Welcome to another exciting installment of I’ve Got Some Issues. Today we take a look at GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN (AND DOC SAVAGE) #3, a rare crossover between an iconic pulp hero and a Marvel mainstay. I picked this book up thinking “Man, I love Doc Savage AND Spider-Man! This has GOT to be phenomenal!” I couldn’t have been more wrong. Let’s take a look at this classic pile of goo and find out where it all went wrong…
Complete Arc: Single issue: The Yesterday Connection Backup/Bonus story: Duel With Daredevil
Year Released: 1975
Creative Team: Gil Kane – Cover, Gerry Ordway – Writer, Ross Andru – Artist (The Yesterday Connection) / Stan Lee – Writer, Steve Ditko – Artist (Duel With Daredevil)
Heroes: Spider-Man, Doc Savage, Renny, Johnny, Monk, Long Tom, and Ham (The Yesterday Connection) / Spider-Man and Daredevil (Duel With Daredevil)
Villains: Dessina (The Yesterday Connection) / The Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime (Duel With Daredevil)
Notable Quotable: “That there’s Doc Savage, and a better friend than him a policeman will never have” – Random patrolman (The Yesterday Connection) / Boy! I’ll bet they fed you corn flakes three times a day! You’d make Thor sound like a teen-aged swinger!!! – Spider-Man to the Ringmaster (Duel With Daredevil).
The Yesterday Connection:
Spider-Man, as he often does, is swinging through Manhattan at 3 A.M. when he notices a light flashing Morris Code. Upon investigating, he finds that the signal was being sent by an alien woman named Desinna. She shows Spider-Man events from 40 years in the past where Doc Savage had failed to defeat a creature called Tarros. His failure prompted Desinna (who is from a dimension where all of time is available at the same time – explained, oddly, by saying the time and space are reversed where she comes from) to seek out Spider-Man’s assistance in hopes he would succeed where Doc Savage failed. Is Spider-Man up to the task or will he web himself into the stupidity that Marvel’s trying to pass for a plot?
Gerry Ordway (Superman, Captain Marvel) is a maestro in the field, but his execution of this particular story left much to be desired. His wacky way of explaining (the wording, not the idea) how Desinna’s dimension existed in time rather than space hit a sore spot with me. If you’re going to play games with physics, at least make it sound like makes sense. However, this is a minor beef compared to the major problem of doing a team-up book WITHOUT HAVING THE CHARACTERS ACTUALLY TEAM UP!!! WTF!? This was a golden opportunity to show Spidey web-slinging alongside Doc Savage, a legendary pulp character! Sadly, the story kept them 40 years apart. I don’t know if this was a editorial decision or not, but it totally ruined the story.
Ross Andru (Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, The Flash) does what he does best. As bad as the story is, the art is sublime. Smooth, clean lines greet the eyes on every page. His cityscapes are amazingly detailed, even capturing the feel of 1930’s New York. Sooo good!
Duel With Daredevil (backup story)
reprinted from Amazing Spider-Man #16
The circus is in town! The Circus of Crime, that is. The Ringmaster comes to Manhattan up to his old trick of hypnotizing the crowds at his shows and robbing them blind. He comes up with the brilliant plan to advertise that Spider-Man would be in the center ring in order to up ticket sales. Unbeknownst to him, Matt Murdock (Daredevil) is in the stands AND Spider-Man actually does show up! The Ringmaster hypnotizes the masses and Spidey, but the blind Matt Murdock is not affected. Switching to his Daredevil digs, he bounds into action, only to find himself up against a Spider-Man under the Ringmaster’s control! Will Spidey and Daredevil come out of this alive, or will the Ringmaster finally loose his status as a jobber?
Stan Lee/Steve Ditko – I’m not even going to pretend I can critique these two talents. The story and the art on this reprint are fun, fun FUN!!!! CLASSIC!
Should you check out this book? Had it been the historic story it pretended to be on the cover, I’d say yes. Since the principal players of this little team-up never actually meet, then I have to say No. While the backup story is phenomenal, it can be found in any other reprint book and is no reason to pick up this comic.
Well, I hope I have a better comic to review next time!!! I will see you soon!!!! Be sure to check out my novel, Tripping Over Reality: The Death and Origin of a Hero on both trippingoverreality.com and Amazon! CAN YOU DIG IT??!!!!