Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #4

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This review was first published on: Oct 2010.

Background...

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...

"Sand Storm"
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #4
Oct 2010 : SM Title
Summary: Oct-14-2010 (NZ)
Publisher:  Eaglemoss Publications, Inc.
Writer:  Glenn Dakin
Artist:  Ant Williams (Extra Material), John Ross (Story)
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Sandman is smashing his way through the local hospital, searching for Norman Osborn. He's furious and violent, but also poised and ready with a witty one-liner. Does that work as a characterization? Not really.

But we've had one panel of that. Now it's time for a scene change. Peter is moving into his new home in Osborn Tower, but is stopped by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents including Nick Fury. Yeah, Nick Fury attends all scene investigations, he's a hands-on sort of boss. A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent mentions a report of Sandman hitting the hospital and blurts the news out so that the civilians can hear. So Peter becomes Spider-Man and will presumably turn up before two long.

A footnote reminds us that Norman was "injured last issue and lost all memory of being the Green Goblin." Well, that's interesting, because in fact this happened TWO issues ago, and MAY have lost his memory of being the Green Goblin. Man, it's pretty sad when they can't even get the footnotes accurate!

Sandman is after Osborn because "The Green Goblin said [Norman was] his ally, and now the Goblin has disappeared and all his secrets are locked up in [Norman's] tower."

Let me just get this right. The Green Goblin set up is base in Oscorp Tower. Green Goblin and Osborn were never seen together, but the Goblin treated Oscorp as if it was his own. The Green Goblin is roughly the same size as Norman. When the Green Goblin is injured in the fire, Norman is taken to hospital.

ARE YOU STUPID?! YES YOU ARE! NORMAN IS THE GREEN GOBLIN, SAND-FOR-BRAINS!

Sandman attacks Norman, but is foiled by Spidey who defeats him by throwing Sandman into a CAT scanner then (figuring out the controls) he activates it. You see, Spider-Man knows that some sands contain iron, and the CAT scanner works on magnetism, which disrupts the iron.

Let's have a think about this. Your average silica sand is typically of the order of 0.1% plus or minus. Higher percentages of iron start to cause red or black coloration, of which there is no sign in Sandman. We are to believe that an iron level this high inside a CAT scanner will cause your body to "be torn apart", in fact exploding in a wash of disintegrated fragments.

By contrast, your average person is around 0.004% iron overall of body mass. But in the blood stream, that's more like 0.5%, while the liver can reach 2% or more. That's 10-20 times higher than Sandman. And yet people in CAT scanners don't typically find their livers exploding in a shard of ruptured mush. Or do they? Is this all being hidden by "the establishment"?

And anyhow, why on earth does Sandman just sit there while Spidey works out the machine's controls? THERE IS NO DOOR ON A CAT SCANNER! YOU CAN GET OUT ANY TIME, SANDMAN! In fact, Sandy just stays still for five panels while Spider-Man fiddles with the controls, all the while explaining what he's just about to do to Sandman!

Ah who cares. Spidey saves the day, S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives in time to mop up. Osborn fires his security chief who failed to protect him. Meanwhile, Spidey is swinging back to the tower, where the secret computer system has just fired into activity. Which secret system? Remember the one that got partly burnt up in the fire? Well, it seems it's not entirely out for the count, and it has developed an unhealthy interest in the arrival of our web-slinging hero!

In General...

At issue #4, this magazine has shown itself to be consistently stupid, badly illustrated, and badly written. However, it has managed to sustain a sense of continuity. Perhaps that counts for something.

Meanwhile, it's hard for me to overlook the fact that I am on track to spend NZ$540 (that's around US$410 at current rates) on all sixty issues of this abominable title over the next year and a bit. I am trying very hard right now to avoid thinking about all the useful things I could actually do with that money.

Overall Rating...

Terrible on so many levels. One web.