Comics : Topps Krazy Little Comics: Fantastic Fear

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: From The Beginning

This review was first published on: Apr 2013.

Background...

There’s one other issue of Topps Krazy Little Comics in which Spider-Guy appears. It’s not much of an appearance but when has that ever stopped us before?

In Detail...

Topps Krazy Little Comics: Fantastic Fear
Year 1967 : SM Parody
Summary: Spider-Man Parody ("Amusing Spider-Guy")
Writer:  Len Brown, Roy Thomas
Pencils:  Gil Kane
Inker:  Wally Wood
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 Reprinted In: FOOM #1

Just like The Fantastic Four, the Fantastic Fear have their comic-cover tagline over the logo but their’s is “The World’s Greatest Scaredy-Cats!” To prove the point, the four react to Casper the Friendly Ghost, who is flying by. “Yipes!” says Invisible Pearl. “It’s,” says Mr. Fearful. “A,” says Thingamabob. “Ghost!” says Fumin’ Scorch. This, by the way, is the only time Invisible Pearl is seen. It’s also the only time the Scorch is seen un-flamed on. And the only time Mr. Fearful is seen without his pipe.

So, the Fantastic Fear walk “through the streets of their beloved New York City.” The Scorch is flamed on and Smokey the Bear is right behind him holding a sign that reads, “Only You Can Prevent City Fires.” Mr. Fearful has his neck stretched out to giraffe-length. And all you can see of the Invisible Pearl is the “4” on her jersey with little sunburst lines emanating off of it. The Scorch notes “how the crime business is slacking off lately" but the Pearl notices a “masked robber,” a guy in a fedora and Robin the Boy Wonder-mask clutching a moneybag. Before the Fear can get to him, though, he is knocked out of the panel by the hammer of Thaw. Mr. Fearful trips over the invisible Invisible Pearl while trying to reach the crook (the Pearl’s “4” is now bold and blue) while Thingamabob yells out, “It’s clod-hoppin’ time!”

“It’s ridiculous! No wonder business is so bad! The sky’s full of Marvelous super-heroes,” says Mr. Fearful as he wraps himself around a lamppost. And, sure enough, the Meekly Thaw and “Iron Man” (I don’t think he gets a Topps name) fly by, the Incredible Hunk leaps by and the Amusing Spider-Guy is sticking to a wall, his head pointed down. (And that’s the whole reason we’re doing this one, folks!) Thingamabob agrees it is ridiculous that there are so many heroes in NYC. “After all,” he says, “It was us who started the whole thing!” (Thingamabob’s blue shorts now have suspenders.)

The lamppost turns out to be Plastic Man in disguise (called Elastic Man here). “Are the Dee-See super-heroes moving to New York too?” asks Mr. Fearful. (Thingamabob no longer has his suspenders but has a sign on his chest reading, “Vic Tanny.” Vic Tanny, 1912-1985, had health clubs around the country called…”Vic Tanny’s.”)

Thingamabob, now wearing an “M.M.M.M.S.” button and smoking a cigar says, “C’mon, all of ya! We’re gonna do the only thing self-respectin’ super-heroes can do when they’re invaded.” “Right!” agrees Mr. Fearful, “We’ll show those guys just what kind of heroes we are!”

And so the Fantastic Fear move to a “slightly different locale.” Mr. Fearful has stretched himself into a hammock. Thingamabob lies in that hammock, wearing sunglasses and reading “Infamous Monsters.” The Scorch, still aflame, lies under a sun lamp. And Invisible Pearl still shows her “4” but now also shows a bikini. “I gotta hand it to ya,” says Thingamabob to Mr. Fearful, “This idea of movin’ to Bermuda is the best one you ever had!” “Yeah,” says Scorch, “Too many other super-heroes in New York!”

The back cover parody deals with Hypnotism and a little green and black spinning disc. “Control Your Teachers and Friends,” it reads. “As you read this your eyes are getting heavy, heavy. You are sleepy, sleep. You shall clip the coupon and send it to us with all the money in mommy’s pocketbook. Wake up and forget you ever saw this ad.” (Didn’t Soupy Sales once do something like this?) In smaller print, right above the “coupon,” is the reader’s reply, “Yes, Master, here is the money.” Then there is a “coupon” asking for Name, Address, and Planet. In case you’re afraid kids won’t get the joke and try to send their money, don’t worry. There’s no address to send it to.

In General...

Like Topps Krazy Little Comics: The Amusing Spider-Guy, this issue does a lot with little. Six panels of story in which there turns out to be a story. Guest appearances by Thor, Hulk, Spidey, Iron Man, Plastic Man, and Smokey the Bear. A meeting of the two most famous stretchable super-heroes (and with Plastic Man called “Elastic Man” here, a bit of a reference to Jimmy Olsen’s Elastic Lad, too). Some nice jabs at the Fantastic Four what with Reed’s pipe, Ben’s stogie, Sue’s submissiveness to Reed as her husband (“Me too, beloved husband,” “Sorry, dear hubby,” “You said it, my darling spouse,” “We sure will, better half!” and “That’s my hubby!”). The reference to the overcrowded Marvel Universe after the FF started it all. The take-off on the Thing’s “It’s Clobbering Time.” The M.M.M.M.S button (yes, there is an extra “M” here.) The move to Bermuda and the Scorch’s last line, “Too many other super-heroes in New York!” Even the Hypnotism ad is kind of cute, though not as clever as the Aorta Model ad on the back of “Spider-Guy.” And that Kane-Wood artwork is still great.

Overall Rating...

I can’t give “Spider-Guy” five webs and not give it to this one too.

Footnote...

Next: At last, we’re back to Amazing. And what better time for Doc Ock?