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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea

While they didn’t crawl on walls or snare ninjas with wrist-mounted web-launchers, AAFES officials did go to heroic efforts to accommodate throngs of fans seeking an advance showing of their favorite wall crawler’s latest exploits on Friday night.

Army and Air Force Exchange officials gave away 600 tickets last week for the sneak peek at “Spider-Man 3.”

When fans began lining up around Yongsan’s 602-seat South Post theater as early as 1 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show, AAFES spider senses were already tingling.

AAFES put extra staff members on the schedule, set up a second concession stand and even brought in military police from 124th MP Company to thwart any villains planning on crashing the event. “There’s a lot of kids here in a small area, and we just want to make the community feel safe,” said military police Sgt. Jenny Lisciandri.

And 2nd Lt. Nathan McDonald, also a policeman, suggested their presence might have been a response to what one AAFES staff member referred to as “the Harry Potter meltdown” when an advance showing of one of the popular series’ installments led to people causing problems with the fire exits.

Even film distributor Sony Pictures Entertainment representative Corky Lewin got in on the superhero act, hand-carrying a single copy of the film across South Korea to defend it from the forces of evil and ensure servicemembers got their movie. When asked what would happen if the film were lost she answered in a tone that would give the Green Goblin reason to pause: “That just won’t happen.”

AAFES General Manager Ron Daugherty said all the extra measures were taken to ensure the event went smoothly so everyone could have a good time. “It looks like we’ve dealt with that effectively,” he said.

More powers on display

Spidey wasn’t the only one with super powers at Yongsan’s showing of the latest web-swinging action flick. Check out what daring deeds others did to get a ticket.

NAME: Peter LanePOWERS: Has super wifeSTORY: Lt. Col. Peter Lane didn’t have to do anything to get his tickets. “My wife stood in line for three hours at Burger King to get the tickets,” then gave them to him so he could bring his son for a treat the night before his 7th birthday.

NAME: John StokesPowers: Super “Googler”STORY: When John Stokes heard an announcement that American Forces Network-Korea would give 10 tickets to the person who could answer their trivia question “What does IMAX stand for?” he said he knew exactly what to do. “I Googled it,” he said. He said he isn’t a huge Spidey fan — but his children are. “This is family time,” he said.

NAME: Zack VogtPOWERS: Class-skipperSTORY: Some fans refused to let anything stand between them and their tickets. Not even school. Seoul American High School junior Zack Vogt was waiting on his mother to get tickets while he was in school. But his mother learned that Burger King was handing out only two tickets per customer. She called and said, “‘If you want tickets you’d better come get them now,’” he said. “So I ditched all of third period and went to Burger King.” He grabbed the last ticket of the day. He said he doesn’t feel bad about ditching class. “My mom wrote me a note, so it’s OK,” he said.

NAME: Kathryn TrippPOWERS: Super MomSTORY: Arguing with AAFES staff members who didn’t want to let her in the theater to check on her 6-, 11- and 14-year-old sons was the final battle in a weeklong ordeal to get them into the advance viewing.

“My boys were so excited to see this movie,” said Kathryn. “Their dad was going to see opening night in the States, then they could talk about it Saturday,” an important bonding experience since their father recently returned from Iraq and now is at a training school Stateside. It took hours of waiting on all three days before she finally scored two tickets. “Which child do you tell he can’t go?” she asked. Pregnant with No. 4 — and admittedly emotional — Tripp said she began crying and begged for the ticket. “I made a complete fool of myself.” Eventually, her pleas fell on sympathetic ears.

“This sweet teenage girl named Natasha Brown gave me her ticket,” Tripp said. Tripp eventually encouraged Natasha to accept $20 for the ticket. On Friday night, she got into a verbal sparring match with theater staff who refused to allow her to make sure her boys were OK; AAFES general manager Ron Daugherty eventually interceded and she was allowed in the theater for a moment. “This whole thing has just been an emotional roller coaster,” she said.

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