My copy of Ultimate Spider-man (or is that Ultimate Comics Spider-man..I give up) #160, the death of Spider-man issue, arrived today from my pals at Mark One Comics in Hamilton.
I’ve not really been looking forward to it, as I’ve still got most of the year-long run up to Spider-man’s alleged demise sitting on my reading shelf.
As I opened the comic book shipment, cherry-picking the must reads ( Conan, Rocketeer) from those that I’m duty-bound to read (Black Panther, Ultimate Spider-man), I noticed something a little retro that I wasn’t prepared for and to be honest brought back my geeky OCD.
Ultimate Spider-man #160 comes factory sealed in a poly-bag and I only have one copy. How the f#$k can I read that? I’m sure-as-shit not opening it now, am I. As every fan of geeky stuff knows: factory sealed stays factory sealed, unless you have a spare.
I’m not the fan-boy that I once was. I do open some action figure for display, my Clerks inaction figures, for instance. On the other hand my Black and White Sin City Marv stays safety within him blister pack. Recently, during the earthquake that allegedly shocked Wellington*, my Master Replicas Force FX lightsaber can off its mount. Whilst repositioning it, my unopened, signed Kevin Smith Wizard World 2005 inactionfigure fell from the shelf. during the fall, the little Kevin burst forth from his packaging. This random event allowed me to legitimately touch the figure for the first time. The fact that any value the thing may have had was now vastly reduced only smarted a little.
Back to poly-bags. The first time that I came across a poly-bagged comic book was Howard Chaykin’s Black Kiss. Hyped as a true adult comic, the bag supposedly protecting the innocent (like me), as it turned out the bag was to stop you from flicking though the 11-page book and realising what an over priced, rambling piece of shite it was.
The next time I came across the poly-bagthing I was a comic dealer, myself, and buying hook-line-and-sinker into the hype surrounding Todd McFarlane’s Spider-man #1. The comic book came in a variety of increasingly rare favours, including the poly-bagged vanilla and silver editions. This was all before we knew what a self promoting hack McFarlane was.
Spider-man #1 looked pretty but the story stank. Far from being rare, twenty-one years later, the silver poly-bagged book can be picked up on Amazon.com for $20. Another supposable prestigious poly-bagged comic book that turn out to be a disappointment.
So what about Ultimate Spider-man #160? Is it going to be something special or another Marvel cop-out? I’ll let you know soon.
*I say allegedly, as despite some one sitting in front of me saying,”can you feel that, its still rumbling”, I felt nothing.