Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #215

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This story is part of an Arc: "Strange Days"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: Nov 2011.

Background...

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. But there's still a few original UK stories to read before doom is pronounced. Last month's issue Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #215 began this two-story arc entitled "Strange Days".

To save you the bother of reading our review of Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #214, all you need to know is that Baron Mordo has helped The Dread Dormammu extend his Dark Dimension into our own. Dormammu is forbidden by oath from entering our domain, but his domain has entered through a portal at Tintagel Castle in England. The incursion is growing, and Doctor Strange is now Dormammu's prisoner.

In Detail...

"Strange Days: Part 2"
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #215
Feb 2011 : SM Title
Summary: 9-Feb-2011
Arc: Part 2 of "Strange Days"
Editor:  Patrick Bishop
Writer:  Ferg Handley
Pencils:  John Royle
Inker:  Philip Moy
Staff Only
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Review
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man Annual (UK) 2017

Last issue, Spider-Man helped Doc Strange battle Dormammu. But when the Doc was taken prisoner, Spidey was saved from the same fate by a timely rescue at the hands of Captain Britain. Retreating to a cottage in Cornwall, Cap has assembled a rescue team. The roster is: Union Jack, Captain Britain, Meggan (the shape-shifting earth-spirit), Spidey, the Black Knight and the female British hero Spitfire.

After a nice hot cup of tea, the six heroes return to the Castle grounds. Meggan uses her shape-shifting power to look like one of Dormammu's demons. While the other five run interference, Meggan sneaks behind the scenes to find Doctor Strange, then uses her limited magical powers to free him. But even with the Doc back in action, the good guys are still outgunned - especially since Dormammu is on his "home ground".

Frankly, the heroes are losing the fight. So Spider-Man makes one last play. He grabs the gem which opens the portal and makes a desperate run for freedom. He can't hope to outrun Dormammu for ever, but he manages to make it clear and get just outside the boundary, a short way beyond where the Dark Dimension has yet managed to exert its influence.

"Do you think the light will trouble me, mortal? Then think again!" bellows the Dread Dormammu as he strikes down Spider-Man and recovers the gem.

Well, no. But you see, by leaving the Dark Dimension, the Dormammu has broken his sacred oath. And that has consequences. Sure, Dormammu is basically a god. But there are powers even mightier than he. The Living Tribunal, for example. And sure enough, that's who appears to punish Dormammu for failing to honor his vow. At the hands of the Tribunal, Dormammu vanishes. Dead? Displaced? Who can tell? In any case, the heroes have won the day.

And Baron Mordo? Well, he's left stranded in the Dark Dimension, without Dormammu to protect him. It's a long way home from there!

In General...

This is decent stuff once more. It's an original tale which fits well into the available page count.

The characterizations are good enough, although Spidey's dialog is a little forced at times. I mean, what's the harm in having a panel with no dialog. If you can't think of anything clever for your cast to say, how about maybe try having them say nothing at all.

Surely these guys aren't paid by the word?

Overall Rating...

Another solid plot, with good supporting art work. Three and a half webs. We're on a roll here!