Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #24

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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...

"The Amazing Hydra Men!"
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #24
Mar 2011 : SM Title
Summary: Mar-10-2011 (NZ)
Publisher:  Eaglemoss Publications, Inc.
Writer:  Glenn Dakin
Artist:  Ant Williams (Additional Art), John McCrea
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As usual, Spider-Man (or a distorted near-parody of him) appears in an original seven page main story.

Pages 1-2: Spider-Man is robbing museums.

Page 3: Real Spider-Man tackles the fake Spider-Man, which turns out to be a robot wearing a jet-pack.

Page 4: Nick Fury (agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.) zaps the real Spider-Man, thinking him to be the fake Spider-Man. Spider-Man webs up Nick for an hour, during which the fake Spider-Man are revealed to be L.M.D.'s (Life Model Decoys) created by S.H.I.E.L.D. but recently stolen and being used for the robberies by some yet as-yet-unknown agency.

Page 5: Spider-Man repairs the L.M.D and attaches a Spider-Tracer to it, in order that he and Nick can follow it back to its home base, which turns out to be a warehouse on the waterfront which is home to a Hydra operation which is simply raising funds for other nefarious activities in the future.

Page 6: Spider-Man sneaks in to the warehouse pretending to be a robot (one of the half-dozen that Hydra is using for the operation). He is discovered, grabs the L.M.D. control unit from one of the Hydra agents, and uses it to send the other Spider-Man robots into random jet-pack mode.

Page 7: The forces of Hydra attempt to flee, but are blocked by the timely arrival of Fury and his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.

In General...

There's only seven pages, but we have room for plenty of dumb moments:

  • Unlike the modern comics, Spider-Man needs a mechanical device to track his tracers. Yes, I know in the very original issue where he created his tracers this was the case. But for the following 45 years of comics he has been able to track them with his Spider-Sense.
  • The term "Spider-Tracer" is erroneously used to mean the tracking device, not the tiny tracer itself. These first two points clearly expose writer Glenn Dakin as a man who hasn't read enough Spider-Man comics to be tackling a job like this one.
  • What's the point of Hydra dressing their robots in Spider-Man outfits? Sure, Spider-Man may be blamed for the robberies - but what does that gain? The outfits are a guaranteed way of ensuring that Spider-Man comes to investigate. Since this is a stealth operation, why not just dress the robots in black and sneak away with the loot. Why drag Spidey into it at all?
  • In the second to last panel, Nick Fury says "I owe you an apology, son." to Spider-Man. But why? Nick Never accused Spider-Man of anything. He knew all along that it was L.M.D.'s who were involved. So why the apology?

Finally, all bad Spidey stories need to have a lame attempt at a joke to finish off, and this one is no exception. In the final panel, Nick Fury picks up one of the priceless statues (which has no head) and says to Spider-Man: "Thanks to you, millions of dollars worth of priceless irreplaceable art is safe. I just got one question for ya... that statue was headless before, right...?"

Ha. Ha. Apart from being embarrassingly absent of any humor whatsoever (and the fact that a clean break on an ancient statue would be obvious to the naked eye), the phrase "millions of dollars worth of priceless art" is a clich├ęd piece of meaningless self-contradiction which would brand any writer as a shameless hack who shouldn't be allowed to write for the local church newsletter.

Overall Rating...

C'mon guys. This is Marvel's best-known and best-loved character, and you're pissing all over him from a great height. Stop it already.

One web.