A few weeks back, Marvel announced a partnership with New York City to promote unemployment resources. Their collaboration began with Spider-Man: You’re Hired, a free comic book released on Marvel’s Mobile App and in the November 18th edition of the New York Daily News. As it is now December, your best bet is to read the comic using the app or hit eBay if you’d prefer a hard copy.
The issue begins with Peter Parker and Aunt May on the subway as Pete begins his job search after J. Jonah Jameson gave him the boot. The book is deliberately vague about this to try and make it relevant to current continuity while still being accessible to the everyman. In the Marvel Universe they might have Obama as President, but local politicians won’t necessarily reflect to real life—J. Jonah Jameson is the current mayor of NYC in the comics. Heck, Peter was fired for doctoring a photo of J.J. beating the pants off of a super-villain to make Jameson look good; that’s a bit of trivia normal people don’t care about. Instead of Marvel’s mayor we get Mayor Bloomberg, who happens to show up on the very train the Parkers are riding on (coincidence of coincidences)!
Here is where the issue really starts going into advertisement mode. Bloomberg has a few ideas for Peter’s job search; most of them revolve around Workforce1, New York’s free workforce placement and training centers. They’re available throughout the five boroughs, which helps since the Parkers live in Queens. Two pages after getting off the subway, Peter winds up having to sneak away for a quick change, as The Vulture is running away with a load of stolen money.
Spidey makes short work out of the flying villain and returns to Bloomberg, only to then be called away to assist Iron Man in fighting a giant mechanical dinosaur. Creative, I’ll give them that. By the time this is all over, Mayor Bloomberg has given Aunt May all the information Peter will need. Oh, and Bloomberg either figured out Peter is Spider-Man or is simply playing mind games with him. Either way, Peter spends about three minutes combined with the Mayor and the comic is over. It’s a silly little romp with a giant dinosaur but it does get its message through pretty well. Warren Simons is the writer, which is, as far as I know, his first writing gig. He’s worked as an editor for Marvel in the past, so that does count partially as writing. On the art side is Todd Nauck, one of my favorites. He worked on Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man with Peter David and drew Obama when he appeared in Amazing Spider-Man so good choice there to draw Mike Bloomberg’s comic book alter-ego.
Would I recommend this to someone looking to get a job in New York City? Sure. It gives some good tips and isn’t difficult to flip through if you have an iPod or iPhone. Plus, the price point of “free” is always good. I’ll just make sure to leave out the fact that Peter Parker is already no longer jobless in the Marvel Universe and that he got the job through partial nepotism, not Workforce1. Oh well.