Welcome to our "British History" lecture series. Our goal is to shed some light onto the murky history of one of Spidey's lesser known current titles... the alternate universe UK-only series Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine).
This UK magazine series started in 1995 running "reprints plus filler". Then in 1999 the formula changed to feature 11 pages of original story content written by UK creators. The title ran nearly exclusively original stories in that new format until 2011, when it reverted to a reprint series after Disney acquired Marvel and pulled the plug on UK-created content.
At Spider-Fan, we reviewed many of those original stories as they came out, until we lost our UK supply chain. Now, thanks to the joint miracles of eBay UK and international shipping, we're planning to track down and review all those other stories that slipped through the cracks the first time around.
This issues is a marvellous milestone for this title. Issue number One Hundred! Hopefully there's a very special story to celebrate this wonderful achievement!
Bruce Banner is in New York City, looking for a place to stay for a couple of nights. Everything will be OK, just as long as nobody disturbs him...
...oh, panel 2 page 1. Three street thugs approach Bruce and demand his wallet. It's time for the Hulk!
Ben Grimm (aka The Thing of the Fantastic Four) is watching TV when he sees a news story about the Hulk being on a rampage. Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man of... nothing in particular) is at the museum when he overhears a policeman talking about the Hulk on his radio. The two heroes converge on the scene...
...and spend five pages non-stop battling the Hulk, to no avail. Meanwhile, the army isn't far off arriving, which is really going to make a mess.
So Thing and Spider-Man put their heads together and come up with a plan. They taunt the Hulk and lead him down to the waterfront. Then they use the Fantasticar as a remote-controlled battering ram to pick up the Hulk and dump him way out in the harbour.
That cools down old Greenskin, and later that night Bruce Banner "washes up on a deserted stretch of shore".
Fight over. Mind you, Peter Parker doesn't feel much like eating his spinach that night... he's had enough greens for one day!
This is a very generic fight which lurches from cliché to cliché without taking any risks at all.
Mind you, the "safe approach" turns out to be exactly that, and writer Ferg Handley doesn't make any significant errors as he meanders his way through the plot. The dialog is perfectly adequate too, and Simon Williams does a passable job of the art work too.
It's hardly particularly memorable stuff for issue #100. Remember, Amazing Spider-Man #100 featured Peter with six arms for goodness sake! This magazine just isn't in the same league.
I can't really find anything to complain about, except for a generic sense of disappointment.
I'm gonna go with a slightly sub-par rating of two and a half webs.