This story answers the burning question, "What happens when a spoiled, over-educated rich kid doesn't get a damn pony for her birthday?" An unstoppable teenage super-villain re-enactment of Napoleon's conquest of Europe! I only wish I was kidding. And that's as sane as this story gets...
A horn sounds in the distance. A cannon explodes nearby. Through the smoky field, the smell of gunpowder, one figure stands triumphant upon the grassy hill. Napoleon! Napoleon, his people cry! And so begins Spidey Super Stories' faithful re-telling of the life, times, love and tragedy that is Napoleon Bonaparte. From his early days battling for the revolutionaries in the Vendemaire uprising, to his overthrow of those same revolutionaries in 1799 and his imperial coronation, Spidey Super Stories recreates all his glories, to better educate - HEY! Wait a sec! Spidey Super Stories doesn't educate anyone ever. It's like each issue is checked before it leaves the factory to make sure it's one-hundred percent free of actual information. That is, unless you're looking for a How-To-Book on being committed to a seriously nasty asylum for life.
Okay, so Spidey Super Stories does not do a dramatic 5-page recreation of the life and times of Napoleon. (Not starring Mary-Jane as Josephine!) But there is a substantial presence of Napoleon-themed villains in this story, and you would think that they would sneak in maybe one fact about who Napoleon was or something. But no, those fact removers caught pretty much every single one, leaving all us ignorant Ameri-centric kids still thinking 'Waterloo' is some kind of waterslide amusement park.
Top Eight Things We Learn About Napoleon In This Story:
1) French (or possibly Italian)
2) Wore a vest, and liked to stick his hand in it a lot.
3) Wore boxing gloves often.
4) Liked 'Thumping' people.
5) Wore thigh-high dominatrix-style leather boots in everyday settings.
6) Had some kind of thing for yellow ponies.
7) Wore a hat large enough to be a waterslide for cats.
8) Uh, that's it. We don't even make it up to 8.
Yup. So this story is all about a teenage-girl named "Thumper" who likes to dress like Napoleon Bonaparte and uses a boxing glove she hides in her vest to whack people in the back of their head when they're not looking. That's the uber-villain for this story. *sigh* So then our story opens with the Thumper, standing at a bus stop, with seven really stupid people lying on the ground around her in various stages of unconsciousness. She's been on a Thumping rampage, she has.
And so begins,
THE FUN-TASTIC ORIGIN OF THE THUMPER:
Mr. Caption: When the Thumper didn't get a Yellow Pony for her birthday... she got very angry and turned to crime.
Mr. Caption: Dressed as the great French Hero Napoleon, the Thumper looks for someone to Thump.
Huh. You know, I hear that's the exact same origin Mysterio originally had. Except replace the line about 'someone to Thump' with 'someone to try desperately to frighten with rubber bats'.
So the Thumper stands calmly, surveying the carnage (of Thumping!) she has unleashed at the city bus stop. And up walks a man. A man with the intelligence of a chocolate milkshake. No wait, a vanilla milkshake. Yeah, that's worse. How do I know he's an idiot? Well, besides the fact that he appears in Spidey Super Stories in the first place, he walks up and sees seven people groaning or unconscious on the ground, and decides to wait at that bus stop anyway. "No, nothing out of the ordinary here. *whistle whistle* Excuse me sir, sorry, I didn't mean to step on your unconscious face." Not to mention the psychotic fifteen year-old Napoleon re-enacter wearing boxing gloves standing next to him.
So IDIOT-MAN here sees the Thumper, and says to her, "Well, look at that! The great French Hero takes the same bus I do!" He then proceeds to ignore her and all the unconscious people grasping at his ankles telling him to run and casually reads his newspaper. Biiiiiiig mistake.
The one and only thing I got out of 11th grade World History was that, whatever you do, you don't patronize Napoleon and then ignore him. Look at where Belgium is now, for God's sake. Hmmm, though come to think of it, 11th grade World History also gave me that after-image of Shelley Jordan's butt that's permanently imprinted on my retina. Man, I stared at her a whole lot in that class...
So the Thumper, like her predecessor Napoleon, gets all huffy and indignant when ignored and thumps this idiot in the back of his head with her boxing glove. Well, except the real Napoleon did something more like "conquer and pillage all of Europe" when he was teased. Touchy, touchy those two.
So that IDIOT-MAN goes down like a sack of free AOL disks. And in case the seven prone bodies, her demonstration on this dork, and the fact that her name is "Thumper" didn't clue us in to how her awesome Thumping abilities work, we get one more demonstration before Spider-Man arrives to stop the early 19th century recreation madness. Plus, they needed to fill a page. Thumper here can't even hold down a five-page story without some unnecessary padding.
