Cover Price: $.60

#246
November 1983

Value: $9 (Near Mint-Mint)

 

Supporting Cast:
Mary Jane Watson, J. Jonah Jameson, Marla Madison


Guests:
Black Cat, Watcher


Villains:

"The Daydreamers!" - 22 Pages


Writer -
Roger Stern
Artist - John Romita Jr.
Inker - Dan Green
Cover -
John Romita Jr.
Letterer
- Joe Rosen
Colorist -
Bob Sharen
Editor - Tom DeFalco & Danny Fingeroth
Editor In Chief -
Jim Shooter

With the Hobgoblin saga going hot and heavy, writer Roger Stern and artist John Romita Jr. decided to take a one-month detour with Amazing Spider-Man #246.

"The Daydreamers" is a decided off-beat tale focusing on some of the key supporting players in Spider-Man's life. Like all of us, they have dreams and fantasies and this story explores some of those daydreams. This issue brings to life the daydreams of the Black Cat, J. Jonah Jameson, Mary Jane Watson and even Spider-Man himself in four short vignettes.

After the Watcher introduces the issue (letting us know that this is an "imaginary" story), we see the Black Cat, bored to tears in her hospital bed. She's been in the hospital for a while now after being critically injured by Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #76. She's not 100 percent yet, but she's feeling much better and is tired of being cooped up in a bed. So she jumps out and starts stretching, even though she knows she's not suppose to exert herself like this. Spider-Man (her boyfriend at the time) climbs in through the window and throws her her Black Cat costume. "We're going on an outing," he tells her. Spider-Man informs the Black Cat that her cat burglary skills are needed to recover some important documents for the U.S. government. The documents are in a foreign embassy. The Black Cat sneaks into the embassy and steals the documents and hands them off to a grateful secret agent.

And this is where the story really gets weird. Spider-Man takes the Black Cat away on his private boat (as if Peter Parker could afford a boat!) for a vacation in Monaco. He takes off his mask to reveal...Cary Grant?!? "Who else my dear, after all...it takes a thief to catch a thief!" he says. Just then, the Black Cat's daydream is interrupted by the doctor, who tells her to get back in bed before she pops her stitches. She thinks about Spider-Man and says, "Spider-Love looked just like Cary Grant in that old Hitchcock film I saw last night. He probably doesn't really look anything like that, but wouldn't it be wonderful?"

Another person having a pleasant daydream is Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. He's in the press room looking at the daily paper, when his nemesis, Spider-Man, comes in to taunt him. "Har-har! If it wasn't for me making news, you couldn't give that rag away!" Spidey says. Jonah jumps into action and begins pummeling Spider-Man with punches. "The Bugle was in business before you came on the scene and it'll be around long after you're just a bad memory," he says, as Peter Parker takes photos. The next day's headlines read, "Publisher Defeats Spider-Menace: Jameson Named Publisher of the Century." Jonah wakes up from his reverie to see the real front page, which reads, "Spider-Man Does it Again." "Oh, well, maybe I'll never be able to trounce that masked menace physically," he thinks, "But I can always keep after him editorially. Someday the threat he poses to society will be snuffed out--just like a bad habit."

From there, the scene shifts to an Off-Broadway theater, where Mary Jane Watson is waiting for a show to start. "Even as a little girl, I wanted to be in the movies or on Broadway," she says. Then, she looks up to see the play is "The Mary Jane Watson Story" and fans are mobbing her for autographs. The producer turns down Meryl Streep for the starring role, saying that only Mary Jane Watson herself can play this role. However, just as she's soaking up the applause, her sister Gayle comes into the theater. Mary Jane feels she's abandoned her sister and is quite guilty about it. So not all daydreams are happy ones.

From there, we see Spider-Man standing on a rooftop ledge. He's mulling over a recent offer to become an Avenger (which happened in Avengers #236). J. Jonah Jameson jogs by, only to be attacked by nearly two dozen super villains, including Doctor Doom, Loki, Dormammu, the Vulture, the Absorbing Man, the Red Skull, Cobra, Doctor Octopus and Kraven the Hunter. Spider-Man quickly mops the floor with the bad guys and Jonah is so grateful that he kisses Spidey's feet. The photo makes the front page of the Daily Bugle and wins Peter Parker the Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalism! That's not all -- Peter learns that a formula he left behind at Empire State University is a cure for all diseases!

From there, the Avengers and Fantastic Four argue over which team has the right to Spider-Man's services. Spider-Man explains, "I'll be an Avenger Monday through Wednesday and an FF'er Thursday through Saturday. Sunday will be my day off." But the heroes notice his reflection and say, "He's just some skinny kid!" All the heroes walk away, leaving Spider-Man alone

He wakes up from his daydream to see a real-life skinny kid being hassled by some bullies as he's coming home from the library. The kid reminds Peter of himself, not surprisingly. Spider-Man chases off the bullies and tells the kid to keep reading. The kid thinks, "I could never be like Spider-Man, but what the heck--I can dream, can't I?" It makes a nice little ending to the story.

This story is a clever, well-written little diversion from the ongoing Hobgoblin storyline. Sometimes, it's nice to take a break from these major storylines and do something that's simple and fun. This story fits the bill. And it also provides us with some insight about the four characters profiled. These vignettes aren't just disposable stories; there is real insight into the four characters. Jonah is jealous of Spider-Man, Mary Jane feels guilty about her past and, no matter what he does, Spider-Man will never be completely confident in himself. Not bad for a "filler" issue.

Next issue: Break time is over -- Spider-Man is back on the trail of the Hobgoblin!

Reviewed by Bruce Buchanan.

Quality Rating: 2
Significance Rating: 1

Overall Rating:

3

 

Amazing Spider-Man #245

Also This Month:

Marvel Team-Up #135
Spectacular Spider-Man
#84

Thing #5
Avengers #237

Amazing Spider-Man #247