Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #57

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: British History

This review was first published on: Aug 2011.

Background...

This long-running three-weekly UK Magazine started out by running reprints for 51 issues. But starting with issue #52, it launched a string of original out-of-continuity Spider-Man stories created in the UK which was to last for more than a decade, until Disney pulled the plug in 2011.

The stories changed their tone throughout that time. The early original stories followed in the style of the preceding reprints, which is to say, similar to Spider-Man Adventures, or the Spider-Man TV (1994) television series. Much later, the stories shifted sideways to become more like a watered-down imitation of Ultimate Spider-Man.

In any case, the original Spider-Man stories occupied eleven or twelve pages of this 32 page publication, which was aimed at a pre-teen/early-teen market. The plots for these stories featured classic Marvel characters and villains. While they often echoed plots from the mainstream comics, they did so in their own special style. The remainder of the content was filled with puzzles, coloring, posters (reprinted art), fan letters, and promotions for DVDs and computer games.

The first couple of tales have been, well... rather unusual. And not necessarily in a good way.

In Detail...

"Rampage!"
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #57
Feb 2000 : SM Title
Summary: 16-Feb-2000
Writer:  William Cade
Writer/Editor:  Jason Quinn
Artist:  John Ross
Lettering:  Ant Gardner
Colorist:  Alan Craddock
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A company is giving a demonstration of the world's first GAMMA POWERED REACTOR!

Yep, in front of a public crowd, in some hall. Jonah Jameson is angry because Peter Parker is supposed to be taking photos, but has disappeared. Maybe it has something to do with Spider-Man, who is currently fighting the Hulk.

"Lucky I saw you smashing your way into this base," says Spider-Man.

OK, so it turns out that this is a military base. That doesn't explain what the policeman is doing amidst all the soldiers. The soldiers who are preparing to launch "The Thunderbolt", some kind of giant missile which is apparently powerful enough to threaten the Hulk, while still being suitable for firing indoors.

But wait, the Hulk isn't here to destroy the reactor or the base. He's here to defend the base against The Leader and The Abomination (and the Leader's Awesome Humanoids), who are intending to capture the Hulk and destroy the reactor.

More fighting. Bit more fighting. The Humanoids plant a bomb on the reactor, but when the Leader goes to activate the bomb, he learns that Spidey has stolen the detonator.

The Hulk jumps away from the base, which is now revealed to be in a mountain, somewhere in the desert. Spidey swings away. Please tell me, what the heck is Spider-Man swinging from, out here in the middle of nowhere? And how is Peter supposed to explain how he disappeared from a top-secret base in the middle of the desert?

In General...

Take a handful of threadbare cliches, then dig some plot holes to throw them in.

There's nothing "original" about this original story.

Overall Rating...

Half a web. The only way to make this worse would be to add a laugh track, and a cameo appearance from Justin Beiber.