Amazing Spider-man #573 (With Stephen Colbert)

The then-current storyline concludes with "New Ways to Die: Book Six." Since death rarely takes in comic books, this story concerns that most ineptly-revived of deceased Spider-man characters, Norman Osborn, the original Green Goblin. The tale also involves Venom, Anti-Venom, and a host of others. It's unevenly drawn and, if one hasn't read the previous five issues, incomprehensible. Never mind. Most people bought this comic to see the web-slinger tangle with Stephen Colbert.1

Over in the Marvel Universe, Colbert really is his television persona. He's making a third-party run for the presidency, and publisher J. Jonah Jameson has offered the Daily Bugle's endorsement and a one-hundred dollar cheque. As a result, Colbert now doubts his validity as a candidate. Dejected, he mopes off-- and into a fight between the amazing Spider-man and the unimpressive Grizzly. Colbert, convinced the Democrats are trying to assassinate him, decides he's a contender after all and joins the fray. Both hero and villain wish he'd just leave. "What the hell is he talking about?" the Grizzly asks.

"Like I would know," replies Spider-man, before the punching resumes. In the end, the pundit actually manages to assist Spider-man who, reluctantly, agrees to take his "partner" to his next whistle-stop. The issue ends with the pair swinging over Manhattan.

It's a moderately amusing back-up story, marked by moderately witty dialogue. It's not the best Spider-man crossover ever, but it has more entertainment value than his meeting with Barack Obama would, a few months later.

1. His second meeting with Colbert. An unidentified character obviously intended to be the comical commentator makes a cameo in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #15.


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