Written by Drew Siragusa, Fanboy Comics Senior Contributor
Sunday, 22 July 2012 21:33
UPDATED AS OF SEPTEMBER 21, 2012
Dear Carl's Jr.,
When I first heard about your recent “Dress as Spider-Man and receive a free Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger” promotion, I was very excited. As a life-long fan of Spider-Man and an ingester of cheeseburgers, I felt like this promotion was made for me; however, I was extremely disappointed as my visit to Carl's Jr. took a turn for the worse.
After a long day at work, I returned home in order to dress in my Spider-Man costume (leaving my mask at home, as the promotion stated), and then walked over to your establishment to enjoy my free burger.
Upon entering your restaurant, I was immediately greeted by the employees snickering at my appearance. As a nerd, being mocked is no new experience to me. Armed with the knowledge that this time my social awkwardness would be rewarded with a free cheeseburger, I maintained the strength to go on.
When I reached the counter, the cashier informed me that the manager was needed in order to give out the free burger. When the manager appeared, she informed me that the promotion only applied to the red and blue Spider-Man costume. Apparently, my symbiote black suit Spider-Man costume was not to her liking.
At no point during any of the commercials advertising the promotion was it stated that the black suit was not a valid option. For those of us children of the '80s, we hold the symboite costume very near and dear to us.
Here is the thing: when it comes to Spider-Man's alternate costumes, the black suit is the least obscure of all of them. Not only did Spider-Man have the black suit from Amazing Spider-Man #252 until Issue #300, it was also featured in the previous movie. The black suit is well within the public consciousness; my mom even knows about the black suit. So, ignorance is no excuse here. It is not like I went with a more esoteric iteration like Ben Reily, Miles Morales, Spider-Man 2099, Scarlet Spider, Powers Cosmic Spider-Man, The Amazing Bag-Man, House of M Spider-Man, Spider-Man 1602, Spider-Man Noir, or even the reprehensible Iron Spider.
In case you are unaware of the history of the black suit, I would like to enlighten you with a brief history of the suit. The symbiote made its first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #252; however, fans would have to wait until Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 to find out how and why Spidey got his new suit. When the Marvel heroes and villains were abducted by the Beyonder and forced to fight, Spider-Man's suit was damaged. He found a machine that he incorrectly believed would repair his costume, but it instead popped out some black goo that quickly spread across his whole body. This new costume had the added advantages of making him stronger and faster, and it gave him organic webbing and could transform, so he no longer needed to change into civilian clothes.
After returning back to Earth, he quickly discovered that the suit was alive and dangerous. With the help of the Fantastic Four, the suit was removed and contained. In a seemingly unrelated story, Spider-Man fought a villain named Sin Eater. In an article for The Daily Globe, reporter Eddie Brock interviewed Emil Gregg (who was believed to be Sin Eater) about his life as Sin Eater. Peter Parker later broke the story that Stan Carter was the real Sin Eater. This ruined Eddie Brock's career and led him to his church where he planned on killing himself.
Back at The Baxter Building, the suit broke free and found its way back to Spider-Man and tried to bond permanently with him. Knowing that the suit has a weakness for loud noises, he found a bell tower and used the bells to weaken the suit and get it off of him. He believed the suit to be dead, but, in actuality, it seeped through the floorboards and found Eddie Brock below. They bonded to form Venom. The story continues much more from here, but I will not bore you with the details.
Back to the issue at hand. Your promotion was a complete exploitation of my fandom. Personally, I do not mind being exploited, as long as I receive the free food that has been promised to me.
In light of your recent actions, I am sure that Carl's Sr. would be very disappointed with you right now.