So up walks David Letterman. Well, he doesn't actually say his name is David Letterman, but he looks exactly like him. This drawing looks more like late-night talk show host David Letterman than Letterman himself does on his TV show. And if it barks like a duck, it's a duck, right? So I'm just going to assume it's David Letterman.
So David Letterman gets off a bus at this bus stop, carefully walks around all
the unconscious bodies, and approaches the girl dressed like Napoleon. He's
wearing a forest green suit with a bright red tie and a blue vest. See, I
told you it was Letterman. Though I just remembered that Letterman didn't
go on the air until five years after this story was published. Hmm. So now I
guess we know where he spent all his free time during college...
David Letterman(to our fifteen year old girl dressed in a French military uniform): I'm lost, sir. Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?
*David Letterman is obviously going to Sesame Street to audition for a new part, that of Theodric the Garbage Gnome*
Thumper: Sure. Go left for three blocks, and then... RIGHT!
And with that the Thumper proceeds to pound David Letterman's face right into the pavement. This was no love-tap. She didn't actually even hit him, she just grabbed the back of his head and slammed him face-first into the asphalt, probably shattering his jaw and giving his nose that crooked angle that can still be seen today. Serves him right, though, for thinking she was a man. Napoleon hated being mistaken for a fifteen-year old girl, too.
And then my favorite line in the story. I'll let you draw you're own conclusions
as to what that means for my psychological profile.
Mr. Caption(as we get a shot of IDIOT-MAN and David Letterman rolling around the ground in agony): Will this fearful Thumping never stop?
Ah, but here comes Spider-Man. He's on one of his nightly patrols for lost toasters or whatever when his Spider-Sense goes off. Now of all people, Spider-Man should be able to recognize stupid super-villainy when he sees it. With the possible exception of the Hostess Fruit Pies, absolutely no one has defeated as many lame super-villain wannabes as Spidey has. We'll see. So he swings over to this bus stop. Spidey sees eight unconscious people on the ground. Including future talk show host David Letterman. He sees a teenage girl dressed like Napoleon with a boxing glove shoved into her vest. And Spidey walks right up to her and asks, "Excuse me Miss, but have you seen anyone FUNNY?"
Now, I would love to think that Spidey was just being sarcastic here. Sure, the people in Spidey Super Stories dress worse than rabid wombats locked in a fabric store would. But even given all that, dressing up as Napoleon in leather boots surrounded by unconscious men should qualify as a little bit 'funny looking' and raise some kind of blip on the old super-villain meter. (You know, I just thought, unless Thumper's really working for some kind of high-class historical bordello. That would go along way towards explaining the costume and the waiting aimlessly on the street-corner for hours... But I digress.) Back to the part where Spidey gets his butt kicked!
Thumper: Hello, Spider-Man. *walks up next to Spider-Man
and raises her fist*
*proceeds to clock a totally surprised Spider-Man a good one on the side of the head*
Mr. Sound Effect: THUMP!
Apparently, Thumper's so ludicrously non-threatening that Spidey's Spider Sense doesn't even go off when he's standing right next to her and she hits him. He doesn't even try to duck with that super-agility of his. Maybe Maurice, his friendly danger sense operator was on coffee break or something. I don't know.
Mr. Caption: Will our hero be beaten?
God, lets hope and pray not, because then Marvel would have to ditch Spidey and start making comics about "The Thumper and her junior partner, Bonaparte Boy!"... *shudder*
Spider-Man(lying on the pavement): What a Thump!
*snaps his fingers*
Spider-Man: Now I know what hit me. It was the Thumper!
Oh, I see. NOW you recognize who the Thumper is, after she whacked you. So you already knew about a new teenage girl super-villain who dresses like Napoleon and hits people, by the name of Thumper. And you saw a teenage girl dressed like Napoleon surrounded by unconscious bodies, after your Spidey Sense warned you of some danger in the area. And you DIDN'T PUT IT TOGETHER?!? Geez Spidey, you're sure no Batman in the detective category (you're not even a Robin), but you did graduate from the 2nd grade, so I think you should have been able to figure it out before you were lying face down in the street, rubbing your head-bruise. I mean, you asked HER if she saw anything funny... *ackk* Spidey, I'm embarrassed to know you.
Then Mr. Caption decides to try and add a little excitement to this dramatic
confrontation. I think he's just grown bored, he hasn't had a single Exclamation
Point-worthy message all story. So he just makes up some dramatic stuff to pass
*Spidey casually stands up...*
Mr. Caption:Using his very last bit of Spider Power... Spidey Slings Webs!
