Spidey Super Stories #6 (Story 3)

Background

Ah, the Rhino. Well, he's big and stomps around and looks like a rhinoceros with his face peeking out of its mouth. That's pretty much it for him. Hmm.. oh, if you're in the mood for dessert-based humor, you've come to the right place. You'll see.

Story Details

On the splash page, Rhino and Spider-Man are fighting furiously in somebody's apartment.

Spider-Man: Oh! It looks like it's all over for me!

Rhino: When I get through with you... you'll be all over this room!

I really hope Spidey's being sarcastic here. Because he's clinging fifteen feet up on the wall, and I doubt the 500 pound man with Rhinoceros skin grafted all over his body can even crane his neck that high to see Spidey, much less jump that high to attack him. Actually, he doesn't even have a proper neck to move anymore. So I very much doubt that it's 'all over' for you, Spidey.

The Rhino then charges at Spider-Man and misses, plunging straight through a window and getting stuck with his enormous Rhino bulk. You'd be surprised how effective an attack 'moving aside' is when you're fighting the Rhino. Just get him mad, taunt him like, "So how do you go to the bathroom with all that bulletproof rhinoceros skin covering your body?" or something, and he'll charge right at you as you deftly step out of the way. It's especially easy if you're as agile as Spider-Man. Maybe it would help the Rhino's game if didn't put his head down all the time when he charged, as that so very often results in him getting his horn comically stuck in a wall.

But wait, suddenly we see it's all a movie! Yes, Rita the director has returned to make more artsy movies about Spider-Man, jungle animals, and pre-pubescent children. (All of her movies follow this structure. See Issue 2, Story 1). Where exactly is the market for all this stuff, anyway? How many times can the movie-going public see Spider-Man web up a gorilla or a rhino and save the children before getting bored? "See Spider-Man Part 14, in which Spider-Man sumo wrestles a hippopotamus to save the orphanage! Playing now!"

So *whew* after filming that exciting scene, everyone takes a 10 minute break and Rita tells somebody about the movie she's going to be making tomorrow (miraculously not starring Spider-man and a pack of wild lemurs or something). I'll have to let her explain. "The movie is called 'The Glob That Ate Chicago', and here it is, the star of that show!" She yanks a giant white sheet off of something massive on the floor.

Stunned Onlooker: "A Glob of Cherry Jello?"

Yes, a Glob of Cherry Jello will star in her next film. And then after that, she's hired a Caesar Salad and a can of Pineapple Chunks to remake MacBeth.

(Actually, the story refers to it as 'Cherry Jelly' but it's obviously Jello from the picture and the rest of the story. Marvel probably didn't want to cause trouble with the powerful Jello lobby, by somehow implying that Jello products might go on a rampage and start eating cities if not stored properly. However, we at the Spider-Man page are free to say that Jello is a dangerous substance that may eat you first if not handled carefully. Remember kids: always buy Jello that's already had its shots, and never unnecessarily provoke Jello.)

Now, personally, I think that Gerard Depardieu is about the worst choice to star in pretty much any possible film (though particularly romantic comedies where he has some indecipherable accent). But let's be honest, even he is probably a better choice to star in your film than a half-ton of Cherry Jello. Just change the script a little to be, "The 267-pound Frenchman That Ate Chicago!" or to be more accurate and Continental, "The 121.1 kilogram Frenchman That Ate Chicago!" I bet he's cheaper, too.

Speaking of which, how exactly did she make this much Jello? It must have taken a team of chefs a week to produce this six foot high, ten foot across pile of Cherry Jello. And doesn't Jello melt if you don't refrigerate it? And wouldn't the Jello be pretty nasty from sitting on the warehouse floor for a few days? And wouldn't it...

Anyway, I'll stop ranting about the Jello for the moment, so we can get back to the *cough* 'plot' of our enchanting tale. Remember the Rhino? Got stuck in a window a few pages back when they were making the movie? Well, guess what, he wasn't the real Rhino! It was J. Arthur Crank (an Electric Company idiot - you don't need to know more) dressed up in an exact replica of the Rhino's costume, with a head piece that looked exactly like the Rhino's face. It's also seems to be a fully functional costume granting him the *ahem* powers of the Rhino (loud grunting, tough leathery skin, the intelligence of a field mouse), since we just saw him crash through a wall a few pages back. If a one camera movie studio can build a replica of a super-villain outfit, hello? Why isn't the government mass-producing synthetic Rhino suits for our protection? "Hey Bob, shoot me next! Watch it bounce off my custom-tailored magenta artificial Rhino hide that I wear over my regular skin!"

