Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Published in 1974, this tie-in to Spidey's appearances in the kids' TV show The Electirc Company is very much an introduction to Spider-Man for new readers.

The inside front-cover has a mute monochrome one-page strip entitled the WONDERFUL WORLD of WEBBING......OR, HOW SPIDEY SLINGS AND SWINGS! It's all about, nah I'll tell you later.

The main colour strip is Spider-Man is Born! by Jean Thomas and Bill Effros, with art from Winslow Mortimer and Mike Esposito. This is basically a retelling of how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, but simplified for a young audience. Uncle Ben's murder is not included.

As I read this tonight, of course I nerdily wanted to believe that this account was still canon with the original. Maybe these brief lines of dialogue potentially fit in-between scenes in the original origin strip of Amazing Fantasy #15, however I don't have a copy of that to hand to check if Parker was wearing the same clothes or not.

And you have to admire a strip that teaches young kids words like radioactive!

Spidey Signs Up! is another origin story of sorts, explaining how Spider-Man came to join the cast of The Electric Company.

Next up is the start of Spider-Man's many team-ups with Easy Reader. And you'd need to be into reading to make it through a title like SPIDEY in A VERY SHORT COMIC BOOK AS SEEN ON THE ELECTRIC COMPANY! SPIDEY meets the SPOILER. The Spoiler, as his name suggests, was driven by spoiling things, occassionally by talking to the reader.

He reminds me of a young Adam West
This was an adaptation of one of the TV spots.

Next up is Help! I'm Spider-Man!, based on a story by Byron Preiss, and featuring Duane from the Short Circus getting to be Spider-Man for a day. Unfortunately, Electro and the Vulture show up too.

The inside back-cover is another black-and-white one pager - The Secrets of Spider-Man's Mask. That's about... well, maybe I'll tell you that later too.

And the back-cover is an ad for the ongoing series.

(review of issue #2 here)


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