Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #103

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Ever wondered what happened to the Spider-Man of the 90's TV cartoon series? Well, he's alive and kicking in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine, currently being released every three weeks in the United Kingdom. Each issue features a swag of puzzles, posters, letters, and general all-out Spidey fun - all aimed at the young of heart. Plus, there's an 11-page original story featuring more of Spider-Man's Adventures.

In Detail...

"Stop the Sandman"
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #103
Aug 2004 : SM Title
Summary: 18-Aug-2004
Editor:  Tom O'Malley
Script:  Ferg Handley (Spidey)
Pencils:  Jon Haward (Spidey)
Inker:  Bambos Georgiou (Spidey)
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Review

Aunt may is down at the local bank, tucking some cash away for a rainy day like she does each week. But by the time this issues over, I'll guess she'll be checking out the convenience of Internet banking! How come? Well, let's just say that when Sandman crashes into make a withdrawal, he's not going to be filling out the paperwork!

Sandman demolishes the guards, then follows up by smashing the bank safe. Being a greedy guy, he also decides to grab Aunt May's locket... which held a very special photo that Peter took of her and Uncle Ben. Well, that's just the kind of thing to wrinkle yer panty-hose. Worse, a few days later, Peter and May are walking past a downtown jewellery shop when the Sandman decides to help himself once more. Gack! Peter has to hang around and help Aunt May, but he tags Sandy's bag with a tracer. Buy the time the silicon-scumbag spots the electronic beeper, Spidey's knocking on the door. Let battle commence!

Three pages later, it looks like Spidey has the upper hand, trapping that villainous son-of-a-beach in a metal storage container, but the sandy one slithers out and knocks Spidey on his Keister. Ooops. Except an unexpected assist arrives in the form of the Kingpin. Yep, Fisk ain't too happy with Sandman running freelance all over his town, so he turns up with a flamethrower and gives the gritty-grandstander his marching orders.

At that moment, Spidey decides to re-enter the fray, pops Sandman on the chin and KO's him, grabs the bags of loot, and scarpers. Kingpin heads off, leaving Sandy for the law, and that's that on the action front. Naturally, Spidey drops off the cash, but takes time to throw Aunt May's locket in the mail, personally addressed and presumable registered post. Sender: Spider-Man.

Aunt May is naturally tickled pink to have her locket back, and figures maybe that Spider-Man ain't so bad after all. But... (she muses)... why the mask? Maybe he's just protecting his family and friends, suggests Peter.

There's 36 pages,including the covers, and 11 is the Spidey story. The rest is background, character profiles, sketching practice, B&W art to color, puzzles, a giant centrefold poster, a competition (or two) to enter, a quiz, and some letters and art from fans. Most of the material looks original, although there's a couple of pages that look like they're taken from the old Spider-Man Magazine, and a bit of filler art that looks like it's grabbed from the U.S. comics. Even so, I think you're getting great value for money, since there's almost no ads at all!

In General...

This mag is for the kids, but it's good stuff regardless. The Spidey story is great fun, and has first-rate art, with good coloring work to top it all off. There's plenty of stuff to fill a rainy day for a young Spider-Fan, so if you live in the U.K., I recommend you get your local newsagent to reserve you a copy every three weeks. It's not often that folks in the U.K. get a Spidey story that the Americans don't see, so go make the most of it!

Overall Rating...

Lots of fun. As Spidey magazines go, this one's a bargain at one pound seventy-five pence a shot! Four webs.