Monday, August 9, 2010

Amazing Spider-Man: Skating on Thin Ice #1

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Learn why you shouldn't use drugs from Spider-Man! It's because... uhh... well... look! Supervillain fight!



70 comments:

Mountain King said...

Reviewing this is sort of difficult. One one level I want to grab you by the jacket and shake you over a lava pit until you swear to get on with the Lord Vyce arc, but on another I applaud your building of tension by keeping with the premise of your show. To review bad comics. To me this just goes to show that you've done a better job building up Vyce opposed to the last two arc villains. Where I welcomed developments, but not at the expense of reviews. this time around it's the opposite. I want to see more of the story than I do reviews. Rather than criticism I want you to understand that I'm congratulating you on that.

Now as for your PSA Hell, it's obvious that the writer was commissioned to do it and they tried to make it a serious comic, rather than the hollow formulaic waste most PSA's end up as.

Unfortunately by searching for this middle ground he ended up with the same sort of tagged on message you found at the end of an episode of He-man. Yes a good story has a moral, but the trick is to let the reader find the moral themselves rather than shove it down their necks AKA Lazytown's "eat healthy" message. the result here is an uncomfortable mess somewhere in-between competence and phoning it in for the pay check.

This wasn't a bad comic, in fact it seemed to be very much what I expected from a bog standard 90's Spiderman realise. Bland, but reserved. Opposed to what else was out there at the time. However as you pointed out it was a bad PSA which in this case was a good thing.

Most PSA's don't fit in with the overall character. Just pulling in some parody of whoever so kids who don't know any better (the ones that lick plug sockets and think it's fun to play with daddy's gun) pick it up. Here I get the feeling that with very little work it could be passed off as an average issue, or arc as there is more than one issue involved.

The difficulty is that there's not enough "meat" to the story to warrant two issues. It's been dragged out and dumbed down for the lowest common denominator. leaving the dedicated reader searching for some interest in the bland grey mess.

Sub-standard comic, good but uninspired review, Seething unresolved tension over the arc plot.

Thomas
AKA Mountain King

Puddle Jumper said...

Yeah, it kind of fell flat as a PSA xD And the song in the end there was just brilliant. I mean, MST3K is one of the greatest shows ever create ... OH MY GOD 8-BIT MICKEY's BAWLZ ARE IN MAH FACE. NOOOOOOOOOO.

*cough*

Andrew said...

A nice return to recognizable comics, Louis. It was a fun review. I especially liked the "drug abuse" and Aces bits. I'm also looking forward to the continuation of the Lord Vyce storyarc. You're building up the tension well, BTW, but sometimes there can be too much tension. So don't wait too long, okay?

Ian said...

Wait, why are Spider-Man and the girl in some non-specific city in Winnipeg when the science fair in Frederickton, which is in Alberta?

CMWaters said...

Wow...and I just WATCHED that episode of MST3K yesterday before work too. What a serendipitous (spelling?) experience!

Anyway...yeah, that wasn't as much "hell" as PSA Hell could have been. Plus a title like "Skating on Thin Ice" makes me picture a Marvel/DC crossover where Spider-Man has to battle Mr. Freeze or Captain Cold or Killer Frost.

And at least for the most part the artwork in this book is a lot better than the stuff usually shown here (save for All-Star Crazy Steve and Dick Grayson: Age 12, but that story has enough problems as it is).

All ready to be beamed up next week for Star Trek Voyager.

areoborg said...

I suppose that the Example in ACES is intended to be a "lead by example" thing.

And for the record, I did wake up one night with Spiderman standing over me saying "Hi! I'm Spiderman and I'm in your room!" But I did do a lot of HCl day so...

That hockey puck has a lot of Viagra in it with all those purple pills. I think the dealer was supposed to hit up all the mall walkers instead of the kids.

Stephen said...

Who was the Eric Menendez dude mentioned when SPidey arrived on Canada?

Anonymous said...