So then of course the real Rhino comes in and bonks J. Arthur Crank on the head. You just knew he was lurking around somewhere. "I'll teach them a lesson! How dare they make a Rhino movie without me - The Rhino!" He plan is to play himself in the movie, have no one realize it's now the (ever so slightly more) "dangerous" Rhino, get a shot at Spider-Man, etc. One of those dealies. Meanwhile, our hero Spidey is soaking his feet in a tub of hot water. Really.

Alright, alright, hold on, I've just got to go back to the Jello for a second. How exactly does she plan on showing the Jello moving and being menacing and hungry? She doesn't have computer-animated effects or anything in the 70s. I get the feeling that if I saw her film I would be the one to shout out "Hey, that Glob's not eating Chicago. It's just somebody dumping Cherry Jello off a rooftop!" Jello by itself doesn't typically move around and menace a city a whole lot. And how does she expect this Glob of Cherry Jello, while being pretty good sized for a Glob and enormous for a serving of Cherry Jello, to eat all of Chicago? Does this Glob break down concrete and human flesh and turn it into more Cherry Jello? Or perhaps Rita was planning on having the Glob (Of Cherry Jello) destroy a miniature Chicago. That might work except for all the pennies and leaves and crap that are now mixed in with the Jello that's been sitting on the floor for a week. "Oh! No! The Sears Tower is being consumed by a Massive Cherry-Flavored Glob! Hey... wait a sec, is that a 700 foot high shoe in there?"

Back to the story. So Spidey suddenly loses his voice, for no apparent reason. Oh, wait, then we can drag out the fight scene another 6 pages because Spidey can't tell people that he's now fighting the real Rhino. So they reassemble and start filming the scene again, and then Spidey's Spider Sense goes off. But he just chooses to ignore it, "I can't let that worry me now!" he thinks, cause God knows the damn thing hardly ever warns him of danger or anything. So the real Rhino bursts through the flimsy set wall, and actually hooks Spidey on his horns and flings him like twenty feet against the back wall. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Spidey and root for him, but I have to admit it can be great fun when he gets the crap kicked out of him every now and then. Especially after he ignores his Spider Sense, serves him right.

Spidey then shouts, "Hey! -- That wasn't in the story!" which is strange considering he's already lost his voice and doesn't speak another word the rest of the story or on the three previous pages. Rita, of course keeps filming, thinking it's great adlibbing. She doesn't mind at all they've just ripped the entire set apart and they're now suddenly filming the back wall of the warehouse.

Spidey tries webbing up the Rhino, but like virtually all Spidey Super villains he's able to break out of it in short order the first time he's webbed up. Spidey meanwhile is thinking, "I'm fighting the real Rhino. I'd write a note to tell them, but I can't waste my webs." Okay then Spidey, you just continue the destruction and all amongst the innocent bystanders, and save your precious webs since they worked so damn well against the Rhino anyway.

They hit each other a few more times, and then Crank, the guy who was in the Rhino suit, stumbles on the set. Rita suddenly realizes that THIS IS NOT A GAME. THIS IS NOT A TEST. THIS IS THE REAL THING. THIS IS A LIFE-OR-DEATH-STRUGGLE AGAINST A SUPER-VILLAIN WHOSE FACE SHOWS THROUGH THE MOUTH OF A RHINOCEROS AND ALSO HAS TINY VESTIGIAL RHINOCEROS EYES GRAFTED ON HIS HEAD. So what does she do? Same thing as all the other schmucks in this comic.

Rita: *who has suddenly put on some banana yellow lipstick* Okay guys, it's up to us to save Spider-Man!

Geez, Spidey's gonna start getting a bad rep if he keeps needing cretins like these to rescue him from these lame villains. That's what, the third time so far? Can't anybody just let Spidey do his job? He's much better at it than you are. Is everybody we meet gonna be a backseat superhero?

