The weird shit you find in your attic....
During a recent spelunking mission, I came across an amazing artifact from the '80s: "The Colorado Caper," a full-length Marvel comic starring Spider-Man and the Hulk in an exciting advertorial for the Denver Post and the now-defunct May D&F department store. Ready for some incredible action, daring journalism and highly suspect fashions? Read on, heroes, for colorful excerpts from the entire heart-pounding adventure!
Let's set the scene with the cover, featuring a Post headline announcing "Hulk Seen on Ski Slope." Can't get anything past those ink-stained wretches!
What's the story? Page one sets up the narrative. Dr. Doom, the evil ruler of Latveria, is in a chalet overlooking "the white, glistening slopes of Colorado," when two of his henchmen bring him the adorable daughter of Dmitri Solzyn, a scientist attending a conference in our fair state -- and planning to defect. The idea? Solzyn won't take off if he knows his tot's a hostage....
Also attending the conference is Dr. Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk. As these panels reveal, he thinks Solzyn may be able to cure him of his raging Hulkiness. But before he can find out, he's got something more important to do: He must visit "the sensational May D&F store!"
Continue to find out what happens in the Spider-Man/Hulk/Denver Post "Colorado Caper." The excitement is building. But before we get back to the story, let's take a break, as the "Colorado Caper" frequently does, to pitch May D&F. Take this ad, which combines Spidey with dresses from Gunne Sax that make young girls look like they're in their nineties....
And now, let's check in with Solzyn (who bears a certain resemblance to an idealized Stan Lee), who doesn't yet realize his daughter's been nabbed. Peter watches from a distance as the scientist attempts to ski away from his minders.
Unfortunately, Solzyn's escape is foiled by Dr. Doom, who reveals the pint-sized leverage he holds over the poor doctor.
Afterward, Bruce Banner chats with a newly terrified Solzyn and immediately knows something is wrong. But his inquisitiveness alerts Dr. Doom's henchmen, who strap skis to Banner's feet and attempt to push him over a cliff to his death. Little do they realize he's about to Hulk out!
...as the Hulk causes an avalanche that sweeps over the bad guys simply by clapping his giant green hands.
All that's left now is for the Marvel-ous twosome to help Solzyn defect. But they need help -- from Denver Post reporter "Mark Hamilton," who asks tough questions of Dr. Doom during a news conference.
Continue to find out what happens in the Spider-Man/Hulk/Denver Post "Colorado Caper." Dr. Doom gives Solzyn the option of staying in Colorado, confident he'll reject the deal to keep his daughter safe. But Post reporter Hamilton knows the little girl is safe -- thanks to a tip from fellow journo Peter Parker!
At last, Solzyn and his daughter are free of Dr. Doom's sinister influence. How to celebrate? The scientist decides to treat Parker and Banner (but not poor reporter Hamilton) to "fine new clothes...at the famous May D&F store."
A happy ending? The nattily clad youngster on the left side of the back-cover ad sure thinks so. As for the Hulk, he's got just one word: "IZZODD!"
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