Comics : Spider-Man Magazine #2

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Filling Gaps

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

This is a magazine-sized periodical that was targeted for kids (Think Nickelodeon Magazine). It contained two six-page comic strips (One staring Spider-Man and the second another Marvel hero or group - usually the X-Men). It also contains fan art, puzzles, word searches, jokes, and kid-targeted features (on nature, etc.), as well as bios of Spidey, and other Marvel characters (Wolverine in this issue). Some issues contained Marvel trading cards bound inside. The entire mag is done in that jokey, Marvel Bullpen style. The mag was packaged by an outside firm, and distributed by Marvel.

In Detail...

"The Many Arms of Doctor Octopus"
Spider-Man Magazine #2 (Story 1)
Jun 1994 : SM Title
Summary: Featuring The X-Men
Editor:  Michael Teitelbaum
Writer:  Joey Cavalieri
Artist:  Marie Severin
Add. Art:  Don Heck, Jacob Platt Nick Franklin, John Romita, Sr., Mike Esposito, Wayne A. Murray
Add. Writing:  Holly Gates, Tom Brevoort
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While on patrol one evening, Spidey spots who he thinks is Doc Ock, but turns out to be another scientist who is being kidnapped by Doc Ock by means of a set of remotely-controlled arms that are similar in nature to Ock's. Unable to prevent the kidnapping, Spidey tosses a Spider-Tracer onto the scientist and follows from a safe distance. When the scientist is delivered Ock, explains that he is kidnapping several scientists so that he could pick their brains in order to increase the functionality of his arms.

It at this point that Spidey makes his presence known. In order to stop him, Ock activates his army of arms. Using his webbing, Spidey clogs up the pressure values causing Ock to shut down the entire system before it blows up. Then, utilizing a set of Ock's un-activated arms, Spidey smashes the Plexiglas freeing the captured scientists, then webs up Ock's eyes and tosses him into the machinery, knocking him out, saving the day.

In General...

Keeping in mind that this is targeted for kids, it plays out fine (if you go for that kind of thing-my son seemed to like it when he was younger). It really isn't an item that most Spidey (or X-Men) fans will want to seek out and actively collect, but if they stumbled across it, it is kind of fun to have.

The back-up story features a brawl between the X-Men and Magneto just outside NYC. Personally I had problems with it as it mis-characterizes Magneto (having him refer to the X-Men as mutants when he is one as well. Although, interestingly enough, it does pre-stage X-III with a scene where Magneto destroys a bridge in an attempt to flatten the X-Men.

Overall Rating...

The comic stories are simplistic and probably don't fit into any actual continuity. Plus the feature articles are all one-two pages long. The jokes are cute, but if the comic was owned by a kid, they probably have completed all of the puzzles, thus bringing down any real (or imagined) value of the book as far as hard-core collectors are concerned. Plus while the Spidey story is OK, the writing on the X-Man story is sub-standard.

Footnote...

Unlike other issues, this issue does not contain any trading cards.