So, Rita's brilliant plan is to shoot water at Rhino's bulletproof hide. Possibly because Pedro used a spritzer of water to save Spidey's ass just two issues ago. But it's not that easy here. Oh wait, it is that easy because Rita suddenly has another plan that can only be described as, "tragically hilarious." They get the Rhino to charge after them, and what did I tell you before about the Rhino always being defeated because the moron doesn't look at what he's charging at? Yup. He charges after Rita and Crank, and they lead him into the next room and leap away, as the Rhino charges right into the pile of Cherry Jello. (Mr. Sound Effect: SQUISH!)

Now, any commonsense, any knowledge of actual reality, or any interaction with the substance that is Jello will tell you that if a large Rhinoceros-coated individual charges at full speed into even a half-ton of Jello, it's going to be a big mess. What is NOT going to happen is that the Jello completely envelops his body and holds him in a state of coma-like paralysis. However, this is exactly what does happen. I don't know how that works, maybe Cherry Jello really does eat things. So the Rhino ends up floating in a half-ton of Cherry Jello, suspended like, well, like a Mandarin Orange in my Mom's Cherry Jello.

Guy: Rhino's stuck! He'll never get out of the Glob!

Rita: Maybe we should name the movie, "The Glob That Ate The Rhino!"

I have nothing to add. Neither does still-not-talking Spidey, who is in exactly one panel in the last three pages.

General Comments

Boy, Spidey sure sucked here. Maybe he's living up the luxurious lifestyle of a super-hero/movie star a little too much. Hot water baths for his feet during filming breaks? What next, lunches catered by Chez Goulet and his own personal hair assistant? Maybe you should concentrate more on fighting the villains, and for the love of God, next time pay attention when your Spider-Sense says "Danger Really Close By Now!" Otherwise, these Electric Company guys are going to keep capturing the villains for you while you get tossed around the room like a rag doll.

Oh, I didn't mention my favorite part of the Rhino outfit. Both J. Arthur Crank in the fake Rhino outfit and the real Rhino have these cute golden collars that have "RHINO" written on them. Heh. You don't usually lose super-villains like stray dogs. But with the Rhino's smarts, I can understand. I bet the back of his collar says:

If lost, please return to:

Sinister Syndicate headquarters

In the old abandoned carnival outside of town

"Please show me love and care. I need to be fed raw horsemeat twice a day and walked regularly!"

And what's with them picking on my hometown of Chicago? The only time it gets mentioned in Spidey Super Stories, and it's being threatened by a massive dessert bent on destruction. Why couldn't it consume Toledo? No one would notice, I promise.

Eric's Call to the Jello Help Line:

*a robotic voice tells me that this call may be monitored for quality control and training purposes*

Jello-Gal: Hello. This is the Jello product support line. How can I help you sir?

Eric: Well, I had a question about Cherry Jello.

Jello-Gal: Go ahead, sir.

Eric: Say I wanted to make a pile of Cherry Jello about six feet high and ten feet across. How many boxes do you think that would take?

Jello-Gal: Excuse me?

Eric: I just need a big Glob of Cherry Jello, six by ten. How many do you think?

Jello-Gal: Um... why do you uh, need that much Jello? Sir.

Eric: Huh. It's uh, for a movie. Sorta.

Jello-Gal: *perks up* Oh! Well, um, I'm not sure really.

Eric: Well, how many pounds of Jello can one box make, on average?

Jello-Gal: Um, letsee, I don't really know, maybe three pounds? Four?

Eric: Hmm. You don't happen to know the average volume of Jello that one box makes, do you?

Jello-Gal: Not really. At least a half-gallon, though.

Eric: Huh. And you wouldn't happen to know the mean density of Jello, do you? Cause then I could just work it all out myself.

Jello-Gal: The what?

Eric: Nevermind. Say, is Jello really made from ground-up horse hooves? I heard that somewhere.

Jello-Gal: No sir, that's a vicious rumor started by the frozen yogurt industry. Well, at least it's not made like that anymore.

Eric: I just figured I'd ask, since I already had Jello support on the line. One last question.

Jello-Gal: Okay.

Eric: If I had this six foot by ten foot pile of Cherry Jello, would that be enough to eat Chicago?

Jello-Gal: *silence*

Eric: Or, how much of Chicago do you think a glob of Jello that size could consume?

Jello-Gal: I'm hanging up now, sir.

Eric: Wait! I know of people who think it could do that, I was just...

Jello-Gal: *click*

Overall Rating

4 webs. The Cherry Jello Glob That Ate Chicago... Is there any other comic that's this much fun?