The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man
|"The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man"|
|Publication date||January 1984|
|Title(s)||The Amazing Spider-Man #248|
|The Very Best of Spider-Man||ISBN 0-7851-0045-8|
Young Timothy "Tim" Harrison lies in his bed. Newspaper captions (from a report by Daily Bugle journalist Jacob Conover) say Tim is the greatest Spider-Man fan in the world and has collected every article available on him, including a whole album of The Daily Bugle's retractions. Tim has also collected mementos such as kinescopes of Spider-Man's early television appearances and bullets from a crime foiled by Spider-Man. Suddenly, Spider-Man comes into Tim's room. In the following hours, the two trade anecdotes about Spider-Man's long career. The hero is surprised and touched by how much the boy adores him.
When Spider-Man is about to leave, Tim asks him who he really is. After some hesitation, Spider-Man takes off his mask, identifies himself as Peter Parker, and retells the fateful night when his negligence let Uncle Ben die, causing him to fight crime. The story does not change Tim's admiration of his hero. A tearful Peter Parker embraces Tim (who refers to him as "Pete") and departs. An exterior view reveals Tim is staying in a cancer clinic. The last of the newspaper captions states that the boy's only wish is to meet his hero in person. Conover ends his report by stating his hope that "Spider-Man takes the time to visit a very brave young man named Tim Harrison, and I hope he does it soon. You see, Tim Harrison has leukemia, and the doctors only give him a few more weeks to live."
Most of Amazing #248 is Spider-Man's fight against Thunderball, but Stern's backup story is remembered much better than the main tale. According to Stern:
Partly, I'm sure that it sprang from a desire on my part to do a short human-interest story in the style of Will Eisner - that's why the story is partially advanced through newspaper clippings... I was trying to be Eisneresque.
The story served as the partial basis for the two-part story "Make a Wish/Attack of the Octobot", in the third season of Spider-Man: The Animated Series. The major difference is that the child is a girl, named Taina. She mentions a friend named Timmy. Another reference to Tim is at the end of the episode where there is a plaque that reads "WISH COME TRUE FOUNDATION FOR TERMINALLY ILL CHILDREN".
- "Wizard Best of Spider-Man Limited Deluxe Hardcover". Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- "Interview with Roger Stern". 1996-10-01. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- "The Very Best of Spider-Man". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- "The Spider's Web Exclusive: Interview with Roger Stern". Archived from the original on 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2007-10-12.