Peter Parker’s been assigned to take photos of the local Polar Bear club on Christmas Eve, as they plan a quick swim in the frigid temperatures. But they’re interrupted by a disturbance in the sand — the Sandman is back! Peter changes to Spidey to track the villain down, but Sandman slips through his grasp.
Spidey still hopes to make his date, so he swings by to warn the Fantastic Four that the Sandman is back. But the only hero on hand is the somewhat Scroogelike Johnny Storm, who isn’t feeling in the Christmas spirit.
Still, Spidey joins Johnny, dressed in some swingin’ ’70s threads, to search for the Sandman. The pair stop to help make some citizens’ Christmases more merry along the way, by averting a traffic accident and stopping an attempted robbery.
They eventually catch up with the Sandman, and there’s a Christmas twist of sorts to the tale’s final third. Johnny eventually comes around on the season, as well.
Roy Thomas and Ross Andru are the creative team for a charming first issue. The series, featuring Spider-Man teaming with various Marvel superheroes, ran through issue No. 150 in 1985. Trivia note: The woman who Johnny and Spider-Man save from a mugging was later revealed to be Misty Knight, later girlfriend to Iron Fist and a private detective in the Marvel Universe.
- Matt Price
Comics read in 2011: 1981. Still to go: 30