Frankly, this book has a lot of problems with hyphens.

§ August 9th, 2013 § Filed under advertising, hulk § 9 Comments

So I purchased a comic collection Thursday afternoon, and among the assorted Iron Man issues and a reader copy of Sub-Mariner #1 (1968) and some British edition Freak Brothers comics and the one issue of Secret Defenders that still sells, I found a handful of copies of this:

…the 1983 Spider-Man Fire-Star and Iceman insert for the Dallas Times Herald newspaper, tying into the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends animated series. Note that Firestar gets an extraneous hyphen, which also runs through the interior pages. I was kind of hoping we’d get “Ice-Man” inside the book, too, but no such luck.

Anyway, the story involves our heroes going to see The Nutcracker ballet, but not until after answering nature’s call:

…but ending up in a fight against the surely-must-have-turned-up-in-a-Bendis-issue-of-Avengers villain Daddy Longlegs:

…whose motivation is summed up thusly:

And frankly, that’s a motivation I can understand, more so than the usual reasons of “I want to blow up the Earth/take over the universe/get revenge on the Kryptonian for making me lose my hair.”

The latter portion of the comic involves our super-pals sitting in the audience and actually watching the performance of The Nutcracker, the story of which is retold in the comic. Please enjoy this horrifying version of the Rat King:

…who surely must also have made a cameo appearance in one of the Bendis Avengers comics.

Since this publication was one of interest to a particular locality, there are ads for area businesses throughout the book, generally featuring Marvel characters in varying levels of association. Apparently there’s something to do with “swinging” in this ad:

…which you’ll note neglects the necessary hyphen in Spider-Man.

This ad, placed on the page right next to the previous ad, remembers the space for the hyphen, but not the hyphen itself:

And here’s Spider-Man again, still missing that hyphen, this time shilling for fine RCA television products:

Surely the unnecessary hyphens in each occurrence of “Fire-Star” used up the hyphen quota for this comic, resulting in Spidey’s rampant hyphen shortages. Ah, if only the people placing these ads had access to the decades-later wisdom of Metrokitty.

Now, the Hulk isn’t in the story, though I would have paid one American dollar to have him dressed as one of the toy soldiers in the retelling of the ballet, but he does show up in a couple of ads. For example, this ad, where Hulk’s just kinda hanging out there around those boots for some reason:

Man, Hulk doesn’t even wear boots. What’s going on here.

And please enjoy the subtle menace of this image, attached to a restaurant ad ballyhooing Santa’s appearance there:

No, not Hulk-Santa, the attached ad just says “Santa Claus.” I wonder how many kids interpreted it to mean that Hulk would be there, dressed as Santa? “HULK NOT CARE IF YOU RICH OR POOR / HULK SMASH YOU JUST THE SAME”

…Christmas jokes in August. You’re welcome.

EDIT: For more information about Daddy Longlegs, I refer you to pal Andrew.

images from Spider-Man Fire-Star and Iceman (1983) by Jim Salicrup, Jim Mooney and John Tartaglione

9 Responses to “Frankly, this book has a lot of problems with hyphens.”

  • Casey says:

    Andrew beat you to that guy,

    Does anybody know what the deal is with Spider-man’s hyphen? I’ve always wondered.

  • I wish I were a fly on the wall at the planning meeting for that comic.

    “We need a supervillain for the characters to battle.”
    “But who?”
    “That creepy dancing dude from Spider-Woman?”
    “….Ah, what the hell. It’s five minutes to quitting time and I’ve got tickets to a Rush concert tonight.”

  • argh sims says:

    Awesome! I delivered the Times Herald back in junior high (waaaaay back in the 1970’s), and I remember when that comic and the X-Men visit the Texas State Fair book came out.

    It was an interesting experiment, I guess, but the Herald was the more liberal paper in Dallas. No wonder it went under in 1991. :-(

  • Mikester says:

    Casey – there’s plenty of Daddy Longlegs for everyone! (I’ve added a link to Andrew’s post…I would have done so in the first place had I remembered!)

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Spider-man’s hyphen”

    without it, you think it’s a Jewish last name. “There’s Herb Spiderman.”

  • Sarah says:

    Aww, chill out, Daddy Longlegs. You can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind.

  • Chance says:

    I had this comic as a kid! And also the one where Spi-derman goes to Neiman Marcus.

  • Nat Gertler says:

    Ooooh, I want one of them. It’s Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, without the expense of the brand name! And remember, this would not be part of comics continuity, as Firestar was not introduced to the proper Marvel Universe until 1985, so this all didn’t really happen.

  • Lawrence Fechtenberger says:

    That’s actually how the Rat King usually appears in “The Nutcracker.” The costume, obviously, does not permit much movement, but the role involves more pantomime than dancing so that is not a problem.

    On the other hand, that front cover…The stage is ridiculously small, that glossy floor must be a serious safety hazard, and the Sugar Plum Fairy does not usually wear a push-up bra.