King-Size Spider-Man Summer Special #1

I was drawn into buying this issue from the promise of a Spider-Man/Falcon story, and purchased the book based on that. Honestly. Of course, it also helped that I recently got a new job that cuts my commute in half and adds a few bucks to my comics budget in doing so. And it happened to be a fairly light week for me. And I thought this might be fun.

And it was. Kinda. The lead story focused on Mary Jane Watson, Millie the Model (no, I am NOT kidding), and Patsy Walker, among others, in a battle against a modern take on the Enchantress. Paul Tobin turned in a fun read, but in the end, the story was fluffy and not very satisfying. Of course, my seven-year-old daughter thought the story was funny and quite enjoyed it. Obviously, I may not have been the intended audience. Colleen Coover's art fit the story quite well, as it too was fluffy and light and quite reminiscent of the work that Andy Runton would hand in if assigned a Marvel comic, even when the characters were facing off against a troll.

The second story featured (potentially) Spider-Man's first meeting with the Falcon as told through Keith Giffen, Rick Burchett, Wil Quintana and Nate Peikos. Falcon, in this story, is barely removed from his roots. His path crosses the webhead's when Spidey follows a trail into Harlem. The story may not read like a traditional team-up and that's just fine with me. Falcon (in his early flightless days) is a fun character to bounce off the flippant nature of the wallcrawler. I'd like to see more.

The final "full-length" feature in this issue is a Mini Marvel's story about Spider-Man's quest to keep his paper route intact. Venom is horning in on his territory, which happens to include the Osborns, who lie in wait for the paperboy like rabid hounds hoping to run down the mailman. Cute, quaint, and chuckle-worthy, this segment seems a little out of place even here.

The issue also contains a Spider-Man/MODOK tussle gag strip by Tobin and Coover that truly seemed to be added at the last minute as an awkward transition between the "Girls of Marvel Shampoo Adventure" and the Falcon team-up.

This issue felt more like Marvel was cleaning out the inventory story drawer than a King-Size special. The stories were not even marginally related, except if placed under the umbrella of "fun stories". Spider-Man was the feature of roughly half of the pages in this special, which considering the title on the cover is quite shocking.

Marvel seems to really be testing the waters this summer with their liberal smattering of extra issues flying under the "King-Size" and "Giant-Size" banners. This one carries a king-size price tag, but only regular size fun.

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