Tags Matching: AIM toothpaste

Spider Man has issues.

In the late 70s and 80s, free comics that dealt with serious, important issues that might befall the children of America were a big deal (they still come out now, but you hardly ever see them). And since Spider Man was probably the most relatable comic book super hero for kids at the time (and also one of the most visible; what with his Saturday morning cartoon, featured spots on the Electric Company tv show and in their magazine, daily newspaper strip, etc), Marvel made sure to roll out a bunch starring every kid’s favorite friendly neighborhood web slinger.

I owned this one; since we didn’t use AIM I assume I got it from my dentist. As far as cheesy freebie message comics go, I remember it actually being pretty much a normal comic, with preaching that was practically subtle. The plot was about the Green Goblin trying to steal a dental laser that was essential for the token tag-along kid (a regular feature in these freebie message comics) to get 6 or 7 cavities filled in one setting, or something like that.

I also owned this one. If memory serves I got it as part of an ongoing parade of comics that a friend of mine in middle school would get from his older brother when he was done reading them and then smuggle to me each day on the school bus, since my parents wouldn’t let me read comic books, or wouldn’t let me buy them, or something that I don’t really remember very well but recall as requiring a scheme to get around. I definitely had more than a few actual good issues taken away and trashed when I got caught with them (a Doom Patrol and a Suicide Squad, if memory serves, and I think the Captain America issue where Scourge killed all the C-grade villains at the Bar With No Name). The plot, such as it was, in this one was that local youth group track team members were being hoodwinked into becoming smokers, so that the evil Smoke Screen could profit from betting against the team. Apparently this plan worked, because in the 80s cigarettes were so strong they gave you instant emphysema. Who knew?

(Hilariously enough, this comic was still coming out as recently as 2002, with only the artwork getting a update.)

So far, it’s a little heavy handed and cheesy, but nothing too nuts. But here’s where stuff starts getting a little weird.

It doesn’t look like much on the surface, but in actuality this was a comic put out in conjunction with Planned Parenthood, where the villain is an alien who is trying to convince the teenagers of America to have loads and loads of unprotected sex so he can steal the babies. Yes that’s right. An educational comic about safe sex that revolves around baby stealing. Go figure.

But even that seems quaint when compared to this. The ultimate in good intentioned bad ideas.

Obviously child abuse is a serious issue that I would never belittle (publicly). But this comic… look, I’ll just cut to the chase, Spidey admits to having been molested as a kid. There you go. That’s the story being told in Spidey’s part of the issue.


Don’t even ask me to remember what happened in the Power Pack part, young Peter Parker getting touched by his grown up “friend” Skip completely wiped whatever happened in the rest of the comic out of my brain for life.

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