Comics : Drakes Cakes (Set 1) #4

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

Back in '93 Drakes teamed up with Marvel to produce a set of four mini-comics that were packed in with Drakes Cakes products. These four comics co-starred a bunch of Marvel heroes on a serialized adventure. The premise was that there was an on-going storyline that caused the various heroes to come into contact with each other. This was the first time Drakes co-produced such a set of mini-comics. The second set was in 1994.

In Detail...

Drakes Cakes (Set 1) #4
Year 1993 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man & Silver Surfer (Miniature)
Editor:  Glenn Herdling
Writer:  Eric Fein
Pencils:  Jim Craig
Inker:  Dan Day, David Day
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Review

This is the final Chapter in a four-chapter story. This chapter co-stars Spider-Man and the Silver Surfer as well as The Hulk and Wolverine who are still tagging along from last issue. As this story begins the Silver Surfer is circling Sol, the Earth's sun, and concerned about the unusual radiation emanating from its surface. Determining that the problem is coming from the Earth itself, the Surfer alters his direction and heads towards the green hills of Earth.

Outside Castle Doom, in Latveria, Spidey, Wolverine, and The Hulk are preparing for their incursion into Doom's keep. As they stand on a cliff over Castle Doom, Wolverine informs the others that he can smell the X-Man Jubilee who Doom kidnapped in the first issue. Inside the castle, Doom explains to the young X-Man that it is his intention to use the young mutant's ability to create light plasmoids to augment his machinery so that he can harness the Sun's energy.

Just then the three heroes crash in on Doom's castle and are immediately met with his deathbots. Dispensing with them in short order, they break into Doom's lab, just as he is about to throw the switch that will engage the machinery. This done, Jubilee becomes part of some very large walking robot, and the heroes attempt to deactivate it without hurting their friend and teammate. As this is going on, Doom is gloating over his presumed victory, and their iminate demise while the robot attacks the heroes draining the very life force from Jubilee as it performs its nefarious dead.

Just as things seem bleak, The Silver Surfer arrives on the scene, crashing through a skylight. The Surfer informs Doom that his mad experiment imperils the very fabric of the universe itself, and slags the controlling machinery, allowing Wolverine to put the kibosh on the robot housing his fellow X-Man. Doom shouts that the Surfer's meddling ruined his plans, and that the machinery is about the explode. Once again demonstrating his courage, intellect, and heroism, Spider-man Jumps into the breach, and — utilizing his scientific knowledge and webbing — webs up the interior of the robot, slowing down the explosion, and allowing everyone a few extra minutes to escape.

Spidey's quick action allows the Hulk to toss the robot through the hole in the skylight that the Surfer made upon entrance and the surfer to then blast the malfunctioning robot with his powers cosmic before it destroys everyone. As the heroes now advance on Doom, it is Jubilee who steps up explaining that beating up Doom won't solve anything, the immediate threat has passed, and that they should all just go on their way. The Surfer agrees, and flies off, immediately followed by the remaining heroes, who inform the Latverian monarch that he if tries this action again, they will be there to stop him.

In General...

Another well-told tale involving the heroes that is true to their characters and totally avoids them partaking in any Drakes Snacks breaks during the course of the action. In fact, while not explicitly stated, it is entirely possible that this story took place within actual Marvel continuity. Which, naturally enough, makes it all the more cooler for what it is.

I'm especially grateful for the fact that the writer recalled that underneath his heroic posturing, Spider-Man is Peter Parker, who is not some "lovable loser" who just happens to wear red-and-blue spandex tights, but is a world-class scientist, who is a smart, brave and capable as any hero in the Marvel Universe (and wouldn't it be great if the editorial and writing staff of Marvel in 2008 could figure that out as well?).

Overall Rating...

A fun, action-packed tale that plays to all of the strengths and weakness of the various Marvel characters involved. What more could you ask?

Footnote...

Given as this was randomly packaged inside a package of Drakes Cakes, you were never quite sure which comic you were going to get, so it required that you purchase them and hopefully you would wind up with a full set.