HAH! Oh, Canada. I actually live in Winnipeg and the only question I have is "Which Mall?" I mean...There's St. Vital, Polo Park, Kildonan, Southdale, Grant, Portage Place, The Square, the Forks, Garden City, City Place, Corydon Village, Park West, North Gate...Okay I'll stop now.

Not surprised Winnipeg was the center of a drug PSA, though. It is (at least I think it still is) the most crime-ridden city in Canada.

Funny review as always, Linkara.

SagashiIndustries said...

Oh, man, I've missed the "The More You Know" gag. Glad to see it again.

Anonymous said...

The art was very good in the issue, very JRSR looking. The cover looked like Macfarlene's work, especially the odd way he draws kids.

Dylan said...

Such a failure of a PSA, and a highly mediocre Spiderman comic. The misguided pandering to a stereotyped Canadian audience was laughable.

As good as MST3K is, how about a band from Winnipeg singing about Winnipeg? One Great City by The Weakerthans could've worked great as an ending song.

Anyway, great review! My favorite part was easily the discussion between the thug and Electro, that sketch was hilarious!

John said...

For what it's worth, "Swahili" is a language and an ethnic group, not a place.

Tara said...

lol, I'm actually from Winnipeg. And there's definitely no mall I know of called "Winnipeg Mall". Of all the things that reference Winnipeg, I'm sad that this crappy PSA had to be one of them. Also, Winnipeg isn't a small town; you can't walk everywhere in Winnipeg in one night o.O

Good review though :)

SynjoDeonecros said...

Oh, god, my eyes! MY EYES!!!

*ahem* Yes, moving on then.

I've noticed that a lot of supposed "PSAs" like this comic fail utterly to get the point across, almost as if the writers or people supervising them are SO paranoid about their children being corrupted by these things that even the knowledge of what they are and what they can do could damage them, because, y'know, EVERY child would want to become drug-addled perverts if told about lung cancer or STDs, right?

David 2 said...

I was doing good until I got to the VERY last part of the video...

and then...

I'M BLIND!!!! I'M BLIND!!!!

I have to finish the rest of this using that stupid shareware voice-to-text thing because I'M BLIND!!! Oh the horror! The pain... THE PAIN!!!

Il-Mari said...

I thought this review was good but not among the best - the source material is really mediocre in every way (without ludcirous things like Snowflame - they shold really do a PSA with him), so it's hard to get worked up about it.

On a related note, has there ever been a good PSA comic?

I don't mean a storyline in a regular series that dealt with issues like drugs or prostitution or such, I mean a one-shot specifically made around an issue that's also actually a good comic.

P.S.

About the end credits: 'Swahili' isn't a place, it's a language.

Anonymous said...

nice review linkara. It's funny you mention this comic. My school used to have all the spider-man Canadian P.s.a comics. But sadly they got rid of them. p.s how many Canadian p.s.a comic do you own ? Your Canadian fan from Qu├ębec.

Sean said...

XD Poor Alpha Flight.

Anonymous said...

Well, to the Alpha Flight's defence
you rarely hear about superheroes outside of the US

Marc Reyes said...

- I find it interesting that Electro mentions going to Canada to escape superheroes, when that exact same plot point pops up years later in "Civil War".

- Is it just me, or did the Winnipeg portrayed in the comic feel "generic"? It's almost as if they drew a generic city and just slapped "Winnipeg" signs all over it.

- Yes, there are actually MORE issues of the Spider-Man in Canada comics. Including one where he traverses to Fredericton (with that scientist girl), and my personal favorite, a visit to Toronto (where it is NOT generic, they even have the CN Tower and the SkyDo--errm....Rogers Centre) which has him teaming up with Ghost Rider to find some hit & run driver.

- The cover was indeed done by Todd MacFarlane, judging by the malformed kids and copious amount of webs everywhere.

- I love how the main kid is in an Edmonton Oilers jersey, when he should be in a Winnipeg Jets jersey.

- Finally, I watched through to the stinger, hoping to see if there would be a Lord Vyce plotpoint thing, but what I got.....my eyes. My brain. They'll never forgive me.

Jer Alford said...

Smoke me a kipper. I'll be back for breakfast!

The RPG Monk said...

