Battle of the Bulge:
It’s the age-old question regarding Superman and Spider-Man; who would be better in bed?
With the news that Ellen Page has come out of the closet, I decided to share this early and personal memory of my own budding sexual identity from when I was a kid. I’ll have to share a Kitty Pryde comic memory this week too, for sure!
I found this comic in a box set at my Gramma’s local K-Mart of all places, and she bought for it for me. This was the same weekend that I discovered hardcore pornography. Great suns!
Yeah, my Gramma had an illegal cable box. It was a scrambler (or maybe it was called a descrambler) that allowed my Gramma access to all cable and premium channels for free; HBO, Cinemax (is Cinemax still a thing?) and, of course, channel 57, AKA the Spice Channel.
Gramma wasn’t very restrictive about what I watched, and she would let me stay up late, so at the time she didn’t concern herself about the porn channel, trusting me not to watch it. (This would change over the years, and she ultimately got rid of the scrambler, but that’s another Comic Book Memory for the future.) She should not have trusted me, though. Oh no. I was not to be trusted. I was a naughty, little nerd.
I was still too young to truly comprehend or admit my homosexuality, but this is certainly when it began to blossom to the surface of my consciousness. The first porno that I watched as soon as my grandmother was asleep (you have no idea how difficult that sentence is to type) was called Babewatch 4. The first male actor I saw was Bobby Vitale who, if I have to confess, is still one of my favorites.
Despite how fun pornography can be to watch, there was something else happening in my mind…guilt. I was actively denying it to myself as the movie played, but I remember now the guilty feelings I was having, because, deep down, I knew that I was more attracted to the hairy chest of Bobby Vitale on the screen than I was to the bouncing breasts. Ruh roh, Raggy.
I felt ashamed of myself. This was not the beginning or the end of my troubles coping with my sexuality, but it was a significant moment. But thus began my roller coaster relationship with porn, something I think most men, gay or straight, can relate to.
P.S.- Did you ever see the movie Hard Candy? If you’ve never seen Hard Candy, you’re not living a good, honest life. Ellen Page is incredible in it, and your sympathies for the characters will shift loyalties countless times.
This is a reprint of the 1976, treasure-sized issue, and is just as much as fun as it should be! A crossover is one of my favorite types of storytelling, and, despite the fact that this book is full to the brim with corn, this is the kind of “oomph” that crossovers should have. This is the first inter-company crossover between Marvel and DC, and, within its pages, Supes and Spidey have to take on the combined villainy of Lex Luthor and Doc Ock after an obligatory fight scene with each other.
My biggest beef is that the writer really spotlights Superman and basically treats Spidey as an inferior sidekick. But that shouldn’t be surprising since, this being the 70s and pre-Crisis, Superman was already classic and mythic, while Spidey more modern and relatable.
Also, this happens:
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Ross Andru
Publisher: Marvel and its Distinguished Competition
Condition of My Copy: A few smudges and creases, but the pages perfectly separate.