Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #21

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This review was first published on: Mar 2011.

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.

There's an original 7-page story in every issue, and collectible trading cards too. Sure, the stories are terrible, the art is ghastly, and the price is far, far too high. But there's glossy paper, trading cards, and an original Spider-Man comic strip series that 99% of the U.S. collectors will never own!

In Detail...

"It Came From... Below!"
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #21
Feb 2011 : SM Title
Summary: Feb-17-2011 (NZ)
Publisher:  Eaglemoss Publications, Inc.
Writer:  Glenn Dakin
Artist:  Ant Williams
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So... Spider-Man is swinging in to college when he sees the campus is on fire. The Fire Service is grateful for his help, and he swings in to rescue those inside.

Now, bear with me, this gets a little confusing.

A lonely "emo" student named Anna is in a trance and is going into the building. Spider-Man follows.

Spider-Man sees his (i.e. Peter's) teacher - Professor Gaunt. The prof has gone completely mad and is (in his own words) "creating a virus to destroy mankind". He's still working on it, even though the building is on fire.

Spider-Man tries to stop him, but is attacked by all the students. The students force him back, and instead Spider-Man follows Anna further, into the basement of the building.

In a trance, Anna pushes a button to release Carnage, who is trapped below in an high-tech air-tight containment chamber.

Carnage explains that he came to the college to steal secrets from the Jackal, but the Jackal trapped him (Carnage) in the chamber.

Carnage used his tendrils to squeeze out of the chamber and take over the minds of the students and Professor Gaunt. No mention of where the Jackal went to.

With Carnage now free, he defeats Spider-Man in a quick fight, then heads up to take the now-finished virus from Professor Gaunt and smash it onto the bench, releasing it. Humanity is doomed. Even Anna Moon, who had imagined herself as Carnage's friend.

Oh no, who can save the world?

Ah yes. Anzilla, the Skrull.

Who?

I mean, Anna Moon, the emo college student. Turns out that Anna is actual a Skrull sleeper agent. Her buried Skrull psychic powers (so goes the explanation) made her particularly vulnerable to Carnage's message. But now, with her existence threatened (along with the planet Earth, for whom the Skrulls have other plans) she is forced to reveal herself and use he Skrull super-technology to eradicate the virus and eliminate Carnage.

The end.

In General...

Look, take pity on me. It's late, and I'm tired. And if I actually start on a detailed list of all the stupid things that are wrong with this stupid story, I'll not be in bed for another two hours.

So you're just going to have to take it from me that every part of this tale is as completely and utterly awful as the plot summary would indicate.

Why is the professor working in an inner-city college lab? What kind of materials do you think you can buy on a New York school budget? What kind of skills do you imagine a professor stuck in a lab with uninterested college students would possibly have to allow him to create a virus that would destroy the world? Is Carnage an expert immunologist? If anything, surely the professor would have been working in the Jackal's abandoned laboratory in the basement?

Where the hell did the Skrull and the Jackal come from? They have no connection to the story other than walking on for a few panels. Why does the virus make the air dusty? If the Skrulls have the technology to teleport and to destroy Carnage in the blink of an eye, why do they need to send a real agent to a college classroom - surely with much less cost and fuss they could just put robotic cameras in every room - including the girl's locker room!

Why did Carnage need Anna to open the door, surely if he could control the professor and the students, any one of them could have done it? Why didn't he release himself earlier if he hated being trapped? If he was conscious, what was he eating? Where did the Jackal go? Why was Anna vulnerable to Carnage at the start, but not now? What is the...

ENOUGH ALREADY!

Overall Rating...

I'm sure somebody somewhere is just taking the mickey here. These stories can't be for real. Who on earth would allow this bunch of talentless twits to piss all over the Spider-Man brand in this way?

Absolute rock-bottom half a web. The only thing that could make this magazine worse would be printing it with ink that burned your fingers as you read it.