Web-Man, a Palette Swap version of Spidey created by Doctor Doom in issue 25.
  • Freak Lab Accident: The infamous Wall was turned into a sentient brick creature through one... sort of. He wasn't actually running experiments that day, just fixing the wall of the lab after school, and then the wall fell on him in an unexplained explosion. Apparently, merely having a regular accident in a lab is enough to give you superpowers.
  • Goo Goo Getup: Spider-Man dresses as a baby to capture the Sitter.
  • Just for the Heli of It: #39 features the Thanoscopter (a yellow helicopter with Thanos's name written on the tail). Why does Thanos need a helicopter? Well, are you going to tell him he can't have one?
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: 9 times out of 10, when Peter is able to have fun with Mary Jane he has to blow her off to become Spidey.
  • Narrating the Obvious: Provides the page image, and was a feature of the comic in general, as both the characters and the caption boxes frequently stated the obvious.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Several reviews of the stories had to clarify that off-the-wall villains like The Thumper, a girl dressed up like Napoleon Bonaparte with a boxing glove weapon, actually happened.
  • Poke the Poodle: Mad Scientist's plan in "The Beastly Banana!" is to mind-control Paul the gorilla into washing his socks.
  • Race Lift: On the show the Thumper was African-American, but in the comic she's white.
  • Recurring Character: Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel is Spidey's most frequently-recurring ally and they often work on the same news stories together.
  • Shout-Out: The cover of issue 16 is a reference to Jaws.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Star Jaws combines A New Hope and Jaws by having Dr. Doom pilot a space station whose goal is to literally eat the Earth.
  • With Friends Like These...: Mary Jane spends most of her time being irritated at Peter for blowing her off when he needs to change into Spidey, with moments where they do get along being few and far between.