Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"The Spectacular Seamstress I'm Not!"

bbwhitestachehead In "Spectacular Spider-Man" #66 (May 1982) Spider-Man takes Cyclops' "body condom" idea to an entirely new level. Watch out! Here comes Spider-Gimp!


Spider-Man wishes he knew how to quit that old rubber air-mattress. But whenever he gets anxious or blue, he pulls it out of storage and gnaws and gnaws...! The rubber tastes so good in his mouth! He knows he should just throw the old thing away. But he couldn't bear the thought of someone else taking it and doing God only knows what to it. They might even sleep on it, which is just disgusting. Spider-Man tries hiding the rubber air-mattress around his apartment, and then to forget where he put it he hits his durable skull with a hammer or he drinks tequila or paint thinner. But the memories always return. They have a special bond, Spider-Man and the rubber air-mattress. If ony there was some way the two of them could be together always. And if by some chance it could help him fight Electro, well, that'd be a bonus. And that's when he gets the idea.

One masturbatory fugue state later, the suit is almost complete! But reality presses its sandpapery elbow into his windpipe with a phone call...


...from Aunt May. Spider-Man softly swears to himself. He can hear her skeevy retirement home "boyfriend" Nathan barking at her from a distance. As the old woman blathers on, Spider-Man's hands toy with one of the rubber suit's sleeves. He presses it against his cheek for a moment. Then pulls it slowly downward, shuddering as it rolls over the hard, knotted muscles in his neck, over his collar bones and his painfully stiff nipples. The rubber sleeve skitters down the corrugated surface of his rigidly-defined abs, and then...! He offers his aunt a hasty agreement to whatever the hell she was asking of him and hangs up the phone.


(At the retirement home, May glances over at Nathan, slumped defeatedly in his chair. A smile plays at the corner of her wizened mouth. The old "hard-of-hearing" routine worked again! She remembers the night she'd first needed to use it. "Sock your weiner?! If that's what you wish, dearest!" And then she'd pummelled his crotch, mercilessly. If only it wasn't such a bother to keep up the pretense! And Nathan is beginning to bore her, what with his depressing stories about serving in "Easy Company" and his constant exclamations of "Jehosephat!" and his farting. She makes a mental note to serve him a cup of the "special tea" that would have felled her husband Ben -- had a criminal's bullet not taken care of the old man first.)

Spider-Man looks at the various rubber pieces piled in front of him and realizes he needs a way to assemble them. Electro would burn right through any thread he has on hand. A wave of panic passes through him. He ruined his beloved rubber air-mattress for nothing! His hand falls upon a tube of airplane glue. Of course! That always helps him to calm down. He takes a good strong whiff and, dizzy from the fumes, collapses to the floor. The tube falls from his hand and bounces onto one of the rubber gloves. "Aw, hellllll..." Spider-Man slurs. He stares at it for nearly five minutes before rousing himself. He picks up the tube. The glove comes with it. Spider-Man wonders what it could mean.

After another hour (spent mostly in watching TV) he puzzles it out. He could glue the suit together! In no time at all, he has the costume assembled. It's not quite the same as his old one, and he's sorely tempted to doodle some webs on it with a magic marker, but he's already sick of making it so he just slips it on. The epoxy fumes roil off the rubber suit. Spider-Man blinks. The rippling air currents make his tiny apartment look insubstantial. He wonders if he should have worn a filter mask. He wonders if he owns a filter mask. And yet, the epoxy tube said it was "quick-drying." Or did it? He didn't speak German. He scavenges through the mess in his closet and locates the filter mask he'd worn when he'd refinished Aunt May's hope chest. He slips it on. The flowers on his couch wither, then bloat, monstrously, as though infected. A knot hole in the floor purses shut in disapproval. Spider-Man tries to ignore the trembling in his hands as he holds the mask overhead. "I just have to slip in my one-way eye lenses and I'm ready for action!" he tells himself. He lowers the glue-soaked cowl over his head, and the world dissolves.


In the Daily Bugle offices, the typically gloomy atmosphere is darkened not a whit by the blackout.

The crossword puzzle editor squeezes the shoulder of the paste-up artist. "How ya holdin' up, O'Donnell?" he offers.

The paste-up artist moans. "Jameson had me make up another 'Spider-Man Dies' front page. From scratch. I try an' tell him, we only need to make it up once. Nobody knows jack about Spider-Man now and when he dies I don't see how it's gonna be no different. But he never listens."

The crossword puzzle editor shakes his head. He watches Jameson on the other side of the room, ranting about something-or-other to a copy boy who looks about ready to pee his pants. "Crazy old bastard," he chuckles. He pats the paste-up man's shoulder. "You get used to it," he says.

At a nearby desk, the obituaries editor mutters into his telephone, "I'll tell 'em." He hangs up the phone, clumsily and loudly. He repeats to nobody in particular, "I'll tell 'em."

Jameson's raspy baritone rattles through the assembled staff. "Parker! Where the FUCK is Parker?!"

The obituaries editor swallows, hard. "He's dead, Jonah."

Jameson's everpresent cigar falls from his lips. "DEAD?!" he shouts, as though challenging the editor's assertation. The hairs of his mustache bristle threateningly.

The obituaries editor nods. "Turns out he was a huffer! Can you beat that shit? And the hell of it is, when his landlady found the body, he was dressed in a rubber Spider-Man costume."

Jameson grins. His eyes fix on the paste-up artist. "O'Donnell!"

The crossword puzzle editor gently shoves the paste-up man forward. "Go get 'im, tiger!"


Anonymous said...

It was when I scrolled down to the picture of Peter wearing the face mask, the nozzle of the air mattress so conveniently arrayed in the area of his navel, that the exclamation points truly started popping like bubble wrap over my head.

Also--I'm unconvinced that one can cobble a wearable suit of any kind (gimp or otherwise) from an air mattress in an hour.

Anonymous said...

Also, doesn't it look like Peter's playing with that mask?

"Rarrr! It's the floating rubber head! Reeeooow!"

Bully said...

Why did they print Spidey's obit on the back page? Was there no sports that day in Marvel Manhattan? Even 9/11 didn't force sports off the back page of the Daily News or New York Post.