Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #133

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: British History

This review was first published on: Dec 2012.

Background...

These UK magazines produced original stories for ten or more years from 1999 until they were shut down following the Disney buyout of Marvel in 2012. Apart from the occasional reprint, each issue features an 11 page story produced by a UK-based creative team. The stories were out-of-continuity, but were loosely based on mainstream Marvel characters.

These issues are pretty hard to find, but I've managed to acquire nearly a complete set, and I'm catching up with reviews as I acquire them under our lookback section "British History".

In Detail...

"To Fight the Fury!"
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #133
May 2006 : SM Title
Summary: 10-May-2006
Editor:  Ed Hammond
Writer:  Jim Alexander
Artist:  Jon Haward
Inker:  John Stokes
Lettering:  Wil Lucas
Colorist:  John Charles
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Review

Night. Glasgow, Scotland. A flaming object travels across from an alternate reality, and crashes down to form a giant crater in the heart of the city. What is this strange visitor? It is... "The Fury".

For those (including myself) not familiar with this entity, a quick introduction follows. The Fury is an indestructible artificial being, possessing inexhaustible power, that exists only to destroy super-heroes.

Immediately, I have two thoughts. Firstly, this must be one of the absolute laziest ways to kick off a mindless super-powered fight scene. No further story, no plot required. Just teleport in a galactic self-regenerating robot that wants to fight, and add your super-hero of choice. If this concept was fast food, it would be something slightly lower than Taco Bell on the sophistication scale.

Secondly, how on earth does a pan-galactic being decide what is a "super-hero"? Powers that are super-human may be absolutely average on another world. And what separates a hero from a villain? Would the Fury attack Emma Frost? Wolverine? What social norms does it apply? Many consider the X-Men to be villains, others consider them heroes. For a creature with no obvious communication or non-combat cognitive powers, this creature really is capable of performing some highly-subjective real-time ethical analysis!

What am I saying. There's no logic here. The Fury exists only in order to allow lazy writers to stage super-powered combats with the minimal amount of effort. It's a walking, non-talking MacGuffin.

So, who's on the fighting roster this month? Ah, here comes Captain Britain. He'll do.

Cap UK fights for a bit. His ancient magical mentor "Merlin" watches from the astral plane. Merlin has power over all earthly things, but the Fury isn't of Earth, so he can't do anything directly. What he can do is summon Spider-Man to help (seeing as how this is Spidey's comic book). He does that, teleporting (I swear, teleporting must be the number ONE indication of lazy comic-book writing) Spider-Man from Manhattan to Scotland.

Now Spidey and Cap fight the Fury together. Together they lead the Fury into a dusty building, which confuses the Fury's optical sensors for long enough to allow Captain Britain to punch his fist through its CPU unit.

Cap is in agony, but he dare not remove his fist, for as soon as he does, he knows that the Fury will simply self-repair and the un-winnable fight will resume. What to do?

Merlin has a desperate plan. He teleports (there we go again) Captain Britain and the Fury to a distant, uninhabited dimension. He does this, knowing full well that he cannot uses his powers to return Captain Britain as that will leave a trail which the Fury could follow to return as well. All he can do is hope that Captain Britain recovers consciousness first and manages to escape the Fury and find his own way home.

In General...

Hang on. first they tell us that Merlin has power only over Earthly things? But suddenly he's capable of teleporting the Fury away... to a distant non-Earthly reality?!

And if he could do that at the end of the fight when Cap UK and Fury were merged together, why didn't he just do that at the start of the fight when the Fury was alone by himself?

Overall Rating...

Lazy, silly, and generic.

Characterization is complete irrelevant here. Villain "X", Super-Hero team "Y" plus "Z" fight for "N" pages in country "C". What a waste of ink.

One solitary web.