Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #134
This story is part of a Lookback Series: British History
This review was first published on: Dec 2012.
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".
The story in issue #134 is part one of a three-part Spidey/X-Men/Sentinels story, the middle and final parts of which I have reviewed a year or two back. Now that I finally have a copy of Part One, let's see how it all started.
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #134
May 2006 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Mutant Menace"
As our story opens, Spider-Man is swinging around New York (not uncommon in these stories) when Kurt Wagner (teleporting mutant member of the X-Men) pops into view, exhausted, and pursued by a giant Sentinel mutant-killer robot.
For the next seven pages, the sentinel chases Spider-Man and Nightcrawler across New York, eventually wearing them out, and finally catching them both on Liberty Island (home of the Statue of Liberty, of course).
Having decided that Spider-Man is also a "genetic anomaly", the Sentinel is just about to crush them both in his giant robot hands when... Storm and the X-Men arrive just in time to fry the robot. Storm thanks Spidey for keeping Kurt alive long enough for help to arrive. And... that's the end.
Here's yet another 100% linear plot. Two Heroes, One Villain, lots of running around and crushing of things underfoot... but really nothing to engage the brain. All you can do is look at the pretty pictures. You can read the empty dialogue, but frankly speaking, you'll get exactly the same effect without the words.
Was there a surprise at the end? Well, technically I guess there were three possible conclusions: (1) Spidey and Nightcrawler defeat the robot alone (not very likely really). (2) They manage to run away fast enough to escape and find the X-Men (again, this was never a particularly viable option given the set-up). So really it had to be option (3) The heroes survive just long enough to be rescued on the final page or two.
Utterly predictable. Nothing here to engage a mature brain. There's no real problems with the plot or script. Just... there isn't enough plot to justify this many pages.
Sure, Andie Tong produces some visually impressive art work, and that's worth half-a-web extra. But even so, I have to give this a "not-good-enough" rating of two and a half webs total.