Check Out Those Ads! – Spectacular Spider-Man #64

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64: Cloak and Dagger

This year March has five Wednesdays, so we get a bonus issue of comic book ads! For the bonus issue I’ve reached a little farther back to March 1982, looking at Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64. The ads from the early 1980’s are extremely different from the ads of the early 1990’s.

I didn’t start collecting Spider-Man titles consistently until Todd McFarlane launched Spider-Man in 1990. I do however, have various issues of Spider-Man in my collection. Mainly from crossover events and some one-offs like this one.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1 had an impressive run. First published in 1976 it ran 263 issues until November 1998. It came back in 2003 with Vol.2 which ran for 27 issues; Vol.3 launched in 2017 and published 23 issues. Neither were as popular as the original.

Over the years, Spider-Man comics have featured the ‘first appearance’ of a lot of standout Marvel characters. Kingpin, Green Goblin, Morbius, Punisher, Captain Marvel, the list goes on and on. This issue also introduces new characters.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64 is the first appearance of duo Cloak and Dagger. The issue serves as the origin story for Cloak and Dagger. They are hell bent on revenge and set out to kill the drug dealers who experimented on them. Spider-Man tries to stop them from going on a killing spree.

Cloak and Dagger received a four issue mini-series in 1983 and an ongoing series in 1985. Cloak and Dagger was a successful comic, then Marvel pulled it from them. After issue #11 Marvel combined Cloak and Dagger stories with Doctor Strange in a double-feature comic called Strange Tales.

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Cloak and Dagger

Strange Tales ran for nineteen issues, then Marvel split them into their own comic books again. After the split and with new writers on board, sales dropped for Cloak and Dagger and the comic was canceled.

First appearances are usually good for the value of a comic. This comic, depending on the quality, is worth $50-$500.

We’re not here for ‘first appearances’ of new characters that can make comics worth hundreds of dollars. We’re here to rip out the ads and see how they look after all these years.

So let’s get to it.

Fast 111’s

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 MPC Models

Fast 111’s were Kenner’s foray into the die-cast car market, trying to compete with Hot Wheels. Unfortunately for Kenner they were about 10 years to late to the party. Along with the die-cast cars they released a line of models.

I never owned a Fast 111’s model. I was partial to Monogram and Revell models. But this is a good ad and I like the look of the featured car.

Something for Everyone

Spectacular Spider-Man 64

This ad has it all. You can finish High School, get muscles in 7 days, Super Rings, Disney Stamps and comic lists. Lots of comic lists.

Bubble Yum

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Bubble Yum

I loved chewing gum when I was a kid. I liked all kinds, Bazooka, Wrigley’s, Dubble Bubble and my favorite Hubba Bubba.

I’d chew Bubble Yum every now and then, until the ugly truth was exposed. It turns out in order to get the soft, chewy gum Bubble Yum put put spider eggs in the gum…seriously, spider eggs! I guess in a Spectacular Spider-Man comic you can expect nothing less than spider eggs in gum.

It was probably this innocent looking wizard who used his witchcraft to put the spider eggs into the gum. It’s not magic in the gum it’s arachnid eggs! Bubble Yum launched a huge PR campaign denying the accusation. But I didn’t fall for it, Bubble Yum was forever tainted.

Remember, don’t swallow your gum, it will stay in your belly for seven years.

Karate Lessons

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Karate

A half page ad for conventions with the Hulk to draw you in. I was to young and to early into my comic collecting to worry about conventions. Or even understand what they were.

I am drawn to the karate lessons though. After 2 hours I can be on the path to an invincible Karate Master! Heck yeah, take my $3.

The Karate master in this ad is the real deal, Wallace Reumann holds a 5th degree black belt in Chito Ryu Karate.

Moondance Comics

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Moondance Comics

Lots of ads like this in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This one is for Moondance Comics out of Vermont. You could even send away for their free catalog.

If you look over on the far right there is a issue of X-Men #94 selling for $70. In today’s money that’s almost $300. A copy of X-men #94, graded 9.8 sold for over $27,000 in 2019! There’s a significant drop off if the comic is graded at 9.6, it’s only worth $7,000.

Holiday Savings

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 The Thing

Who cares if it’s March. You can still use the special Holiday savings coupon. Oh wait, no you can’t it expires in January…ugh

Grit Newspaper

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Grit

I wasn’t allowed to deliver newspapers. Grit was a no-go from the start. I’d never earn all the cash and prizes.

The free one million in cash would be nice. But the self defense is obviously a fake, we already know from the other ad what it takes to be a karate master.

Hostess Fruit Pie

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Hostess

We’ve seen a hostess ad before. It featured The Penguin trying to steal the yummy Hostess pies. In this ad Captain America is battling alien invaders. With quick thinking Nick Fury throws the aliens Hostess pies to distract them from the fight. It worked!

My favorite is the apple pie. Do they still sell them? I haven’t had one in forever.

Novelty Gifts

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Johnson Smith

I loved this kind of ad as a kid. It has everything. Police Light, book safe, giant foam dice, hand cuffs and Hercules wrist band! If you didn’t want the Hercules wrist band you were from a different planet.

You can ignore the ventriloquist dummies, those things are evil and will murder you in your sleep.

Monogram Models

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Monogram

Monogram, the second best model company in the 1980’s. I preferred Revell models, but would easily buy a Monogram if Revell wasn’t available. Monogram offered quality models across all genres, cars, trucks, planes.

The Black and Gold Trans Am was a big seller thanks to the popularity of Smokey and the Bandit. I’d love to have that ‘32 Ford Street Rod.

Not to long after this ad, in 1986, Monogram and Revell were purchased by the same parent company and merged into Revell-Monogram.

TSR Dungeons & Dragons

Spectacular Spider-Man 64 TSR

Save the best for last! Dungeons & Dragons hit the market in 1974, gaining wide spread popularity in the late 1970’s. By the time of this ad, 1982, I was strictly forbidden from owning or playing D&D.

In my house D&D was synonymous with the occult, witchcraft and satanic rituals. The horrible cult classic Tom Hanks movie from the same year didn’t help matters.

Banned or not, I was into D&D big time. I’d play at my friends house and keep the character sheets and dice there too. I’d go to the library and read the rule book and monster manuals. I didn’t dare try and sneak them into the house.

This is a fantastic full glossy back cover ad. Indel the Elf is in trouble as he faces a red dragon. His party breaks down the door and rushes in to save him. The fighter, wielding the great sword Naril scares the dragon into submission. What’s so evil about that?

I hope you enjoyed the bonus episode for March with some great ads from 1982. We’ll be back at the end of March with a double anniversary edition.

Until then, keep your comics bagged and boarded…unless you want to thumb through them to check out the great ads!

Check out the previous installments of
Check Out Those Ads!

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About Pitfall Gary 42 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.