New Reviews of Old Comics
Typically not many collectors are going to pick up something with “Free with the purchase of Aim®” splashed across the cover. Also, when something says “Exclusive Collectors’ Edition” that’s a sure sign something isn’t worth collecting because it’s either lame, over-produced or both. Something like this is perfect for Bargain Comic Reviews; I go into it expecting it will be a total joke, but with the hope that maybe it’s a diamond in the rough. You never know unless you give these oddball comics a try.
Pleasant surprise number one appears on the first page when I find out “In the Grasp of the Green Goblin!” was written by Marv Wolfman, with Alex Saviuk handling the art. Marv Wolfman? Seriously? This guy is one of the all time great comic book writers and he wrote a toothpaste giveaway? Maybe this won’t be so bad after all. The story opens with J. Jonah Jameson threatening Peter Parker to take his nephew, Randy, to the dentist, or else he’s fired. Although he’s not keen on babysitting, Peter does like his job, so it’s off to the dentist. Elsewhere the Green Goblin is hatching a plan that involves stealing a new dental laser. In an odd coincidence, Randy’s dentist is also the designer of the new dental laser. You see where this is going, right? Yes, the Goblin kidnaps the dentist while Randy is in the middle of his exam, with Peter lurking nearby. Cue extended fight scene. Actually for most of this issue Spider-Man is outwitted and beat down by the Green Goblin, but never quite enough to finish the job, of course, otherwise this would be an entirely different title. In the end Spidey figures out that Green Goblin needed the laser to steal gold and silver that was donated to help people in poor countries fill their cavities, but winds up stopping him during a fight scene at a dental exhibition. Eventually Randy gets to finish him exam where he finds out he has six cavities. Clearly this kid does not use Aim® toothpaste as part of his regular brushing routine.
As it turns out, that first pleasant surprise was the only pleasant surprise for this comic; even the considerable talents of Marv Wolfman couldn’t make a story centered around dental health all that interesting. Saviuk’s art was decent for the target audience, and actually had some very good spots like where drone Goblin Gliders are chasing Spider-man and exploding around him. This was exactly what one would expect from a giveaway comic tied to a toothpaste purchase; an OK story interspersed with points about dental health. I look at it as this could have been a hell of a lot worse than it actually was. Also, since this was essentially an ad for Aim® there were no ads meaning this was a solid 32 pages of comic book story, even if it was kind of mediocre. I guess it was worth a dollar. Kind of.