The April Fool gives Spider-Man the slip

THE APRIL FOOL

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human (Earth-57780; see comments)

Occupation: Prankster at large (one day a year);
    otherwise unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations:  None

Enemies: J. Arthur Crank, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), a librarian

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly mobile throughout New York City;
    Earth-57780

First Appearance: Spidey Super Stories#10/2 (July, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: The April Fool possessed a variety of of "prank"-based items, as well as having an oil can and a hot dog cart. He displayed no superhuman abilities except for an incredible lack of fashion sense.

History:

(Spidey Super Stories#10/2 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in the past, the April Fool began appearing on the first of April to play jokes on people.

(Spidey Super Stories#10/2) - As J. Arthur Crank walked down a street, he spied a bag of money sitting on the ground. Crank leapt for the bag, but missed, as April Fool yanked on a string and pulled the bag through a broken wooden fence.

The annoyed Crank announced (to no one in particular) that he needed that money to buy a hot dog, just as - coincidentally - the April Fool rolled up to him with a hot dog cart. The April Fool gave a free hot dog to Crank, which squirted him in the face as soon as he bit down. This further irritated Crank, who blithely accepted the handkerchief the April Fool offered him to wipe his face off - which was covered in sneezing powder. Being fooled yet again, Crank yelled for help, which drew the attention of the web-swinging Spider-Man.

As Spidey and Crank advanced on the tasteless trickster, the April Fool produced an oil can and literally "gave them the slip", tripping them up and ducking into a nearby library. Once inside, he used his water-squirting lapel flower on the librarian and ran further into the building, where Spidey opined they'd "never find him."

However, the librarian had a plan, and drew the April Fool's attention to a bookshelf filled with old joke books. Pointedly ignoring the new joke books a shelf below ("fools love old jokes!"), the April Fool grabbed one of the old joke books and opened it - and out popped a jack-in-the-box Spider-Man! Taken by surprise, the Fool crashed back against the shelf, which buried him in jokebooks. Crank congratulated the librarian on a trick well played.

Comments: Created by some combination of writer Jean Thomas and artists Winslow Mortimer, Mike Esposito, and Tony Mortellaro.
    There are several stories in the issue, and the book doesn't have individual penciller/inker credits.

    Spider-Man knew the April Fool by name, suggesting that they may have had a previous encounter. That said, Spidey was incredibly superfluous to the story itself.

    The exact nature of the April Fool is unstated in the story, but from outward appearances he seems to just be a regular guy with a fixation on playing relatively harmless pranks on April Fool's Day every year. It's not impossible that he could be some kind of April Fool's Day equivalent to Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny - his oil can did just sort of appear when he needed it - but that's reading way further into the story than was ever intended.

    J. Arthur Crank was a recurring character on the Electric Company television series (played by Jim Boyd), and is outside the scope of this profile. Likewise, the librarian seems to have been based on Electric Company actress Lee Chamberlin.

This story took place on Earth-57780, but maybe the April Fool has an Earth-616 counterpart. You never know.

Profile by Monzo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The April Fool  has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Spidey Super Stories#10, p14, pan1 (main image)
Spidey Super Stories#10, p15, pan4 (headshot)


Other Appearances:
Spidey Super Stories#10/2 (July, 1975) - Jean Thomas (writer), Winslow Mortimer, Mike Esposito, Tony Mortellaro ("artists"), A.J. Hays (editor), John Romita (art director)


Last updated: 04/01/07

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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