Pretty good review, though it suffers the average curse. Nice take on the "substance abuse" part.

and dammit, Mickey, how am I supposed to get any work done with that image haunting my mind?

Oracle said...

I gotta say, missed opportunity: "Let's go to the MALL, everybody!" But you gave us Tom Servo, why should I complain?

At least they tried to make it a readable comic. (My sister wants it now. Not quite sure what that says.)

the prophet king said...

... thank you. I got this free back in primary school. And it hurt.

Rock Boy said...

Hey, good review. I loved the "More you know" gag. I'm surprised that noone mentioned that Winnipeg is a city so Spidey should have said Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Jordan F said...

"Wait, why are Spider-Man and the girl in some non-specific city in Winnipeg when the science fair in Frederickton, which is in Alberta?"

Actually Fredericton is in my home province of New Brunswick, in fact it's the capital. I believe what Peter Parker is saying to Jonah Jamison is that if he wants him to do the report in NB he has to agree to fly him to Winnipeg first (so he can track down Electro). This sets Spidey up for the second issue, in which he does indeed travel to New Brunswick and attends the science fair.

This makes even less sense and brings to mind once again why Jamison would agree to such a radical change in destination considering the additional costs and without really asking why the hell Parker wants to go to Winnipeg at all.

I remember seeing these when I was growing up and at first being really excited, Canada had a pretty mediocre assortment of super heroes at the time, and for one of Marvels big named heroes to come up north was a real thrill for a Marvel fan like me. I didn't really even care about the PSA message, it sort of just blew over my head and was so poorly executed it didn't seem to matter, Spider Man was coming to New Brunswick! That blew my tiny little mind as a kid.

Another great review, thanks for the nod to us Canucks, you should come and visit us sometime, I assure you our cities are not quite the drug peddler filled dens of sin that these terrible attempts at PSAs might indicate.

Peter Dawson said...

"Wait, why are Spider-Man and the girl in some non-specific city in Winnipeg when the science fair in Frederickton, which is in Alberta?"

Winnipeg is a city in Manitoba and Federicton is the capital of New Brunswick.

Anyhow, I forgive the use of that song. They're idiots, they don't understand geography, so its funny. Plus I still like to hold the results of the war of 1812 up when people actually seriously start bashing my country.

I actually read this series and it was a weird one. In the second story Chameleon (the thug who turned into a woman) bribes another science fair hot-shot with painkillers (or something like that, they're pills) so he can get Beth's notes, which he needs for some reason. So more drugs are bad m'kay. Forget why they called it Double Trouble.

Third one, I forget the name, but it involved drinking and driving, plus it focused on the Right Riders, who are apparently national celebrity kids who demonstrate bike safety. Yeah, third issue in and it officially jumped the shark. Drunk driver hits one of the kids.

Fourth was really strange. We're at the Calgary Stampede where cowboy superheroes The Rangers are showing off, only to have the Fightful Four attack. Said four are The Wizard, that Techno-Death-Knight guy, Plasterer and Man-Bull. After the Rangers get their asses kicked the Right Riders and a handicapped superheroine named Turbine come in to save the day while the Four try to kidnap Turbine's scientist dad. I guess it was a PSA about anyone being a hero, even the wheelchair bound?

Last one I can't for the life of me remember what the PSA message was, but Peter hung out with the Montreal Expos and battled Green Goblin, who wanted his son back. I really don't remember how that fit into Marvel canon. It was either a PSA about getting DNA tests done on your children or remembering that Canada does have a major league baseball team.

As for the review, pretty funny, good point about alcohol abuse. I have to say though that I'd love to see another mention of Vyce.

Yogurt said...

Well that was nice review, Linkara.

I'm certainly glad that-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH! THE SPEEDO BURNS US!!!

theory_of_everything said...

Have you checked out Comics with Problems?
http://www.ep.tc/problems/

They have a US Army comic dealing with Homosexual Policy Conduct.
http://www.ep.tc/problems/38/

A comic about the importance of pap smears
http://www.ep.tc/problems/26/index.html

An old pro-segregation comic.
http://www.ep.tc/problems/nineteen/

And a PSA comic where Spider-Man reveals that he was sexually molested by his creepy friend Skip.
http://www.ep.tc/problems/fifteen/

Carlos said...

as you have ever come across with some good PSA comics?

jforan said...

