Comics : Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #35

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: British History

This review was first published on: Dec 2012.

Background...

This is the second story in Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #35. It is six pages long, and it stars Spider-Man and the Black Cat.

In Detail...

"Dangerous Liasons"
Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #35 (Story 2)
SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man and Black Cat Star
Writer:  Mitchel Scanlon
Pencils:  Paul Marshall
Inker:  David Roach
Lettering:  Peri Godbold
Colorist:  Giulia Brusco
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Review

Black Cat is frantically swinging her way across the New York skyline (courtesy of her handy-dandy grappling hook), when she is halted by a giant spider-web across her path. No prizes for guessing that Spider-Man is the man behind the web.

You can hardly blame Spider-Man for being suspicious. Black Cat out and about normally means burglary, and tonight is no exception. The Black Cat is indeed on the run, rapidly leaving the scene of her latest heist.

Unfortunately, her latest heist has not gone to plan. True, she has escaped with her target safely bundled into her backpack. But her plan most certainly did not involve being pursued by a squadron of Hydra soldiers porting anti-gravity backpacks and plasma rifles.

Deciding that the Black Cat is the lesser of the two evils in this battle, Spider-Man decides to join the fight and assist Felicia for now. The two of them take a couple of pages to wrap up the various Hydra agents, and are just congratulating themselves on a job well done when Hyrda Super-Boss Baron von Strucker arrives on the scene with another dozen armed assistants.

Two more pages of fighting quickly ensue, as Spider-Man and the Black Cat web/smash/kick their way to victory once more.

But wait, there's actually a plot behind all this. During the battle, the Black Cat accidentally drops the gold statue which she had just stolen. She was apparently unaware that the victim of her theft was actually Baron von Strucker, and was equally unaware that the statue was a fake, which now shatters on the rooftop to reveal a fragment of microfilm.

On closer inspection, the microfilm is shown to be blueprints for a ship which passing through New York carrying toxic waste. The Black Cat passes the info onto Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. so that when Hydra subsequently attempt to hijack the ship later that night, all the forces are captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. hiding on the ship.

In General...

So let me get this right. Imagine you're the deputy leader of Hydra New York. Your leader has just been captured, along with the two-dozen members of his elite guard, and the secret plans for the hijacking. Then a dozen S.H.I.E.L.D. troops make a last-minute boarding of the boat you're just about to attack. Wouldn't you possibly consider cancelling the mission?

And what the heck do Hydra need Toxic Waste for anyhow? To hold New York to hostage? These guys have access to plasma blasters and anti-gravity platforms. And yet they don't have the technology to produce a bit of sludge?

Plus, the whole point about the Black Cat is that she is always incredibly well-prepared and research about the targets of her thefts. The idea that she would go after a gold statue owned by Baron von Strucker without learning a little bit about what kind of man he was is completely ridiculous.

Overall Rating...

It's nice to see a little plot twist behind the story.

There are some pretty silly aspects about the way this whole thing is contrived which take the edge off an otherwise adequate tale. But compared to much of what else has gone before, I guess we've seen much, much worse. In a moment of generosity, I'm going to give this story two-and-a-half webs.

Footnote...

I've got a bit of a suspicion that this is also a reprinted story. But I can't find the original source, so I'm treating it as an original piece for now.