Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #53

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This story is part of an Arc: "Subatomic Spider"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: Feb 2012.

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!

The stories so far have been almost universally abominable. But this issue features a guest writer. Can he turn the tide, so late in the day?

It doesn't look too promising, as our visiting plot-master decides to revisit the terrible story Small World from Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #35. An ignominious approach at best...

In Detail...

"Subatomic Spider!"
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #53
Sep 2011 : SM Title
Summary: Sep-29-2011 (NZ)
Arc: Part 1 of "Subatomic Spider"
Publisher:  Eaglemoss Publications, Inc.
Writer:  John Tomlinson
Artist:  Herb Trimpe
Colorist:  Alan Craddock
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Our story begins with Spider-Man falling to the pavement from a great height. His chest is burning, and he rips open the front of his costume to reveal the word "Doom" marked in red on his own chest. The red wording then fades and disappears.

Doom? Doctor Doom?

When last he tangled with the Doc (in issue #35 of this title) Spider-Man planted a Spider-Tracer on Doom. The web-head now follows that tracer signal to "a secret location beneath the Statue of Liberty". There, in a disused secret Doom base, a message from Ant-Man appears on a monitor, urging Spider-Man to step into Doom's "shrinking ray" which is right there in front of him.

Side Note: Somehow the torn open front of Spidey's costume has magically been repaired.

Spider-Man shrinks into a sub-molecular world of charged particles and electron clouds, finally stepping into the sub-atomic universe of "K'ai". This is a primitive foreign world, and he soon encounters the Incredible Hulk, dressed in a white loincloth and riding a giant purple horned beast (no that's not a euphemism).

The Hulk has a green body, combined with Banner's intelligence. He explains that Spider-Man is to be tried for war crimes against the people K'ai.

Back Story: In issue #35, Spider-Man and Ant-Man sabotaged some miniature ant war-machine robots in order to defeat Doctor Doom. It seems that those very same micro-robo-ants have begun to swarm and multiply, and are over-running the microscopic world of K'ai.

But before the Hulk can drag Spider-Man to trial, the palace is over-run by an army of ant-shaped nano-bots! Oh noes! What can Spidey do?

To be Continued...

In General...

What... the... hell?

I've mentioned before, but these stories are only seven pages long. And yet, despite the miniature page count, the writers feel obliged to try and tell a tale which under normal circumstances might be spread over three super-sized annuals.

Such an approach is doomed to failure, by the simple laws of mathematics if nothing else.

Overall Rating...

This story was destined for the trash can before it even began. As it lurches incoherently from ill-formed idea to poorly-extrapolated plot point, this tale stands about as much chance as a blind hedgehog crossing the motorway at rush hour.

SQUASH! One Web!