Comics : Drakes Cakes (Set 2) #2
This story is part of a Lookback Series: A Word From Our Sponsor
This review was first published on: 2008.
Back in '94 Drakes teamed up with Marvel to produce a set of five mini-comics that were packed in with Drakes Cakes products. These five comics co-starred a bunch of Marvel heroes on some sort of quest or other. The premise was that there was an on-going storyline that caused the various heroes to come into contact with each other. This is the second time Drakes co-produced such a set of mini-comics. The first set was in 1993.
Drakes Cakes (Set 2) #2
Year 1994 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man vs. Gladiator
This is Chapter 2 in a five-chapter story involving the Imperial Guard and a number of other Marvel Heroes (including Silver Surfer, Hulk, and others — this is Spider-Man's chapter).
As we start off, a Kree space ship, full of criminals that have escaped from the Kree homeworld, Hala, descends towards Earth. That ship winds up in New York, and catches the attention of Spidey, who is swing through downtown Manhattan, on his way home to that redheaded woman that he may or may not have ever been married to who name we dare not speak (no hidden agenda here, folks, we come right out and say what we mean).
The ship lands on top of a building and Spidey swings over to greet the Kree criminals as they disembark. As luck would have it, they speak English, and Dylon-Cir (their spokesman) tells Spidey that they are looking for the Avengers to help them defend their planet from attack. (What Dylon-Cir doesn't say is that what he really wants is to trick the Avengers into doing their bidding. Something doesn't sound quite right to our hero, as his Spidey-sense is buzzing.
As it turns out, he doesn't have to make any decisions, as Gladiator and Starbolt — both from the Shi'ar Empire's Imperial Guard arrive on the scene shouting how they have come for the criminals, and that Spidey should stand down. Not one to arbitrarily take anyone's side in a fight without knowing all of the players, Spidey suggests that we all just try and get a long, and talk things out.
This is when the always impatient Gladiator takes a swing at Spidey, and (just) misses. As the two heroes start to throw punches at each other, Dylon-Cir and his cronies gloat that they have managed to distract the heroes into fighting each other. Just as Gladiator manages to grab the wall-crawler and toss him off the roof into a nearby building, Dylon-Cir and his associates engage the Guardsmen.
Recovering, Spider-Man returns and webs up the Kree criminal Tazer allowing Starbolt to zap him. Then Dylon-Cir and the third intergalactic thug, Dekker pull guns of the heroes, which Spidey also manages to web up, allowing for their capture by the Imperial; Guardsmen. Guardian then congratulates Spidey, declaring him a true warrior. Meanwhile, in the New Mexican desert, a second Kree ship lands, which of course is the lead-in to the next issue which co-stars the Hulk.
For the quick, in and out of a mini comic that is packaged in a food product that is being distributed to a non-comics-reading audience, this comic read just fine. Nothing too heavy, and all in good fun. So it is neither the best nor the worse of the lot. Still it is a fun comic to have in your collection.
It is tough to fully grade these type comics, as their primary purpose is so out-of-character for our heroes, yet if they can be written in such a way as to entertain and yet not violate the true nature of the characters involves, plus tell a decent enough story on the way, then all is well. Like I said, this is OK, and well written as these things go.
There were five comics in this second series, the first series had four comics, only Spidey appeared in all of those. Still, it is nice to see some of the second tier characters show up in some of these specialty comics.