Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #3

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This review was first published on: Oct 2010.


This is a 60-part weekly series being pumped into the market by Eaglemoss publications. They don't know much about Spidey, but they know that 60 * $8.99 = quite a lot. And I'm the kind of idiot who will spend that sort of money without doing the math.

Still, I don't have much choice. There's an original 7-page story in every issue, and collectible trading cards too. Two of my buttons just got pushed. I'm your fool, Eaglemoss.

In Detail...

"Strange Tales!"
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #3
Oct 2010 : SM Title
Summary: Oct-7-2010 (NZ)
Publisher:  Eaglemoss Publications, Inc.
Writer:  Glenn Dakin
Artist:  Ant Williams (Extra Material), John Ross (Story)
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"The World as I know it has been destroyed!" exclaims Spider-Man in our shock opening panel. Behind him is a ruined New York, and some ominous figures.

Naturally we must go back in time to seek out our explanation. Peter Parker is telling his Aunt May he is planning to leave home and move in with Harry, (actually in order to discover what the Sinister Six were secretly up to in the Osborn Tower, and not at all because he likes the idea of free rent in a super-deluxe inner city penthouse).

Then Mary Jane (one-panel cameo) reminds him that Aunt May (one-panel cameo) is sick, so Peter has to tell Harry (one-panel cameo) that he has changed his mind. Harry has his own problems and storms off to deal with Oscorp and his sick dad before even hearing what Peter has to say, leaving our hero to become Spider-Man and encounter... Doctor Strange!

Now, here's the deal. Doctor Strange was just cruising through the maelstrom of infinite possibilities, as you do on a quiet evening. But he discovered a terrible future reality and wants Spider-Man to see it for himself. So the two heroes travel the infinite timelines and encounter the ruined world already seen in our splash page. The world is filled with twisted versions of Captain America, Human Touch, and other heroes... all under the sway of the Green Goblin!

Spider-Man and Doctor Strange are sorely beset with foes, but a cyborg Wolverine comes to their aid and they make their escape, back to the "here and now". But how could this world come to pass? Well, Doctor Strange doesn't exactly say it out loud, but he makes it clear that Spider-Man is making a choice which could lead to that terrible future. And our web-head gets the message loud and clear. He has no choice. If he wants to save this dimension, he's going to have to move in with Mr. Osborn, drink that champagne, snort that cocaine, and father Harry's gay love-child.

Hey what? No, not at all! Nobody mentioned champagne!

In General...

Sorry about the gay love-child thing. I was just trying to inject some spice into an otherwise completely insipid storyline. Of course, Peter reverts his previous decision reversal and tells Aunt May he's moving in with Harry after all. Mary Jane isn't too sure about Peter leaving May, but Aunt May herself is pleased that her nephew is going to stand on his own two feet.

Overall Rating...

Look, this thing rattles through so fast, there's really no chance for this tale to be anything other than entirely superficial. It leverages our previous knowledge of these characters and adds nothing of its own. There's no time to try and make sense of anything. We just have to open wide and swallow.

This is the literary equivalent of eating McDonalds in Jakarta airport at 2am. It's an overpriced, poorly-made, funny-tasting version of something that wasn't particularly interesting or nutritious in the first place, and after eating it, you kind-of wish you hadn't.

One web.