Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #46

 Posted: Oct 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 'Brute Force!'

Poor old Rhino. The big grey guy is a one-trick super-villain, all muscle, no smarts. It seems that every time he goes up against Spider-Man alone, he loses. And when he joins up with some big-brained villain in some sort of team, he gets screwed over, usually when the leader of the bad guys tries getting too clever. But this time, there's a new idea floating around. It arrives courtesy of fellow heavy-weight bad guy "The Ox".

Regular member of "The Enforcers", this time the Ox has a new idea all of his own. He is assembling a new team named "Brute Force", a group of ham-fisted thugs with just one ambition... to go and take Spider-Man out of the picture. No plans, no complicated plots, nothing but single-minded violence directed at our favorite wall-crawler. The Rhino signs up, and joins Ox, The Grizzly and The Walrus to comprise the biggest, dumbest bunch of unassisted knock'em down and whack'em slug-meisters I can ever recall seeing together without adult supervision.

And what is our hero up to right now? Well he's down by the local playground, beating up some muggers. But he soon has another issue to resolve... a couple of young kids are arguing over some stolen chewing-gum, and now they're debating the matter "Spidey-Style", with their fists! Their mom comes along and blames Spider-Man for setting a bad role model, and maybe she has a point. It does seem that the web-head could be accused of dispensing justice under the "might makes right" theory.

It's at this point that "Brute Force" arrive, ready to kick butt and take names, with name-taking being entirely optional. They lay into Spider-Man, but our hero manages to hold his own, being just as strong as any individual member of the force, as well as being a lot faster then any of them. Even so, he is outnumbered, and eventually he finds himself grabbed and held, and then the Ox pulls out a gun and prepares to dispatch Spidey!

Hang on, a gun? What's going on here? Actually, that's what the Ox wants to know. The other Ox.

To explain. A second Ox has just arrived, complaining about his identity being stolen. And that probably means... The Chameleon! Yep, the man who assembled the Brute Force was The Chameleon, all disguised to look like the Ox. His clever idea was to assemble a bunch of mindless thugs who would do his bidding with asking any questions.

As you might imagine, the other Brute Force members aren't very happy about having being manipulated yet again by some tricky little wanna-be evil mastermind trying to achieve their ends by fooling the daft old heavyweights. They turn on the Chameleon and express their emotions the only way they know how... with their fists.

As for the kids, well, Spider-Man takes the opportunity to point out a little object lesson regarding what happens to those who attempt to solve their problems by Brute Force.

General Comments

Bravo! An original idea, cleverly wrapped into a deceptively simple seven page story.

Overall Rating

This has to be the best story to appear in this magazine so far. Certainly it's the best tale scripted by regular writer Glenn Dakin.

In the context of what has gone before, this is exemplary stuff. Five webs!

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