Great review, I remember reading this comic over and over again in Grade 4 just for the action scenes. I think it was one the first comics I read. I've been hook on that character called spider-man ever since.

Anonymous said...

that was a great review linkara I especially found your reference of "one more day" very funny.

deuxhero said...

Indeed. I assumed "Skating on Thin Ice" was about... the dangers of skating on thin ice, when I saw it in the lineup.


Wait... Spiderman FLEW to Winnipeg? While this was written in *check* 1993, I STILL have difficulty accepting he got his costume and webshooters on the plane without anyone noticing them.

RocMegamanX said...

14:24-Is it just me or did they just use "excepted" instead of "accepted"?

fanfictionman said...

Holy Crap! Spider-Man in Winnipeg! That's the only thing cool about this comic, because I live there. Why couldn't this be Wolverine? He just slices the drug dealers to pieces, and we get an incredibly gory PSA Comic. Plus, that ending song about Canada, hurt. And there's no such thing as the Winnipeg Mall btw.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm sorry, but this 8Bit Mickey nonsense has to stop. He's annoying and not funny (like the rest of the "game heroes"). I voted for someone else, just to spite him.

Orion_II said...

Interesting choice for the ending theme, Linkara, though I imagine you don't have much that way. If I may make a suggestion? For issue #2 (or anything Canadian-related) try something by a band call the Arrogant Worms.

They're a Canadian comedy band with some very recognizable tunes. "Canada is really big" or "The Mountie Song" would be perfect and easily recognizable even if you've never heard of the Arrogant Worms before.

Also: a stop-over in Winnipeg before going to Fredericton? The heck?! That's like asking your boss for a stop in California before going to Florida. (Not quite, as Winnipeg isn't exactly on the Canadian West Coast, but with the extra time zone involved, it's close enough)

Ian said...

Eariler I said Frederickton was in Alberta, my bad, it's in Newfoundland, but still, my point is how big is this science fair if they're sending a girl from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Frederickton, Newfoundland?

Anonymous said...

Ace Rimmer FTW!

NGT said...

Timetraveling Geordi LaForge, or an escapee from a cyberpunk setting? YOU MAKE THE CALL!

Is that...is that purple pills? Yellow pills? Green pills? There's a D12 song here. "But nothing compares to these blue and yellow purple pills..." (Yeah, so I got the album because there was angry music that wasn't metal on it mainly.)

They must have vicious penalties for highsticking to make sure the kid doesn't just hit random costumed lunatics who appear from the sky in front of him.

Linkara Loves aLliteration. (I cheated, yes, it was the only way.)

Hey, the Continuity Alarm didn't hit you for the One More Day reference! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO THE CONTINUITY ALARM YOU FIEND?

Technically, alchoholic beverages probably were an accident...is this that Fridge Brilliance thing tvtropes talks about?

I gotta ask...how did Spidey know that they'd learn about anything else by following the dealer kid?

...that was creepy. I thought. "Man, Alpha Flight just got dissed." And then you say it.

Hey, it's the Marvel universe, civvies are useless sheep, except when they're useless cows, or useless other barnyard animals. They even tried to be useless sheepdogs during Civil War.

HypnoticGenes said...

There is only one thing I can say about the Canada song.....ROWSDOWER!!!

Anonymous said...

>_< Note to self, when Linkara gives a warning about 8-Bit Mickey's crotch, X out of the video right away. Don't ask questions, just get out of there.

Aside from that, good use of ending theme.

Kate Holden said...

The little roster of Aces was my absolute favourite part of this. A girl who beats the crap out of a dalek with a baseball bat is way more awesome than just some asinine rubbish about teamwork!

libraryguy said...

ALL GLORY TO MICKEY'S CROTCH!

AND MICKEY'S ASS!

AND WITH-- er, and with that out of the way...