*Spidey, probably yawning, shoots some webs at her*
Really Mr. Caption, I'm sorry you're bored, but I highly doubt this is his "very last bit of Spider Power". Especially since he doesn't use any Spider Power at all, unless you count his moving his index finger to shoot his webs, or standing up from a crouching position as a use of "Spider Power". Sounds nice and dramatic, though, I'll give you that.
So Spidey decides not to skimp and webs her up in a full body web cocoon, with only her head uncovered. And now the story gets just a little surreal. Ok, a lot surreal. Apparently whatever super-hero newsletter told him all about who the Thumper is also mentioned her thing for Yellow Ponies. So Spider-Man leaves the webbed up Napoleonic-era-delusional-teenager lying in the street and goes shopping. And then he buys this super-villainess a giant yellow rocking horse. I'm serious... I don't even know where to begin with this one... And then Spidey drags the six-foot tall yellow rocking horse back to the Thumper, gingerly places her web-cocooned body on it and then places the reins near the web-covered blobs that could very well be her hands.
Spider-Man(to Thumper): I have a surprise for you! Until
the webs melt, sit there and rock on this yellow pony!
Thumper then joyously rocks back and forth on the rocking horse. (Somehow managing not to fall off, despite the fact that her body is an armless and legless web-covered blob.)
Thumper: Ah... At last...
Well. I... uh, I have no idea. This is all just too frickin' bizarre. Um... so then Spidey swings on home, rubbing the bump on his head, leaving a Napoleon-crazed boxing teenage girl super-villain to calmly rock on her giant yellow pony rocking horse. At the bus stop. Surrounded by unconscious bodies. And David Letterman. And his broken nose. The End.
The title is "Spidey JUMPS the Thumper"? Isn't there a moderately less embarrassing and maybe accurate verb we could use? Gee let me think... Oh wait, yes, the nifty thing about that English language is that there's a whole plethora of verbs one can choose from. How amazing! What about Spidey webs her up? Spidey defeats her? Spidey souffles her? Spidey incorporates her? Whatever, as long as he's not 'jumping' her...
Does France know about this story? That we honor the memory of their greatest leader by having adolescent girls commit aggravated assault dressed as their heroes? I doubt it, or by now we would have seen those French nukes sailing towards us, and then we would have seen them sailing right past us to detonate harmlessly in the Pacific. Never were very good at engineering, the French.
But as mean as this story is to French people as a nation, it certainly sets an even worse example for young girls. The lesson of the day is: If you're an adolescent girl, you need a pony to be complete and if you don't get one, get angry at your parents, then get revenge by dressing up as a historical figure and standing on a street-corner for hours, hitting on, I mean, hitting all the random people. Believe me, if I was her parent, I'd fly a whole frickin' Central Asian yellow pony ranch over on the Concorde, just to get her embarrassing self off the street. But is this really a healthy way to interact with your parents? Think about it girls, before the next time you dress up as Mikhail Gorbachev and throw whipped cream on pedestrians.
Speaking of which, let us take a moment to imagine other Spidey Super Stories
characters loosely based on historical figures.
Reciprocity Lad! - dressed as King Hammurabi of Babylonia, he would mete out 'eye-for-an-eye' justice on unsuspecting passerbys. Quote: "You would litter on the sidewalk? Now I will litter on you!"
The Top Hat! - disguised as Abraham Lincoln, only he's a midget, he would punish those who ignore the 'Little People' and fight for their rights. Quote: "Four Score and Seven inches above me, my father, yet created equal... Hell! Forget that. You just ignore us little people at your own peril, buddy, you got it?"
The Eisen-Power! - an evil clone of President Dwight D. Eisenhower from the far future, he sits around contentedly and watches reruns of "Father Knows Best" and "The Patty Duke Show". Quote: "Well, my back hurts today, so I'm just going to stay in, but if I did go out I would be evil and demolish my good clone's interstate highway system, for starters."
And if you don't think this story is funny enough on its own, try re-reading all the dialogue, dropping the 'T' in front of "Thumper" and "Thumping". Especially the line about the "fearful Thumping will never stop." It's a whole new rip-snorting experience... (This message brought to you by the illiterate, Jim Carrey-watching, whooppe-cushion 5th grade Eric that is trapped screaming inside of Eric's head all the time.)
Well deserved. Mr. Caption: "And with his very, very last final bit of Super-Typing-Power, Eric finishes his review before going to bed."