Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #63

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: British History

This review was first published on: Sep 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.

In Detail...

"Overload!"
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #63
Aug 2000 : SM Title
Summary: 2-Aug-2000
Writer:  Alan Cowsill
Writer/Editor:  Jason Quinn
Artist:  Anthony Williams
Lettering:  Julia Illingworth
Colorist:  Maria Keane
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Review

Electro's back in town, soaking up juice from all the power stations. Fortunately Spidey's on the job, so it's the usual ZAP! Duck! Webbing! Run! ZAP! kind of thing going on, until all of a sudden, Electro doesn't feel so good.

KER-BOOM! Electro is the center of a big explosion. He's all zapped out. So Spidey webs him to a wall and walks away. I guess he's going to call the police, though he doesn't mention it at the time.

But what is most curious is the fact that Electro reckons that "the energy didn't explode outwards". I think that's odd because the picture three panels before shows very clearly a massive force going outwards, pushing Spider-Man back. In any case, Electro clearly isn't as weakened as Spidey imagined, because when Peter Parker goes in to the Daily Bugle to hand in his photos to Jonah, he learns that Electro escaped before the police arrived.

Suddenly, the news comes. Electro is threatening to destroy "the dam". Peter is off to take photos. Naturally Jonah Jameson goes with him. Hell, I betcha Rupert Murdoch is right there on the scene any time there's a major crime, right? Or is Murdoch in jail? What? Not yet? OK. If you say so.

I don't think Manhattan is well-populated with hydro-electric power schemes. So I'm guessing this one is a little way out of town, somewhere in New York state. I guess they took a helicopter out there, or something. Anyhow, Jonah and Peter arrive at the dam. Electro is there. The police aren't. Why not? Electro is going to destroy the dam, didn't ya know? I guess the police figure the newspapers will take care of that. In any case, only Jonah and Peter are present at the dam. They quickly walk into the main power room.

Suddenly... PETER DISAPPEARS and SPIDER-MAN APPEARS! For the FOURTH TIME IN A ROW! Or is the the FIFTH. Seriously Jonah, what the freak is wrong with your brain, man? PETER IS SPIDER-MAN!

Oh, forget it. Spidey fights Electro, who has become "super-intelligent and super-powerful", and now intends to absorb all the power of the dam. In fact, he's so powerful that he has got the Rhino helping him. Because... umm... no reason. None I can think of, anyhow. In fact, I can't even think why Electro would have announced his intentions. Lied about them, in fact. Why say he is going to destroy the dam? He wants the power from it, surely?

Electro chains Spidey and Jonah to a turbine, so they will be blown apart. Umm... Why? How? Turbines are big vibrating things. But I shooting jets of stuff out into the work area? Why would they do that? The water comes in a closed pipe. The turbine goes round. The water goes out a closed pipe. Nothing expelled into the maintenance area that I can think of.

Well, Electro goes power mad, and generates a "small" crack in the dam. Enough to leak out water and fill the turbine room with a few meters of water. The water short-circuits things, causing first the Rhino to be zapped unconscious, then Electro himself is fried by his own power.

Spidey then webs Jonah up as well, because... well, you know... ruining his own reputation seems like a sensible thing to do.

In General...

This story is ignorant and stupid on more levels that Heinz has varieties. It's more retarded than the last bus out of Pompeii. It's more offensive than a topless nun singing Prodigy lyrics backwards whilst tattooing swastikas on orphans with a cold chisel.

Overall Rating...

Dear diary. Today I read a Spider-Man story and did not think it was very good.

Half a web.

Footnote...

Note: If you are ever at a dam and it cracks and water starts flooding out to fill the room. Don't bother running. You are SO screwed. It's called catastrophic failure. Even webbing ain't gonna save ya, sonny.