I'm a little surprised that Electro is in the drug dealing business, at least on his own. I'd have had the Kingpin involved in some capacity. It would have made more sense, and it would have allowed for Electro as the Kingpin's flunky on the off-chance a Canadian super actually did get involved.

Speaking of which: I can buy Electro being dumb enough not to know about the Flight, but you'd think McDuffie would have had Spidey throw the fact back in his face, or at least mention that Wolverine is from Canada. Oh well.

I like that the PSA tried to be less anvillicious than is the norm, but I think McDuffie erred a bit too far in the other direction. He could have shown a hardcore junkie or two to serve as the end result of using drugs.

Then again, it was the 90s, and with 90s art, who could tell?

Tommy Hawk said...

One question about the cover art. Why is the kid wearing an Edmonton Oilers sweater with short sleeves...that kinda defeats the purpose of the sweater.

christwriter said...

Good review. God, I hate PSA's.

However, FYI, I believe it's "substance abuse" and not "Self abuse" because most of the abused substances are safe under certain parameters, and should be consumed when those parameters are met. Trust me, the last thing you'd want to do is convince someone with, say, severe schizophrenia that putting drugs in their system is wrong. You teach addicts that using drugs inappropriately (AKA "abusing" the drug) is bad, but using them as intended (as in staying on your anti-psychotics) is perfectly fine. Basically it's a mini guilt-trip employed to keep you off street drugs and on your prescriptions.

Why yes, my parents DO work in treatment centers. Why do you ask?

natewinchester said...

To be fair, the police do have a "mode" called "code 3 silence" where they drive to a crime as fast as possible without using their sirens and only switching on the lights to get through intersections.

Jarod said...

I don't suppose you'll be doing issue 2. I've got to track it down, though. I live pretty close to Fredericton. It's practically my hometown.

Celey said...

PSAs have a tendency to tick me off... Mainly because they all tend to be a joke...

I really think more extreme measures should be taken in the fight against drugs.

Anyway... Good review. Not as awesome as the review you did with all the animal dudes, but still good.

Mr_Monopoly said...

My favorite part was the list of Aces and I have the quote 'Smoke me a kipper I'll be back for breakfast' running through my head now.

Also I'm going to see Sophie and Sylvester in October I can't contain my excitement. I know he's your favorite Doctor and was wondering if you have met him, any of your favorite actors or anyone you idolise?

Jannet_Jazz said...

This comic is more full of stereotypes than even Nintendo's "Punch Out".

Loved the "Alcohol Abuse" bit. I laughed so hard that I woke up my neighbors!

Jamie said...

Hello there!

As a Canadian growing up in Canada, funny how that works, I remember these comics well, having had the second one if not the first. I didn't think much about it beside "Yay, free Spidey comic!"

Frankly, I loved the review, although the writing does make me groan. It reeks of American writing, like the Winnipeg Mall bit. Trust me, our malls have names different than the cities they're in. I'm amazed the comic didn't have Spidey fighting off a giant polar bear.

Also, don't worry about the ending credits song. I LOVED that episode of MST3K and that song still makes me laugh. Hell, the South Park movie was awesome and I still find myself humming Blame Canada every now and then. Trust me, us Canucks have a pretty good sense of humour about these kinds of things.

Erin said...

Good job, Spidey, at teaching a kid just what he needs to know to find and peddle drugs. I don't see how this could have future real world consequences.

Jorda75 said...

Ian said: "Eariler I said Frederickton was in Alberta, my bad, it's in Newfoundland, but still, my point is how big is this science fair if they're sending a girl from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Frederickton, Newfoundland?"

Well you were certainly closer this time Ian, but you missed the mark once again. Myself and 1 other poster both pointed out that Fredricton (no K) is in New Brunswick, not Alberta or in this case, Newfoundland.

Your point still stands however, it makes no sense that Jamison, who hates Parker, would agree to fly him over 3000 kilometers (or 1864.11 miles for you Yanks) because he would "save money". I work at an airport an trust me you'd be better off sending 2 people on the red eye to Fredricton than one person to Winnipeg, then to Frericton, then back again :P

Elita5 said...

