Just googling my name and much to my surprise a blast from the past. From what I recall it was one of the first letters to be published in the Transformer comic series. Cheers Stuart
No worries, always good to hear from a reader.
Sales is a great explanation for why they would include Spider-Man in “The Transformers” and make it a Marvel Universe title even though that leads to unanswerable questions as to why all the Marvel Universe heroes don’t just pitch in whenever Megatron is doing something that threatens the entire Earth, or why the Marvel Universe heroes don’t ask the Autobots for help when they have a problem a race of giant robots could solve.
That is, Spider-Man is a beloved character and there were probably people who, even if they weren’t Spider-Man completists per se, would want to read a comic if it had Spider-Man in it. So that makes sense.
Then five or six years later they asked us to forget that it ever happened. Must have been a temporal anomaly that corrected itself.
With life outside rather quiet, I'm revisiting these early issues:
Regarding Spider-Man's black costume, as confirmed next issue this was indeed its first appearance at Marvel UK. Spider-Man Comics Weekly was at this point trying to resist introducing it out of fear the change (and the more adult darker stories) would drive away readers so at this time were doing an original story with Spidey in the UK followed by reprinting various issues with the red & blue costume in the hope that the black would go away long term without leaving too much impact. In addition they hadn't yet started reprinted Secret Wars and it would be another year before they would get to showing how Spidey found the costume in the first place.
(Eventually Marvel UK gave in and introduced the stories with the new costume. Almost immediately afterwards the title was switched to go more juvenile, dropping the ongoing reprints in favour of material from the 1970s "Spidey Super Stories" series that accompanied a children's educational series The Electric Company. This version of the title lasted about half a year before crashing & burning. Spider-Man and Zoids was a successor title that returned to ongoing reprints but only lasted a year.)
The costume will create a lot of confusion because it came in two forms. The initial one was the "alien costume" which responded to Peter's thoughts, generated its own webbing and turned out to be a symbiote lifeform. After only six months he managed to escape it with the help of Reed Richards and initially resumed wearing the red and blue costume. Subsequently Spider-Man would also introduce a cloth version of the black costume and wear the two alternatively for about a year and a half but then after one of his red & blue costumes was destroyed he wore the black costume almost exclusively for the next year and a half (apart from a red & blue costume during an adventure in Berlin). After Venom popped up wearing the alien costume and terrorising Mary Jane, Spider-Man went back to the red & blue costume exclusively.
The note in the US publication of this TF story was to cover the fact that it was printed a couple of months after the alien costume has been dispatched in Spider-Man's own titles and over there he was now back in the red & blue. Spidey's later appearance in what here was billed as "Iron Man 2020" (but was in fact Amazing Spider-Man Annual #20) is from the black cloth exclusive era which is where Spider-Man & Zoids had just got up to when it was cancelled. (Just to add to the confusion the last two issues had an out of sequence reprint from the alternating costumes period.)
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.
Action Force/G.I. Joe