Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #37

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This review was first published on: Jul 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 has been 90% 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...

"Spider Hunter"
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #37
Jun 2011 : SM Title
Summary: Jun-9-2011 (NZ)
Publisher:  Eaglemoss Publications, Inc.
Writer:  Glenn Dakin
Artist:  Ant Williams
Colorist:  Alan Craddock
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Spider-Man swings in just in time to rescue an innocent man who was webbed in the the path of an oncoming train. Who could have done such a terrible thing! "You did!" claims the victim.

Not quite. Actually it was "The Spider-Hunter", a figure who now swings in to attack Spider-Man. The Spider-Hunter is dressed like Venom, but with a slender figure more akin to Spider-Man. He also moves like Spider-Man, but with the addition of venom-tipped barbs.

Spider-Man is quickly defeated by this new villain, and thrown into an open grave filled with spiders. Oooh... spooky! The Spider-Hunter then reveals himself to be Vladimir Kravinoff, son of Kraven the Hunter. Vladimir explains how how gained his powers worshiping in the "deep Spider Caves of New Mexico". Which Spider Caves? Oh, those Spider Caves. Of course.

Our hero gathers his power and leaps out of the pit, just as Morlun arrives. Yeah, that guy. The guy who feasts on the mystical powers of animal-totem super-beings. Morlun absorbs the "newer, fresher, improved" powers of the Spider-Hunter, tosses Vladimir's wizened corpse into the grave, then heads off.

In General...

In any case, this would be a pretty facile Deus ex Machina, made even more annoying by the circumstances in which it is placed.

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea here. Son of Kraven acquires powers, defeats Spider-Man, but then becomes victim to an ever greater power. I'm sure that J. Michael Straczynski could have made this work in a three-part arc.

But in a seven page throw away story, there's no time to build any atmosphere. Even worse, there's no time to build any back-history. Morlun announces entirely out of the blue. He might as well have been Rupert Murdoch in a Mickey Mouse suit, he still would have had the same context. I.e. zero.

Who is the audience supposed to be? Any long-standing Spider-Fan familiar with Kraven and Morlun would scarcely be impressed by this mangled mishmash of two classic tales. But any new reader would be wondering "who the hell are these guys and what's their damage?"

Overall Rating...

Truly, you would need to tune your brain activity down to near-zero to enjoy this fiasco. And so I'll tune my rating down accordingly. One web.