Comics : Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #58

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This review was first published on: Apr 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!

Written and illustrated (predominantly) by no-name amateurs, this is the kind of thing is pretty humiliating for a classic brand like "Spider-Man". I can understand why Disney has made the decision to pull the plug on these UK-created magazines.

Three issues left. Neeeearly done!

In Detail...

"No Place Like Home"
Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #58
Nov 2011 : SM Title
Summary: Nov-3-2011 (NZ)
Publisher:  Eaglemoss Publications, Inc.
Writer:  Glenn Dakin
Artist:  Jack Lawrence
Colorist:  Jack Lawrence
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Review

For some inexplicable reason, this issue is set at Peter's college. It's a strange choice, because in the 57 preceding issues, I don't ever recall any scenes set at the college. But now, for some reason...

Ah well, whatever. Anyhow, there's a few elements to assemble, so let's cover them all.

Firstly, Hawkeye is performing a motivational talk at the school. He's a bit full of himself, basically acts like a bit of a jerk.

Secondly, Harry Osborn is at the school. Harry has created a radio-controlled invisible hand which he wants to use to get rid of Hawkeye from the school. So, while Hawkeye is giving his speech to the assembly, Harry uses his invisible hand to pull arrows out of Hawekeye's quiver and detonate them randomly in the crowd.

At that moment, the Super-Adaptoid turns up. The Super-Adaptoid is a villain who can absorb the abilities of anyone he meets. The Adaptoid fights Hawkeye and Spider-Man (who naturally enters the fray). But then the Adaptoid reveals that somebody else is behind the fight. The Adaptoid uses his remote vision powers to determine the source of the invisible hand, and then sends a wave of energy back to destroy the remote device.

The Adaptoid then reveals himself to be the school janitor. Yes. The Super-Adaptoid has been seeking a quiet life, and so has been using his "adapting" powers to adapt to living a boring, uneventful life as a school janitor. I kid you not. That is the explanation.

Meanwhile, Peter has been wondering why Harry wasn't very friendly. Mary Jane suggests that perhaps it is because Peter has been free-loading off his rich friend, by staying at the Oscorp tower. So Peter tells Harry that he is moving out.

In General...

I can understand that writer Glenn Dakin wants to try and build some continuity to the title. But (a) it's a bit damn late, with only two issues remaining after this one, and (b) it would help if your continuity had some continuity.

Similarly, introducing the college as a location is potentially a refreshing change, but (a) again it is too late in the title to be effective, and (b) Harry left college, remember, in order to take over running his father's business.

So, in terms of continuity. Well, here's some of the obvious errors. (1) Harry left the college already. (2) Peter is hardly free-loading, as a few issues back there was a big fuss about him receiving a massive rent hike, and paying for some repairs to the apartment. Also, Harry is supposed to be a science dummy, as the whole point of Peter moving in was to help him to study. I guess it worked, because recent issues have seen Harry building complex computer systems, and now creating an invisible remote-controlled hand.

And since when did Harry become the kind of guy who would throw explosive missiles into a crowd of school children?

Overall Rating...

Almost everything that could be wrong with this story IS wrong. The continuity is terrible. The characterizations are horrid — the only emotions anybody seems to know is angry or rude.

The presence of the Super-Adaptoid is gratuitous and inexplicable in equal parts. Mary Jane is an unpleasant piece of humanity, as is Harry.

Perhaps the only positive aspect of this story is the marginally better-than-usual graphics by guest artist Jack Lawrence. But frankly, that's nowhere near enough to salvage this humiliating shambles of a magazine.

I give it an absolute rock-bottom half-a-web. It doesn't get much worse than this.