Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #107

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This review was first published on: 2005.

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 at heart. Plus, there's an 11-page original story featuring more of Spider-Man's Adventures.

In Detail...

"Crushed by the Kingin!"
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #107
Nov 2004 : SM Title
Summary: 10-Nov-2004
Editor:  Tom O'Malley
Script:  Ferg Handley (Spidey)
Pencils:  Simon Williams (Spidey)
Inker:  Simon Ecob (Spidey)
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Review

Silver Sable creeps across the roof-top of Fisk Tower, home to the crime overlord known as The Kingpin. A native of Symkaria, this athletic mercenary... etc., etc. No mention of her anti-Nazi roots, or of the wild pack. Basically, this Silver Sable is a loner, strictly for pay. This mission came from an unidentified source - Sable's job is to break in to Fisk Tower and steal a computer disk with valuable financial and blackmail info.

Spidey happens to be swinging past, and investigates the KO'd security guard and open door where Sable made her entry. Spidey turns up, spots Sable, rather amusingly mistakes her for French (hey, she's European, so either she's French or Australian. What else is there?) The two battle, and Sable sneaks in a crafty stun-gun shot and puts the web-slinger out for the count.

Continuing her mission, Sable makes her way past the remaining defenses, and finds the CD on a display stand under a thick glass case. Her mini-laser deals to the glass, and she gets her hand on the disk. At that point, the lights go on, to reveal the Kingpin's last line of defense... Tombstone! Oh boy!

Tombstone batters Sable, dislocating her shoulder. Fortunately, Spidey makes a timely arrival, so it's two on one. But then, Kingpin turns up, balancing the see-saw in favour of the bad guys once more... or over-balancing, in sheer bulk terms. Kingpin calls a halt to hostilities, and reveals that it was he who hired Sable to test his defenses, and telling Spidey and Sable to go home.

Spidey isn't impressed, and decides to make a stand. He grabs Kingpin's cane and shoots sleeping gas to put Tombstone to beddie-byes. Then it's Kingpin vs. Spidey, and Kingpin gets the upper hand. He puts the big squeeze on our beloved arachnid. But what's this? Silver Sable now calls a halt, telling Kingpin that she doesn't like being tricked, and revealing that she just hacked his system to donate a million dollars a second to charity. Help! Kingpin calls out his tech support team, while money leaks away to worthwhile causes, and while Sable and Spidey head out of the nearest window.

Sable offers Spidey big bucks to come be a mercenary. But... hmm... nah, he's not that kind of super-guy.

In General...

A very solid story. Sure, the plot, script and characterisations are overly simple and sanitised by comparison to the latest stuff by Mark Millar, JMS, and friends - but this is a totally different market. The characters are pretty true to their TV Cartoon equivalents, and the tale is the kind of thing you'd be perfectly happy to have your seven-year-old kids read all about.

There's plenty of action per page, and while the plot twists aren't exactly Agatha Christie, there's enough happening to make reading a pleasure rather than a chore. The art has a very appealing look to it also. The lines are rich and strongly inked, without being overbearing. The coloring is sumptuous and rich also. On examination, you can see a lot of photoshop work having gone into the graphics, adding smears, blurs, lots of lighting effects. It all adds to the ongoing visual interest of the story.

Overall Rating...

A tidy, self-contained story, perfectly targeted at young kids. Three and a half webs from me.