Comics : Spider-Man & Friends (UK Magazine) #5

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

This UK kids Magazine is produced by Panini, and it's a companion to the Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) produced by the same guys.

The new "Spider-Man & Friends" range is based around Spider-Man, his cousin Spider-Girl, plus Hulk and Wolverine, though there's plenty of guest appearances. You should be able to find plenty of Spider-Man & Friends toys still in the shops, the style is a western/manga cross, and the target group is the 3-9 year old market.

Published every four or five weeks, this UK magazine features a toy taped to the front of each issue. Inside you'll find a four page Spidey & Friends story with three panels per page, captions of 8-20 words per panel. Then there's some nice simple kids puzzles, some coloring, a couple of competitions, and a page or two of Spidey merchandise. Essentially, it's the same format as the older kids magazine, just with a much younger target market.

In Detail...

"The Dog Washer"
Spider-Man & Friends (UK Magazine) #5
Jan 2007 : SM Title
Summary: 31-Jan-2007
Editor:  Simon Frith
Writer:  Rik Hoskin
Artist:  Nigel Dobbyn
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man & Friends Annual (UK) #1

This month the toy is a pack of four jumbo crayons.

The story is "The Dog Washer". Spider-Man and his cousin Spider-Girl are splashing in the pool in their Spider-swimsuits. Suddenly, all the water disappears from the pool in the time it takes Spider-Girl to fall about a yard. This equates to a flow of around 10,000 cubic feet per second, or sufficient suction to irresistibly suck every person within ten yards into the drain and squeeze them to jelly.

But this isn't that kind of story. Instead, Spidey saves Spider-Girl from hitting the hard floor (though really, you'd think she should be able to save herself). Finding the water sounds like super-hero work. They follow the giant steel hose, and find Doctor Octopus. He has stolen the water to make an automated dog wash. You'd think given the elaborate machine that he has constructed that he would be smart enough to turn on the tap and get his water, instead of building a huge pipe at great cost just to steal it. Especially since his dog washing tub is only 1% of the size of the pool he emptied.

Anyhow, turns out dogs don't like being washed by machines, so Doc puts the water back in the pool, somehow de-soaping it in the process. Ock, Spidey and some other bystanders all swim together. Including the dog.

Chandler, Callum (3), Sophie, Ryan (3), Rebecca (3) and Jayce all appear on the letters page. Crayola has a competition to win a one of six packaages including a Crayola mega-pen and a Doodle Doug (tm). Next issue's story is "Trouble at the Farm".

Overall Rating...

A lovely product that knows its target market. Hardly erudite elucidation, but fantastic fun is enough to earn three and a half webs.

Footnote...

This magazine is UK only, and so I only have random issues from when I happen to be traveling overseas. Please accept my apologies for the gaps in the reviews.