Every so often, famous folks appear in comic books to lend some real-world veracity to the spandex-clad antics. Sometimes the cameo works and everyone has clean, kitschy fun. Other times the cameo fucks up the plot beyond all comprehension.
These are some of those "other times."
Superheroes and late night TV hosts have a curious history of teaming up to fight evil. The Avengers guest-starred on Letterman, and the cast of Saturday Night Live joined Spider-Man in defeating the Silver Samurai.
These unlikely team-ups combined two great tastes that don't seem to go together, but, like Nutella and Jagermeister, somehow make perfect sense when you're absolutely shitfaced.
In July 2002, Marvel Comics debuted Jay Leno & Spider-Man: One Night Only. Marvel presumably created this three-part crossover to capitalize on the release of the Spider-Man feature film, but why they chose Leno to be the star is anyone's guess. You wouldn't think Leno's audience of senior citizens would overlap much with audience for Spider-Man on the Venn diagram.
Where it goes wrong ...
We have to start with One Night Only's criminally ridiculous plot, wherein Spider-Man and Leno team up to film a General Motors commercial, then get attacked by ninjas. What the hell help is Jay Leno going to be in a ninja fight? Couldn't they, say, have them attacked by a race of aliens whose only vulnerability is really stale monologues and awkward, polite laughter?
No, instead we get a 52-year-old Jay Leno practicing kung fu on a ninja-defeating level:
Don't bother trying to find this comic in stores. Marvel divided it into three parts and tucked it non-sequentially at end of random serieses during summer 2002. This is bad for the 2.5 of you who actually wanted to read this turd, but good for the rest of us who avoided accidentally running across it.
And to make things worse ...
The writers tantalized us with a promising homoerotic subtext, yet for some reason chose not to pursue it.