"Three Men and a Comic Book" is the twenty-first episode of Season 2. It aired on May 9, 1991. The episode features references to comic book characters such as Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich and introduces new characters including Comic Book Guy, Radioactive Man, and Mrs. Glick.
Bart becomes obsessed with buying the first issue of Radioactive Man, but can't scrape together the $100 he needs to make it his own. Enlisting Milhouse Van Houten and Martin Prince, Bart is finally able to buy the comic, but ends up fighting with his two best friends over who gets to keep it.
He doesn't have enough money in his own allowance and his parents refuse to give Bart extra money. So Bart turns to Mrs. Glick, who has some rather unsavory chores around the house that he can do, but she only gives him 50 cents for his hard work. Bart returns to the comic book store, only with a few cents extra, and runs into Milhouse and Martin. He talks them into pooling their money and buying the first Radioactive Man Comic from Comic Book Guy. None of them want to let the comic book out of their sights and decide to spend the night together in Bart's treehouse. As a storm approaches, Martin devises a plan so that the three boys have equal access to the comic. As he attempts to leave with the comic, Bart stops him. Bart gets progressively more paranoid and becomes convinced that the other two are conspiring against him.
Eventually, each boy is at each other's throat. When Martin gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, Bart thinks he is planing on stealing the comic book and subsequently ties him to his chair. When Martin tries to complain, Bart tells him they will stick an apple in his mouth if doesn't keep quiet. Meanwhile a storm is raging outside. Milhouse falls out of the treehouse as a gust of wind takes hold of the comic so that it flies towards the entrance. Bart reaches out to grab Milhouse by the hand. He is forced to decide between Milhouse and the comic. Martin reminds Bart that if he hadn't had tied him up, he could have saved the comic. After mulling over his options, Bart chooses Milhouse and pulls him up into the treehouse. The comic flies out the door, is zapped by lightning, and shredded by Santa's Little Helper. Marge comes outside to get the boys back in the house and offers the boys hot cocoa and imitation marshmallows. Both
The next morning, the three boys reflect on how their inability to share lead to the destruction of the comic book. However, they never noticed that the final panel was not shredded and was peacefully being a nest mat for a mother bird.