Maybe J. Jonah is geographically challenged? Or believes Canada mostly wilderness with one or two cities clustered togeter?

Chunky J said...

great review Man. I love the MST3K bit at the end thats actually one of my favorite Mike Neslon ones just watched it the other night on Netflix actually. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

You know, I think I'm the only one of my friends who remembers getting this comic in elementary school. Nice to know I'm not crazy.

Also, as a native Frederitonian, it was awesome to have Spiderman visit my hometown.

Rushing Beat said...

Ok, can someone tell me why Alpha Flight was left out of this one?

Seriously, what could be better than the image of Sasquatch smashing through a brick wall screaming: "STAY OFF OF DRUGS!"?

Anonymous said...

I own the Montreal Expos PSA comc that featured Green Goblin I didn't realise the comic actually had a Narrtave story to it it was a PSA comic.

Tommy Hawk said...

To be honest, telling a Canadian kid that drugs would hurt their chances at a hockey career is all you really need to do. They lover their hockey up there.

Anonymous said...

I got to admit I didn't care how bad the comic is I just marked the hell out over that fact the comic was in Winnipeg it was awesome lol. But I do have one problem the main kid was wearing a Oilers jersey. He should of had a Winnipeg Jets jersey on. Those bastards

Anonymous said...

Need I remind you:

-Fear tactics in a PSA ad are ineffective and this comic was probably one of the more successful ones.

-CANADA dominated your AMERICAN ass in the 2010 Winter Olympic games. Actually, we dominated everyone's ass.

-Wolverine and Superman are CANADIAN.

-Todd McFarlane is CANADIAN.

-CANADA is the largest oil distributer to the US. 2.5 MILLION barrels of oil per day! We import more than we use. Actually, CANADA is no.1 for oil importation across the world (we beat Mexico by almost double).

-CANADA has reformed health-care; something Barrack Obama has been desperately trying to acquire, but AMERICAN bullshit politics have stood in his way.

-I personally know tons of people who come-up from AMERICA to get free health-care in CANADA. Thousands of dollars are saved as these guys receive free treatments, operations and drugs. Some of these treatments are for cancer.

-CANADA rocks. Don't you forget it.

Joe Green said...

OT: Bees. My God.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/cop-held-hostage-in-squad-car-21470788

starofjustice said...

I know this probably sounds annoying and out of place, but once upon a time I remember Linkara plugging some kind of card game where the players are comic book supervillains (not ones belonging to any publications I'm aware of), but I'm trying to remember the name with no success. Can anybody help me out?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I know this probably sounds annoying and out of place, but once upon a time I remember Linkara plugging some kind of card game where the players are comic book supervillains (not ones belonging to any publications I'm aware of), but I'm trying to remember the name with no success. Can anybody help me out?"

That would be in my Tandy Computer Whiz Kids review and the game was called "World's Greatest Villain."

Truce Weston said...

.....very odd for some reason

I have got nothing, I was just shaking my head the whole time at this

Anonymous said...

Give it a break. It never wanted to be a PSA comic. It wanted to be...
A lumberjack!

Wow, Linkara, I was beginning to think you'd never heard of Alpha Flight - but thanks for mentioning them.

Another good song for Canadian closing credits would be 'Canadian Idiot' by 'Weird Al' Yankovic.

- Mik

SynjoDeonecros said...

I think they mean "abusing substances" in the same way you "abuse loopholes", ie. you're taking advantage of their existence and the good feelings they give you to make you forget your problems, instead of actually dealing with them.

Anonymous said...

Funny about the whole "alcohol is a drug too" thing. I knew a guy who says that while his family said grace, his younger brother said "And please help my daddy stop being addicted to drugs." When his family looked at him like he was an idiot, he explained to them, "I was told that beer is a drug, and daddy has a beer when he watches football sometimes." So thank you Spiderman for having a four year old think that having a beer once in a while is addiction. I know the Spidey part is a stretch but still.

Night said...

Ironically, watching this again, my ad was a PSA for wearing your seatbelt.