An ill-considered vehicle that briefly appeared in titles published by Marvel Comics. The Spider-mobile first appeared in Amazing Spider-man #130 in 1974.

1974. Watergate and Nixon. Recession. Gas Crisis. Disco. A time that saw many ill-thought concepts assault our culture, including the light blue leisure suit. Comics were not immune to the plague of bad ideas that raged during this time, hence the introduction of the Spider-mobile.

The backstory involves a little known auto company Corona Motors who had developed a new engine type that was non-polluting. The company sought to advertise their new development and sought the help of a advertising company in picking a spokesperson. The ad execs came up with the idea that Spider-man, an infamous vigilante that was regularly reviled and villainized in the local papers, would be the perfect choice. One has to wonder if these are not the same people who years later would suggest New Coke, Super Train, and advised Gary Hart to challenge the press to follow him.

The offer was made to Spider-man who was at that point in one of his famous money deficits and so accepted the the offer. Unfortunately, it was then explained to our hero that they were only providing the engine, he had to put it in a car. Spider-man sought help from his friend Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, who was something of a hot rod enthusist and had the technical skill to help build a car.

The pair designed the coolest car that the mid-70's recognized: a dune buggy. The end result was painted to look like the web-slinger's costume, had two bucket seats, a roll bar, and huge tires. It also included the dumb-ass hero package which included a spider-signal, retractable web-shooters for the car, and an ejector seat. The license plate even said Spidey because this was the 1970's and that was pretty popular at the time. Well, all that can be said of the result was at least it was not a Gremlin.

Spider-man actually used the vehicle a couple of times, taking on the likes of Hammerhead, a villain who took his motiff from a 1920's gangster film and had a surgical procedure to put a metal plate in his head, but which also made the top of his head flat enough to rest a drink on. Hammerhead's famous attack was to charge at his opponent and hit them with his head. Makes the gangster motiff seem almost normal, eh?

Spider-man later ran the Spider-mobile into the river or ocean near New York, when he was caught in the illusion of Mysterio and convinced that he was driving down a street, when in fact he was driving down a pier. The car sank and one almost hoped that this was the last we would see of the the Spider-mobile, but this is Marvel and nothing ever stays dead in the Marvel Universe if they can make one more buck off of it. The villain, the Tinkerer, dredged the Spider-mobile out of the water, and refit it so he could operate it by remote control (since he had no desire to be seen driving it) and used the car to attack its original owner. Spider-man destroyed the car and we have been fortunate enough not to see the vehicle return in any form.

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