Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #211
This review was first published on: Sep 2011.
This long-running UK Magazine started out by running reprints, but these days it offers a brand new "out of continuity" Spider-Man story every three weekly issue. This is Spidey's primary UK non-reprint magazine. He also appears in the pre-school Spider-Man & Friends (UK Magazine), along with occasional guest appearances in Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine).
The Spider-Man story occupies eleven or twelve pages of this 32 page publication, and is aimed at a pre-teen/early-teen market. The plots for these stories feature classic Marvel characters and villains. While they often echo plots from the mainstream comics, they do so in their own special style.
After a few years of erratic quality at best, this title is finally producing some half-decent material. Too bad that Disney (the new owner of Marvel) has announced its intention to pull the plug on all non-U.S. original stories. Still, we have a few more issues left to go before the end. Let's hope they're good ones...
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #211
Nov 2010 : SM Title
A were-wolf is stalking the late-night streets of New York. And that's not Peter Parker's only problem... John Jameson has gone missing. That would be... the astronaut son of Jonah Jameson. The son who is also "Man-Wolf"? Well, a little two-plus-two would seem to be in order here.
And indeed, there's no surprise twist involved here. The were-wolf is indeed John Jameson, who was captured by agents of A.I.M. The same agents had also stolen the "God Stone" which Jameson discovered on the moon. Re-attaching the stone, A.I.M. forced Jameson to become the Man-Wolf once more.
Their plan was to use his DNA to breed an army of lycanthropes, but Jameson Jr. escaped. And that's where we came in.
Spider-Man tracks down the Man-Wolf, and battle begins. Things aren't going well for our hero, until he manages to ignite a trail of gasoline from a damaged motor-bike, causing the fuel tank to explode. The distraction allows the battle to swing back in Spidey's favor, allowing him to tear the stone free from the Man Wolf's chest, reverting him to human form. The End.
On the plus side: Ferg Handley's dialog flows freely, and Lee Townsend's dark and moody ink work is a delightfully atmospheric match for the story-line.
On the minus: The story is entirely linear, without a single twist. The Jameson becomes the Man-Wolf and scares a few people. Spidey rips the stone off him, saving the day.
Also on the minus side is that stupid thing with the exploding gas tank. Dammit people, get with the program! Gas tanks do not work like that! Mythbusters settled this debate years ago. It's time that comic book and movie script writers got the message.
Some good. A bit more bad. Two-and-a-half webs.