Ever wondered what happened to the Spider-Man of the 90's TV cartoon series? Well, he's alive and kicking in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine, currently being released every three weeks in the United Kingdom. Each issue features a swag of puzzles, posters, letters, and general all-out Spidey fun - all aimed at the young at heart. Plus, there's an 11-page original story featuring more of Spider-Man's Adventures.
There's trouble a-brewing. The oceans of the world have risen up and are battering New York and the major cities of the world. Combined with freak storms, that makes for a pile of havok. The Avengers and the Fantastic Four are doing their best to protect Manhattan, as the TV crews observe.
At home, watching the trouble unfold on the tube, Peter Parker checks that May and MJ are safe before leaving "to take some photos for the Bugle". He quickly changes into costume and turns up along with Daredevil. Captain America quickly assigns Spidey and DD to go keep watch for "looters or local Super- Villains". As they head out on patrol, Spidey spots Prince Namor flying in.
Naturally, the army calls in a pair of fighter jets to blast Namor out of the sky, which they do. Spidey however has a cooler head, and calms down the angry Sub-Mariner. Seems that Subby has found the root of the problems at the local Oakfield Nuclear Power Station. Time to call in back-up. Err... or not. Spidey and Subby decide to go handle things by themselves.
Turns out that the trouble-maker is Attuma, "Warlord of an Undersea Tribe of Barbarian Nomads, arch-enemy of Atlantis." Battle ensues, the details of which matter little. Attuma's accomplice is revealed as Override. Seems that Attuma promised him power, wealth, fame, etc. In return Override has used his power and turned the nuclear power plant into a power source for Attuma's "Aqua- Turbine", which has disrupted the sea and weather.
Now, I've studied a little meteorology, and let me tell you, the amount of power involved in even a small storm is enough to make a nuclear power plant look pretty damned pathetic. You can't just push the sea, or the atmosphere. It's just too jolly big! But hey, this ain't Scientific American, so let's just ignore the physics and get on with the story.
Attuma happily blabs out his plan, as all villains do. His goal is to provoke a war between mankind and the people of Atlantis, allowing Attuma's forces the chance to rise to supremacy. Sort of like how Sweden became a major world power by remaining neutral during World War II. Of course, that shows a remarkable lack of understanding of how the economics of war actually operate, but I guess Attuma is a psycho, so we can forgive him for not making sense.
Naturally, at this time, Namor revives from the results of the heat-ray that I didn't bother describing, and together the two heroes beat the living daylights out of the two villains... assisted by the fact that Attuma let's it slip that he didn't actually intend to give Override half of the world to rule. Heh, really? What a surprise. Anyhow, Override suddenly ain't so keen on the whole deal, which is why things collapse pretty quickly on the villainy front.
Anyhow, the weather is suddenly fixed (yeah, right, any idea how much momentum is involved in a storm of that size). The heroes emerge triumphant, and Peter is back home in time for a nice cup of tea. Meanwhile, Jonah is figuring how to pin the whole mess on Spidey. Da End.
As a kids story, this tale basically makes the grade. There's villains and heroes and lots of fighting. The art work is very pretty and colorful. Spidey wins the day, with a little help. What more can you ask for?
Actually, I'm asking for something to make this story interesting... something over and above the sheer formula of "Peter pretends to go take pictures, but changes into Spidey, teams up to defeat the villain, who reveals their nefarious plan in the end, but even after winning the day Spidey is still given a hard time by Jonah."
This story is somewhere between mediocre and adequate. The complete lack of anything original means that I'm reluctant to give it an "average" three webs, so let's settle for a "2.5 webs, must try harder".