Comics : Spider-Man Magazine #4

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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 (Jubilee in this issue). Most of the issues (#1 & from #4 forward) contained uncut sheets of Marvel trading cards bound inside. The entire contents of the mag are done in that free-wheeling, jokey, Marvel Bullpen style. The mag was packaged by an outside firm, and distributed by Marvel.

In Detail...

"Victims of the Vulture"
Spider-Man Magazine #4 (Story 1)
Aug 1994 : SM Title
Summary: Featuring The X-Men (Fleer Cards)
Editor:  Michael Teitelbaum
Writer:  Joey Cavalieri
Artist:  Marie
Add. Art:  Francis Mao, John Romita, Sr., Mike Esposito, Wayne A. Murray
Add. Writing:  Holly Gates, Robert Loren Fleming, Tom Brevoort
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The Vulture is apparently on some sort of scavenger hunt, stealing the bugle sign from the top of the Daily Bugle (thinking it was a real bugle rather than just a sign designed to look like a bugle). Other items included the copper top of a water tower, barbed wire, a pair of flagpoles. After tangling with him when he steals The Bugle's bugle, and getting trashed, Spidey pieces together what the Vulture is up too, and catches up to just shortly he steals a real over-sized bugle from atop a music store.

Pulling a page from Hitchcock, The Vulture sets up all this equipment high atop the Empire State Building. What he has done, is set up a sounding device with which he can call to every bird in the area and have them descend upon the city. Needless to say, he is easily defeated when Spidey grabs him and stuffs him inside the bugle, and smashes all of the sound equipment that he has set up to call the birds.

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 involves Jubilee and the other 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. While both stories are okay, they are still toss-offs for the kiddies, and don't really garner much interest.

Footnote...

This issue contains an uncut sheet of three bound-in Marvel Masterprints trading cards (Kraven, Spider-Man & The Chameleon).