Belfast Printer

Spider-man Takes on the IRA

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I have never really been a comic person. As I kid I read Buster and the Beano. When a little older I tried X-Men and if I’m honest found it hard going. I got into Marvel in the late 80s through the now legendary cartoons. It started with Spider-man and his Amazing Friends. You know the one where Spider-man, Firestar and Ice-man lived together in an apartment that turned into some sort of command centre. I loved that, when all the furniture changed into all those 80s style computers when the big fire monster attacked the city. Also, Firestar was Hot (pardon the pun).

The 90s came and we finally got an X-Men series and a new Spider-man that was much more comprehensive and kept to comic cannon. These were my favourite Saturday morning cartoons. Then there was the live action TV series but the least said about that the better with it’s 60s Batman effects and cheesy porno music.

Years after these shows hit the screen I had heard that Spider-man had once graced the streets of Belfast. I was intrigued.

After some extensive research I found out that the Web of Spider-man comic series had indeed brought Spider-man to London and then Belfast where he fought the IRA. It lead to the Marvel office in New York being evacuated after National outrage and eventual Bomb threats.

I looked and looked for traces of the story but unfortunately these issues became increasingly difficult to find. Then, after many hours spent online, I tracked down a copy.

So here we go, for your pleasure I have scanned (and ripped a page FFS) a few of the more interesting pages to share this with all those who can’t or won’t believe this actually happened.

Peter Parker arrives at Heathrow during an attack by the IRA

‘Up The Rebels’ – I nearly pissed my pants laughing at that little gem

This is where the troubles are explained to Peter and it seems like Spain is getting the blame here. after this the action moves to the London sewers where the Provos are planting a bomb (is there anyone who doesn’t find this hilarious?).

‘You go around blowing up babies and you call me an “it”‘ – you tell ‘em Spidey.

After this victory Peter heads to Belfast. The next image is just awesome in its innaccuracy.

Now remember this came out in 1987 and Belfast looks more like Beirut.

This is another of my favourite parts. Peter’s Spider sense saves them from getting hit by a petrol bomb thrown by the IRA at an army patrol. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, it really is.

After several pages of bad Irish stereotypes and shockingly disjointed and innaccurate exposition we reach the final showdown in a Roxxon facility in Belfast where Spidey fights the bad guys.

Ok, this is where I gave up scanning and had a wee cry after tearing the corner off a page. Anyway, it finishes with a Provo turned ‘good’ killing another Provo with a wooly face before finding out it’s his brother. Then there is the involvement of 003, an MI5 agent involved in a plot to sell weapons and, of course, the AK-X Antipersonnel Particle Beam Cannon. *sigh

So there you go, proof that Spidey was in Belfast, fought the IRA and won.

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Chris Writes

Twitter: @Chris__Writes

Website: www.chriswrites.net