Comics : Spider-Man Magazine #11

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This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

This is a magazine-sized periodical that was targeted for kids (Think Nickelodeon Magazine), and ties into the then-current, animated Spider-Man TV show. It contained two six-page comic strips (One staring Spider-Man and the second another Marvel hero or group - The Fantastic Four in this issue). 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 (Dr. Doom 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. Starting with issue #8, the magazine became a flip-book, with the second half of the book "upside-down" to the first half. With this issue, the book changed from a numbering sequence on the cover to a Season sequence (indicating that it might have dropped from monthly to a quarterly schedule, in spite of the fact that the indicia still indicating that it was monthly.)

In Detail...

"Beneath the Law"
Spider-Man Magazine #11 (Story 1)
Mar 1995 : SM Title
Summary: Winter 1995, Featuring Fantastic Four
Editor:  Michael Teitelbaum
Writer:  Mike Kirschenbaum
Pencils:  Don Heck
Inker:  Mike Esposito
Add. Art:  Howard Bender, John Romita, Sr., Marie Severin, Wayne A. Murray, Will Cypser
Add. Writing:  Holly Gates, Mike Pellowski, Tom Brevoort
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Review

Spidey, while clinging to the side of a building is watching as another building is being demolished by a construction crew. Unfortunately, as soon as the dust settles, a swarm of giant albino alligators pile out from under the rubble. Rushing to the aid of the workmen, Spidey beats on the alligators until a crew of firefighters arrive and drive the beasts back with their fire hoses. Once the scene is safe, Spidey begins working with the Mayor as he sets up a task force to deal with the situation. Much to his dismay, the Mayor wants to bring in reptile expert Dr. Curt Connors (whom we all know is secretly the Lizard).

As Connor's explains, people would go to Florida and bring back baby alligators, only when the beasts grow too large, they flush them down the toilet. Thus setting up the (apparently true) Urban Myth of giant albino reptiles living in the sewers (they are albinos because of the lack of light). Wile working on a way to drive the reptiles back they (somehow) find and attack Connors.

As could be predicted, the stress induces him to metaporph into the Lizard, who then takes command of his reptilian army. When Spidey discovers that Connors has changed and is now running with the alligators, he acquires a syringe of Connor's formula and, during a brawl with the Lizard, manages to inject him changing him back into Connors. The two of them fight a holding action against the basts until daylight when they slither back underground to get out of the sun's harmful rays.

In the second story, the FF battle Doom to at the UN.

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 Marvel superhero) fans will want to seek out and actively collect, but if they stumbled across it, it is kind of fun to have.

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. The stories are targeted for the kiddies, and won't really garner much interest among all but the hard- core fans.

Footnote...

This issue contains an uncut sheet of four bound-in '95 Fleer Ultra Series trading cards (Rogue, Wolverine, Cyclops, & Beast).