Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #26

 Posted: Apr 2011
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


This is a 60-part weekly series being pumped into the market by Eaglemoss publications. They don't know much about Spidey, but they know that 60 * $8.99 = quite a lot. And I'm the kind of idiot who will spend that sort of money without doing the math.

There's an original 7-page story in every issue, and collectible trading cards too. Sure, the stories are terrible, the art has been 90% ghastly, and the price is far, far too high. But there's glossy paper, trading cards, and an original Spider-Man comic strip series that 99% of the U.S. collectors will never own!

Story 'Tentacles of the Mind!'

Doctor Octopus sits in his lair, contemplating his own genius, and his hatred of Spider-Man. And... oh yeah... his latest plan... to use his new Mental Amplification Crown to extend his control of mechanical devices to include not only his own arms, but to any robotic machine within close proximity.

Armed with the aforementioned "machine-controlling metal hat", Ock heads off to "Mind-Tech Labs" where he knows he will find a huge collection of robotic machines just ready and waiting for his masterful mental control to guide them.

BY COMPLETE CO-INCIDENCE... Peter Parker is visiting Mind-Tech labs at that very same moment (on a date with his girlfriend Mary Jane) to attend a lecture entitled "Neural Nets - Expanding Mind Power!"

Of course, when Peter arrives, he discovers all the machines running amok, and quickly abandons MJ and Flash in order to transform into Spider-Man. Hang on a sec? What's Flash doing there? Peter and MJ didn't bring him along on their date. So... WTF? Oh, right... it must be... COMPLETE CO-INCIDENCE.

Spider-Man and Doc Ock fight. Ock uses his new mental power to control the machines to fight on his behalf. But wait...

BY COMPLETE CO-INCIDENCE... the building right next door is a hospital. And also... BY COMPLETE CO-INCIDENCE the hospital happens to be performing brain surgery on Norman Osborn at this very moment, using a new high-tech computer aided "Laser" machine! In fact, this laser is so high tech that it can perform an operation by working right through Norman's skin and bone without harming it! I guess it fires laser beams up his nose, or something.

Ock's mind-power takes over the surgical laser, which runs away from the operating table, causing Norman's life to be in great danger. Harry (who was watching the operation) runs out of the hospital, goes next door where he bumps into Spider-Man BY COMPLETE CO-INCIDENCE and tells the webhead that Ock is interrupting his dad's operation.

So far, so much formulaic super-hero, super-unrealistic story-telling. But now we get to something a little different. Spider-Man realizes that Ock's ego won't let him back down on a fight against Spider-Man, so he switches strategy. He changes back into Peter Parker's clothes and goes back into the Mind-Tech labs to speak with Ock.

Now, BY COMPLETE CO-INCIDENCE, we are told that Ock has actually met Peter before, and recognizes him now as a "top science student". Note: This was not shown in any stories in this magazine as far as I can recall - their previous encounters in SM:H&V have all been with Spider-Man in costume.

Peter tells Ock that his experiment is hurting Norman. Not only that, Peter hints that Ock's attempt to control machines might be causing damage to Otto's brilliant mind. Faced with this overwhelming logic, Ock calls off his plans, dismisses all his henchmen, and slinks away back to his base to muse in solitude.

Having achieved victory, Peter returns home to learn that Osborn's operation was a success.

General Comments

Overall, there's quite some variation in the quality of this seven page tale. It begins as malformed dribble that would insult the intelligence of a retarded yak, but with the surprised mid-story shift into Peter Parker mode, it lurches across to more closely resemble facile detritus with less sophistication than a stale peanut-butter sandwich in the glove-box of a Skoda.

There's one good concept in this story... namely the idea that Peter might be able to convince Ock to cease his attack, where Spider-Man could only provoke more damage. By itself, that's an interesting twist. But sadly, that's where it ends. The actual implementation of the idea is (as usual) incompetent to the point of embarrassment.

Overall Rating

One half-decent idea is quickly over-whelmed by the seven pages of terrible plot and script. Meanwhile, artist Richard Elson does a bearable job on the pencils - but the garish computerized coloring that pervades this title once again manages to overwhelm the artwork.

One and a half webs.

 Posted: Apr 2011
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)