Spider-Man vs. The Hulk At the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics: It’s So Bad, It’s Good

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I grew up on comic books, thrilled by the Marvel world of super heroes fighting evil in the universe while dealing with their own complications of making a living, family strife, and acne. The reason that Hollywood is enamored with the Marvel and DC universes is because of the powerful character development of superheroes who were learning as they went, uncovering personal flaws, while wisecracking and cracking heads.

But perhaps in my youth, I was overly forgiving.

I picked up a 1980 comic book because it was related to the Olympics – Marvel Treasury Edition #25, Spider-Man vs. The Hulk at the Winter Olympics.

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And boy, it is bad. The illustrations are fine. The story is ridiculous. The writing is awful – way too much explanation.

According to this article, there was a time in the late 1970s and early 1980s when Marvel and DC were locked in a Cold War – Détente relationship. When DC put out a large-sized comic book called DC’s Limited Collector’s Edition, Marvel did the same with Marvel Treasury Edition. Measuring 10 inches by 14 inches, the Marvel Treasury Edition was significantly bigger than the standard 6.5 by 10 inch mag.

But Marvel featured primarily reprints. Inspired by the coming Winter Games in 1980, Marvel decided to use the Marvel Treasury format in issue #25, creating original content in commemoration of the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, complete with appearances by Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. Despite the writing, and storyline, the art is still pretty cool.

I wonder if they were thinking to do one on the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. I guess we’ll never know.

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