To me, Spider-Man Fairy Tales #4 is the definition of a quarter bin comic. Not in price; it cost me $.50, but in spirit — I hadn’t heard of it before, and only bought it because the cover looks neat and I needed to round out the dollar as I picked up the Mystic Arcana: Black Knight issue to round out my ever-present Black Knight collection. Does it matter that I don’t have the first 3? No, no it doesn’t, because they’re self-contained fairy tales. Here, to accompany my Black Knight, we see Peter Parker, The Knowledgeable Spider-Knight (?). Peter Parker’s father and uncle are noble knights, killed by the villainous Goblin clan led by Sir Norman Osborn (or whatever he’s called — it’s garish green goblin knight armor). As a result, Pete is taken to be raised by the Osborns, and gets “Cinderella’d” in favor of the chosen son, Harry Osborn. Pete hopes to attend the big ball to win the hand of the fair maiden Princess Gwen Stacy, much to the dismay of the superfluously sluttily attired cleaning wench Mary Jane. Eventually Pete finds the armor of his fallen forebears and adopts the spider as his symbol because life’s a web, or something. Long story short, Pete “Cinderellas” the ball, leaving behind a Spidery gauntlet, Pete thwarts the Osborns’ attempts to shoehorn their way into the throne, and King Arthur Stacy (whoa!) and Gwen die in the fracas, Gwen ironically dying saving Pete’s life. Pete becomes a proper knight, with snazzy symbiote-style armor, and Mary Jane continues to be forlorn over her unrequited love for Sir Peter of Parker.
While it is silly to have Spider-Man as Cinderella, essentially, and having him diss Mary Jane for Gwen Stacy, this is actually pretty fun. The art by Nick Dragotta is clean and reminiscent of Silver Age, and the story is essentially a “What If…Starring”-style story that gets from point A to point B without being dragged down too much by avoiding introducing a million side characters, and taken for what it is, a self-contained one-off for entertainment purposes only, I’d say it’s actually on the good side of the spectrum.
Pure Snazz, from Marvel.Wikia