Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #147

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: British History

This review was first published on: Feb 2011.

Background...

Welcome to our "British History" lecture series. Our goal is to shed some light onto the murky history of one of Spidey's lesser known current titles... the alternate universe UK-only series Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine).

Started in 1995 as "reprints plus filler", soon began printing original stories in a kid-friendly generic Spider-Man world very similar to that of the "1990's Spider-Man TV Cartoon". It later rebooted itself to be more similar to the "Ultimate Spider-Man" universe. The series is still running today (in 2011), but I have recently been acquiring back issues and filling in the long-neglected review gaps for the middle issues of the series.

In issues prior to this story, Norman Osborn is dead... at least for now. Nobody (except Spider-Man) knows that he died as the Green Goblin. Peter's friend Harry Osborn has become increasingly unstable, believing Spider-Man responsible for the death of his father. Harry's attempt to fake Spider-Man's guilt was recently exposed, and Harry has now disappeared under strange circumstances. Could Harry be the mysterious figure behind the Sinister Six's successful entrapment of Spider-Man?

In Detail...

"Central Park Alamo"
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #147
Mar 2007 : SM Title
Summary: 07-Mar-2007
Editor:  Ed Hammond
Writer:  Ferg Handley
Artist:  Andie Tong
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Review

After being tackled by the Sinister Six, Spider-Man is out for the count. Or is he? Actually, no he's not. He was just taking a breather and considering his options. He has six foes calling for his blood.

Wait, better make that seven. Peter ran off from Flash's party and abandoned MJ without saying where he was going. So even if he defeats the Sinister Six, the hardest fight yet lies ahead.

After doing a brief run from the scene of battle to ask the police to keep the spectators safe, Spidey returns to fight the Six villains knowing that the odds are stacked squarely against him. What chance does Spider-Man have, alone against... oh, hang on. Is that Daredevil over there? And She-Hulk? And Wolverine, Luke Cage and Spider-Woman?

All of a sudden, the odds don't look quite so lop-sided at all!

Cue five pages of all-out tag-team battle, which ends the only way it could. The good guys are victorious and the day is saved. YAY!

Oh, wait. Where is Flash Thompson? Bother. He seems to have vanished. How careless of Spider-Man to have forgotten to rescue the guy he came to rescue. Hmm... there's a clumsy hand-written note here. "Spider-Man, if you want your friend to live, come to the Land Without Shadows - ALONE!"

Hmm... the "Land Without Shadows". Spider-Man is a teen-age science major who spends all his spare time fighting crime, so he knows this refers to "Narrioch", one of the Native American words for the island now known as Coney Island.

And remember, he can't take his friends along. This has to be done... ALONE!

So Spider-Man abandons his allies and heads to Coney Island, which he finds deserted. A yet-again-unconscious Flash Thompson is sprawled atop a roller-coaster. A very conscious Green Goblin is waiting for Spider-Man.

In General...

I call BULLSHIT!

No. Hang on. I call quadruple bullshit. And here's why:

  1. If you're a villain and you wanted to Spider-Man to come to Coney Island why on earth would you call it "The Land Without Shadows". What is the point of being mysterious here? What, did the Green Goblin need another 10 minutes to get ready, so he wrote a cryptic note to force Spider-Man to find an Internet Cafe so he could Google "The Land Without Shadows" to find out what it meant before he could go there? Bullshit!
  2. Why on earth would Peter Parker be an expert in the ancient Native American names for the islands around Manhattan? "Dammit Jim, I'm a Doctor, not an etymologist!" Bullshit!
  3. Why is Coney Island deserted? What time does writer Ferg Handley think it closes? Thirty minutes ago, Peter and MJ just turned up at a party. All Peter's super hero pals were still awake and watching TV. Given that it's a weekend (surely Flash wouldn't hold his birthday party on a Tuesday), well... Coney Island is open until the early hours of the morning. So why is the roller coaster deserted?
  4. And finally... why did Spidey leave his friends behind, just 'cos the Goblin told him to? At the very least, why not take Wolverine along? Wolvie is a super-sneaky expert stealth-machine, so he isn't going to get spotted. Then Spidey can fight Green Goblin while Wolverine rescues Flash. Easy! But by going alone, Spider-Man plays right into the Goblin's hands. What kind of "man alone" macho game is Spider-Man playing with Flash's life? I call BULLSHIT!

Overall Rating...

Four kinds of bullshit adds up to a one web rating.