Characters Appearing: Spider-Man
Marvel Team-Up #137
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #137
The cover promises, "Not a hoax! Not a what if! Not an imaginary story!". So when we see the Fantastic Four deciding to leave their son Franklin with Aunt May while they leave to deal with an emergency on the west coast...
...when we see Galactus show up at an empty Baxter Building like a doofus...
...and then track down Franklin Richards, only to be berated by Aunt May...
...and then accidentally turn Aunt May into his newest herald, the Golden Oldie...
...and when we see Franklin Richards try to feed Galactus Twinkies, or rather Twinkles...
...and when we see Aunt May locate a giant Twinkle in space..
...only to have to face off against the Pillsbury Dough Boy...
...we have to go back and check the cover again. And yep, they were honest with us. Not a hoax. Not a what if. Not an imaginary story. But it was a dream.
Frankly, i have mixed feelings about this. At a conceptual level, it's brilliant. A good spoof on the Hostess ads that weren't published all that long ago. And just total goofy concepts overall. But the actual story isn't all that funny. The humor is all in the outrageousness of the concept, there's nothing in the script to really back it up. So the first time i ever read this, i was kinda disappointed by it. But really, the concept is just so awesomely bizarre that i've decided i actually like it anyway.
There is actually a serious concept introduced here that will be re-used years later in a Beta Ray Bill mini-series (!). The reason Galactus shows up on Earth so hungry is because the last planet he tried to eat, Tumbia IV, committed collective suicide and destroyed their planet rather than let Galactus eat it.
The MCP lists Spider-Man as the only character that actually appears in this issue; i guess on the basis that it's his dream. But reading the entire wake up sequence, it seems to me that the Peter Parker we see waking up is really just a figment of Danny Fingeroth's dream (and Fingeroth's is Shooter's, etc.), which means that Spider-Man doesn't really appear in this issue. Which actually means that this story wasn't a dream. It was an imaginary story after all! They lied to us! Or i'm thinking about it too hard.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place concurrently with Dazzler #30.
Crossover: Assistant Editors' Month
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Speaking of those Hostess ads: they appeared at Marvel, DC, Harvey, and possibly Gold Key. Weirdly, either Gold Key or Harvey had Hostess ads with Marvel/DC characters. Neal Adams drew a Green Lantern ad for DC, and Steve Gerber supposedly wrote one for Marvel.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 1, 2011 11:39 PM
That's a big Twinkie.
Posted by: Winston Zeddmore | February 18, 2014 9:03 AM
The Hostess ads are now part of continuity, as per Busiek's Thunderbolts. You better start covering this hidden area of Marvel's history, fnord! he he
That Beta Ray Bill mini was great, by the way.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | February 18, 2014 6:28 PM
For me personally, one of the greatest things about this site has been learning that at least some of the villains from the Hostess ads were actual characters.
Posted by: Alex F | July 10, 2014 9:26 PM
Was Shooter really that buff IRL? Anyone?
Posted by: Cullen | July 11, 2014 1:45 AM
Cullen, I doubt it. I think they super-heroed him up a bit.
Posted by: JSfan | July 11, 2014 3:27 AM
It seems as though Galactus and Nova be listed as characters appearing. It ultimately turns out to be his dream and he's clearly talking to Nova in that penultimate panel.
Posted by: JC | January 12, 2016 10:53 AM
Spoofing the Hostess ads is like spoofing 'Plan 9 from Outer Space': the spoof can't possibly match what was so wacky in the first place.
Posted by: Oliver_C | January 12, 2016 11:56 AM
I might have agreed with that if I hadn't already read the Thunderbolts Hostess parody (created by fans I believe?) Not sure if that's what led Busiek to later include Icemaster in the expanded Masters of Evil, but the timing is coincidental if not.
Posted by: Dan H. | January 12, 2016 1:33 PM
JC: the final panel clearly shows Galactus and Nova were a dream too, and the only characters actually appearing in this story are the people of "Readerland, U.S.A.".
Posted by: Tuomas | January 12, 2016 5:03 PM
Mr. Plinkett: This is what they call filler and it's no where near as good as the kind they put in Twinkies. Hmmm!..I like to **** my cat.
Posted by: david banes | January 12, 2016 5:14 PM
It is actually possible to spoof the Hostess ads. I once wrote such a spoof and posted it online (and am sorely tempted to post it here) and, a few days after it was posted, Bob Rozakis [sp?] wrote an online article about being one of the main Hostess ad writers. He included a list of rules one must follow for the ads. I cannot find that article now, but without even knowing there were rules, I broke nearly every single one of them that it was possible for me to break, and the few I missed were simply because my parody went in a different direction.
Actually my favorite ad was where the Joker uses Twinkies to distract police officers so he can commit a crime. Batman doesn't even appear. They like the Twinkies but still catch him, and ask the Joker why he didn't keep any Twinkies for himself. "Because I don't like them." "Wow, he *is* crazy!"
Posted by: ChrisW | January 12, 2016 10:40 PM
An insane killer with a thing for poison is throwing food at us. Let's eat it on the spot.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 12, 2016 10:46 PM
See and I took it to be the other way Tom. The penultimate panel is the final wake up call (by Galactus) and the final panel is the joking presumed reader response to the issue they hold in their very hands.
That final panel is key.
Posted by: JC | January 13, 2016 12:00 AM
@ChrisW- I thought that ad was less bad than the second-to-last episode of the first season of Once Upon A Time- Once Upon A Time actually tried to play it straight:
Posted by: Michael | January 13, 2016 8:18 AM
At the very least, even if we-the-readers did all collectively dream it, since fnord needs to tag someone as appearing in this issue, it makes more sense for it to be Galactus, who's at the outermost layer of dreams-within-dreams, than Spider-Man at the innermost.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | February 18, 2017 5:38 PM
My take on the conclusion is Peter et al. have all had the same dream for real. Peter wakes up and realises he was just dreaming. Fingeroth's dream continues longer than Peter's and includes the real event of Peter's waking up. Shooter's dream continues longer than Fingeroth's and includes Peter's and Fingeroth's waking up etc. The shared nature of the dream, and the overlap between each figure's real awakening and the next figure's dream, means it's not really just a dream, but something stranger.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | June 27, 2017 6:41 AM
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