Comics : Spider-Man Magazine #5

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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 (The Hulk in this issue). Most of the issues (#1 and 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...

"Enter Electro"
Spider-Man Magazine #5 (Story 1)
Sep 1994 : SM Title
Summary: Featuring The X-Men (Fleer Cards)
Editor:  Michael Teitelbaum
Writer:  Joey Cavalieri, Robert Loren Fleming
Pencils:  Jesse Orozco
Inker:  Mike Esposito
Add. Art:  Dave Hunt, John Romita, Sr., Paul Arnold, Ruiz, Wayne A. Murray, Will Cypser
Add. Writing:  Holly Gates, Mike Pellowski, Robert Loren Fleming, Tom Brevoort
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Review

Electro has a plan to blackmail New York City for $10 Million. He's taken over a power plant in the city and is absorbing all the electricity generated by the plant and shutting down the power grids across the city until his demands are met. As the blackout hits the hospital where Peter is visiting Aunt May (no she isn't in the hospital, but volunteering there as a Candy Striper), he slips away to become Spidey., and track him down. When Spidey arrives at the plant, he engages Electro on the rooftop. Electro lures Spidey down into a darkened storage area where Spidey tosses a box of papers at Electro just as Electro charges up to blast Spidey with a jolt of electricity, which causes the dry paper to ignite, and starts Electro's costume on fire, which Spidey puts out with a nearby fire hose. Needless to say, the electrical discharge knocks Electro out and the technicians restart the plant, restoring power to the city as Spidey webs up Electro.

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. Having said all of that, this one seems particularly weak as so many of the players seem out of character and bent around to make the lame stories work, especially in the X-Men story.

The second story involves Cain Marko (A.K.A. Juggernaut, Professor X's half Brother), and 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. 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 four bound-in Marvel Universe trading cards (Spider-Man Beast, Wolverine, & The Silver Surfer).