Like any entertainment medium, comics are in a constant, frantic battle to stay relevant. Clearly, the winning move is to force celebrity guest appearances that utterly destroy all suspension of disbelief. After all, if Superman exists in the same universe as Orson Welles, Don Rickles, and Muhammad Ali, why didn't he stop Vietnam, or 9/11, or Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice? Or any of these other stupidly ridiculous celebrity/superhero encounters?
6 Spider-Man Enlists The Help Of The Original Saturday Night Live Cast (Minus Chevy Chase)
The year is 1978. Taking advantage of the first crime-free Saturday night in the history of New York City, Spider-Man (as Peter Parker) takes his girlfriend, Mary Jane, to see Saturday Night Live, where he improbably thwarts an attack by Silver Samurai with the help of the cast. It is worth noting that Silver Samurai normally battles the X-Men, and the SNL cast normally battles drug addiction.
"Belushi, NO!" is a phrase that was frequently uttered in the 1970s.
The plot involves a magic ring on John Belushi's finger which the Samurai wants to steal. Luckily, Bill Murray spots him, and within one page, makes the decision to sneak up on a henchman, knock him out with a prop Thor hammer, steal his clothes, and infiltrate the Samurai's gang in disguise. And it works.
Who needs Spider-Man when you have Bill Murray?
In fact, the only reason Murray doesn't singlehandedly dismantle Silver Samurai and his gang is that Spider-Man starts a clumsy fight which fills the room with steam. In the confusion, Bill is tackled by Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner. Either the entire cast of Saturday Night Live was recruited from special forces, or they were on so much cocaine that they lost all sense of danger.
"Don't bother calling the cops. No one will ever believe you."
It's not all sword fights with comedy actors. There are scenes of straight comedy as well, such as when Dan Aykroyd convinces Garrett Morris to dress up like Thor to fool the Silver Samurai's thugs. As "Thor" tries to convince them he's the real deal, Murray and Radner electrocute them with lighting equipment.
The thugs' response predicted the internet's reaction to every non-white-male reboot of a Marvel character 40 years ahead of time.
The SNL cast ends up slaughtering the entirety of Silver Samurai's gang, while Spider-Man gets beaten through all their expensive sets. Spider-Man is such a shitty superhero in this comic that the audience actually believes he's just part of a sketch. And he'd absolutely be dead if not for the bravery of Belushi, who dresses up like his samurai character to start a full-on two-page sword fight with a supervillain.
In Marvel's defense, this is absolutely something John Belushi would do.
Any sane person going into this comic expecting a wacky romp with Spider-Man and the cast of SNL trading one-liners had to have been surprised when they discovered it contained approximately two limp jokes and about 25 battles to the death involving Bill Murray. In other words, it is the greatest celebrity/superhero team-up ever.
5The Flash Is Weirdly Cool With Fidel Castro
Marvel Comics tried not to wade into the Cuba controversy after Fidel Castro took over. Castro was referenced only as "El Presidente," and was a backup player in the creation of a third-rate Iron Man villain named "The Crusher." (He mostly crushed things.) However, DC Comics had no problem at all letting us know exactly how they felt about communist revolutions.
Fidel Castro made a much weirder cameo in The Flash. In this bizarre story, the dictator holds a birthday party for the Flash, who in turn restores Castro to power on behalf of the CIA. You read that right.
"Ha! You're one of the good ones, communist dictator Fidel Castro!"
According to Fidel, everyone trying to overthrow him wants to turn Cuba into a playground for drug addicts, gamblers, and prostitutes. And despite fighting off the mind-control starfishes of the mighty Starro several times, Flash fully succumbs to the hypnotic powers of Castro's charm. He buys the story instantly and completely. So if you're reading this, Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang, Flash will let you go if you tell him you're just trying to help cash escape a corrupt bank vault.
The whole comic is like that. When Flash first meets Castro (randomly wandering through a jungle), he's angry about Fidel's men shooting down his plane. It's an accusation Castro deftly dodges in only three steps. One, he says it totally wasn't him. Two, he tells Flash that maybe he deserved to get shot. And three, he threatens to shoot Flash. This is more than enough to convince Flash that this Fidel Castro fellow is trustworthy. It honestly seems impossible that anyone this dumb survived even a single day of crime-fighting.
The start of a beautiful friendship.
There are also aliens secretly replacing Cuban citizens (including Castro himself), but the main crux of the story is Flash being a total moron.
Note that man's Spanish gasp has been translated into English for the reader.
If there's any sense to be made from this story, it's that commies are better than aliens, and that you simply can't stay mad at good ol' Fidel Castro.