It may seem bizarre that there is a comic book about this topic but the reason is actually good. The National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA) had a give-away comic made to educate children about this important topic. Apparently Marvel was involved because it features Spider-man. More interesting than that though, he tells the story of what happened to him as a child against his will. Or in other words, Peter Parker was molested. The comic is called Spider-man and Power Pack and it’s quite an unusual read.
The story starts with Parker in his crummy apartment developing film in his bathroom. Because New York City apartments are not very good, he can hear his neighbor through the wall. He recognizes that it’s a little boy and it sounds like he is in trouble. He investigates by climbing out his window and tapping on the child’s window in his Spider-man outfit. A guilty female baby-sitter named Judy runs away and warns the male kid Tony not to tell anyone what happened.
Tony tells Spider-man how Judy forced him to play “grown-ups”. Spider-man explains that something similar happened to him when he was a little boy. It turns out that a older boy (with gray hair for some reason) named Steven Westcott and goes by the nickname Skip met Peter Parker in the library. They became friends, until one day Skip shows Parker some girlie magazines to turn him on. Skip then pressured him to “experiment”, which led to their friendship ending afterward. Parker then had to tell his aunt and uncle why he was no longer hanging out with Skip. So yeah, Peter Parker was molested. There is also a second story in this comic book about a girl who runs away because her father abused her and her mother is unconvinced about the truth. Unfortunately this scenario is awfully common is real life and is hard to think about.
There are actually a few of these NCPCA giveaway comics, one of them being in 1987 a few years later. This one has the Hobgoblin and makes reference to the aforementioned story. These kind of comics with underlying messages are nothing new. Hell, Flash once made a commentary about AIDS.
This 1984 comic has been republished many times but with slight variations on the cover, usually indicating different sponsors. The same goes with the 1987 comic with the Hobgoblin story. Have you read any of these stories? What do you think? Leave a comment.