Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky (Marvel Graphic Novel #22)
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky (Marvel Graphic Novel #22)
While stopping a break-in, Spider-Man meets a young looking girl, Marandi Sjorokker, aka Spindrifter, who knows him as Peter Parker and references Uncle Ben as still being alive.
She turns out to be an immortal sorceress whose body and, to a degree, mental development, has been permanently stuck at a young age. The reason why is that her father was an evil wizard who was eventually hit with a Death Rune by his enemies, and he knew that his enemies would come after her when she came of age. So before he died he cast a spell ensuring that she never did.
Marandi has spent some time in various dimensions, including on Earth, including a period as the newspaper delivery girl in the Parker's neighborhood, and also in Norway, but she's always had to move on when people start to realize that she's not aging, before (depending on where she was) the locals burn her at the stake or begin injecting her with growth hormones.
But now she's worried because she's heard a prophesy about a tordenkakerlakk, literally the "Thunder Cockroach" in Norwegian. So after failing to get in touch with Dr. Strange, Spider-Man agrees to go back with her to her home dimension.
Spider-Man is able to defeat the creature a number of times, with the rule that each time it can't be defeated the same way, but it keeps coming back in stronger and stronger forms.
And eventually Spider-Man realizes that the creature was actually something left behind by her father, to force Marandi to grow up when the time was right.
This issue was apparently developed from an unsolicited submission. Jim Shooter had this to say about Susan Putney:
In another case, a woman sent in a plot for a graphic novel. I liked the ideas. She wasn't ready for prime time, though, but with a great deal of help from the editor and brilliant artist Berni (now "Bernie"--geez, can't anybody just pick a name and stick with it?) Wrightson, her story saw print and did well. I wonder whatever happened to her. It seemed to me she had great potential.
Not the most endorsing of endorsements, but it's amazing how Marvel's submission policy has changed (and i don't just say that based on the CEASE & DESIST: DO NOT WANT letters i get every time i send in my 3D-Man/Abner Little team-up idea). I'm also curious why, if the story "did well", we never got anything more from Putney. It's a nice story, very grounded and accessible despite the mystical setting , and there's lots of room for Berni Wrightson to play with that setting (lots of other big splash panels that i'm not reproducing here)...
...or just get weird.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This story is fairly context free, but Peter does mention Aunt May being "away until Sunday evening" and plans to have dinner with her on Sunday. The MCP place this before Web of Spider-Man #3, but Aunt May wasn't talking to Peter at that time and they don't reconcile until Amazing Spider-Man #265. The other considerations are that Spider-Man is in his red and blue costume, and that Wong is available to answer a phone and tell him that Dr. Strange isn't home at the moment. It's also winter in New York for what that's worth. All said, i don't see any harm in placing this closer to publication date, in the same break as Spider-Man's appearance at Iron Fist's
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky (2012)
Iron Fist's wedding? You mean funeral, right?
Posted by: Michael | January 28, 2014 8:00 PM
Definitely one of my weirder brain farts. Hopefully not Freudian.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 28, 2014 9:29 PM
This wasn't initially supposed to star Spider-Man; early announcements in Marvel Age listed first the New Mutants and then the Hulk.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 31, 2014 6:40 PM
The originally announced title was "The Hills Are Alive".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 19, 2014 9:41 PM
I loved this graphic novel. Susan Putney did wonderful characterization.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 13, 2014 7:35 PM
Wrightson 's Spidey is off, especially the mask, but otherwise great art.
Did the mystery of Susan Putney ever get solved?
Posted by: Multiple Manu | January 1, 2018 1:35 PM
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