Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #39

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This review was first published on: Jul 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 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...

"Forgotten Man"
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #39
Jun 2011 : SM Title
Summary: Jun-23-2011 (NZ)
Publisher:  Eaglemoss Publications, Inc.
Writer:  Glenn Dakin
Artist:  Richard Elson
Colorist:  Maria Keane
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Everybody is ignoring Spider-Man! The Black Widow accidentally zaps him 'cos she didn't even see him. Mary Jane doesn't even acknowledge Peter's existence. Aunt May forgets about her nephew, and Jonah Jameson doesn't even blink as our hero web-swings past.

The whole thing comes to a head when Spider-Man jumps in the middle of a turf war between Hammerhead's goons and the Stoneface gang. The gangs ignore Spider-Man and just shoot at each other.

Somehow, this results in Spider-Man taking a bullet... and this is about the point that the whole story starts to collapse. Who does it matter who was shooting at who? The whole point of Spider-Man's spider-sense is to avoid danger. It makes no sense for Spidey to score a flesh wound, especially since it is actually irrelevant to the rest of the tale! Ah, the rest of the tale. Yes, I suppose we can't avoid it. Let's get this over and done with.

Well, at this point a shadowy figure looms into scene and proclaims... "GOTCHA! Spider-Man".

You probably guessed. It's Norman Osborn, and he has placed an Insignificance Field on Spider-Man.

Oh? You didn't guess? Oh well. Let me relay the explanation. Perhaps things will become clearer. You see, Norman Osborn was formerly the Green Goblin until he was knocked unconscious and lost his memory in a battle with Spider-Man back in the opening issues of this magazine.

Now partly recovered, Norman (despite still not remembering being the Green Goblin) came to resent watching Spider-Man being the center of attention while he, Norman, wasn't even getting visits from his son Harry. So Norman "funded a special lab at the hospital" and invented the "Insignificance Field". Irradiated by the field, now Spider-Man must also suffer a life of insignificance, just as Norman Osborn must do.

Frankly at this stage, the "W T F" overwhelmed me to the point were I struggled to even finish the story. But it continued like this. Instead of removing the field, Spider-Man uses his "science" to enhance the effects so much that he could sneak up on Norman and follow him back to the hospital. I have no idea "how" Spidey did this. I don't even know "why". He could have just gone back to the hospital and asked somebody "hey, where's that new research lab that just got built with a donation from Oscorp?"

It gets dumber before it's over. Spider-Man's proximity to the field generator causes it to overload, triggering an explosion, in which Norman loses his memory again. The field disappears, and life is back to normal. Harry comes to visit his dad.

In General...

I'm not even going to begin trying to explain why this story is stupid. Frankly, I don't even know which of the six-hundred-and-fifteen stupid aspects of this concept to tackle first.

Instead, let me tell you a true story. A friend of mine had a dream once, in which he came up with an idea for curing world hunger. Waking from this dream, he scrawled down his idea, before falling asleep once more.

He awoke again, a few hours later. Rubbing his eyes, he remembered the dream. He had eliminated famine. But... what was the answer? Then he recalled that he had written down the solution. Was that real, or part of the dream? No, that was reality. Beside his bed was a scribbled note.

Overjoyed, he knew that a Nobel prize awaited, if only he could decipher his sleepy handwriting. And he could. It said... "Xerox Donuts".

Overall Rating...

The idea behind this week's Spidey story makes "Xerox Donuts" seem like pure genius.

Rock-bottom half-a-web. This gets my vote for "worst story of 2011". And it's only June.