Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #22
This review was first published on: Mar 2011.
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!
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #22
Feb 2011 : SM Title
Summary: Feb-24-2011 (NZ)
This week, Spider-Man is swinging past a rooftop restaurant when he is hailed by a red-headed witch in a funny costume. She's not at all out of place, since the entire venue is a "Halloween-themed" nightclub. The witch yells out "Welcome to Halloween Heights -the club for creatures of the night! Come and party if you dare!" Spider-Man is understandably curious and he swings down to talk to the waitress...
"MARY JANE?!" he yells in surprise, "what are you doing here?"
MJ provides a quick explanation that she is working at the club, before the webhead swings away just in case Ms. Watson guesses his secret identity.
Woah! Let's run over this again. By yelling her name in surprise, Spider-Man has made it clear that (a) he knows Mary Jane well enough to recognize her in costume, and (b) he is a male who calls MJ by her first name. Now, just exactly how dumb do we believe MJ needs to be to not have a damn good idea who Spider-Man might be.
So, swinging away after greeting MJ is kind of like wiping your schwanzstucker after unprotected sex. It ain't gonna do much to stop your girl getting pregnant, mister.
Moments later, Spider-Man encounters Daredevil, who promptly mistakes him for Bullseye and attacks our hero. The confusion is soon resolved, but that has set the scene for the evening. Spider-Man tries to meet a few of his contacts, who run away in fear.
The next day, Peter's Aunt May also suffers a terrifying hallucination while visiting her nephew. That settles matters - something strange is going on. So later that evening, Peter catches up with Daredevil once more. They head back to the nightclub, look through a skylight, and spot Mr. Fear.
Under duress, Mr. Fear confesses that he set up the nightclub in order to spray police and super-heroes with a slow-release fear-gas. His plan was to sew fear and confusion among New York's underworld, and hence to take control of the Manhattan crime scene for himself.
In terms of the details, script and implementation, this is a terrible story. On the other hand, in terms of the plot, it's merely very bad.
From stilted, unsubtle dialog to the face-palm stupidity of Spider-Man yelling out to Mary Jane, this tale is yet another great example of how not to create a comic story.
And seriously, how much does it cost to open a successful New York nightclub these days? How many millions? A well-concealed lawn-sprayer and a fake kidnapping note would achieve exactly the same effect.
Actually, the whole concept of a criminal spending all his free money on a ludicrously over-complicated plot device is so clichéd and laughable that I'm going to give it a bonus half a web. One point five.
The front cover of this magazine claims to contain "3 Brilliant Comic Strips". The first is the seven page main story. The second is a four-panel "Origin of Scorpion" introduction. The final is a four-panel gag script featuring Mr. Fear.
Your Honor, in the case of SpiderFan vs. Eaglemoss, the prosecution claims that by modern expectations based on the current 20-page standard comic book, there is only half of a "comic strip" in total. Furthermore, the word "Brilliant" is criminally misleading in this context.