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.
The remaining pages of each issue are filled with puzzles, posters and factoids centered around the issues guest star(s), be they heroes or villains. Currently we're just about to wrap up "Bad New Day", a story arc which has seen Spider-Man, Black Cat, White Tiger and Molten Man framed as villains, chased by the police, and finally become the self-submitted captives of Kingpin.
What's so scary about Kingpin? Well, this time he's hired The Wrecking Crew to hand out a beating to the heroes, and in the eyes of the law, it's 100% legal. What a revolting development!
The Wrecking Crew advance on the four good guys. Yeah, there's four left. Remember, The Prower revealed himself to be the traitorous Chameleon and left the scene. In fact, Black Cat does exactly the same. Apologizing to Spidey, she makes a run for it and leaps out the nearest window, several stories up. Right, that's three heroes then.
Already they're out-numbered by the four major league members of the Wrecking Crew. Don't make me name them for you. Probably not much point, anyhow, as in less time than it would take to call the roster (that's about two pages comic-book time) the villains already have the upper hand. White Tiger is down and Spidey and Molten Man are not far behind. Looks like it's all over...
...or is it? Suddenly Black Cat's back. With company. It's the Avengers to the rescue! Or maybe not? Oh yeah, Spidey's a criminal and the wrecking crew are out on probation. Sorry web-slinger, looks like the Avengers have no choice but to take you into custody. There's just no other option. All the Wrecking Crew need to do is just back off, keep quiet, and let the Avengers take the credit.
Heh, who are we kidding? The Crew aren't going to let the Avengers waltz in and snatch Spidey from under their noses. Looks like this is going to be done the hard way. And all Kingpin can do is watch in despair as his uncontrollable heavy-weight helpers wade into battle against the Avengers and lay all his best-laid plans to waste in the process.
I won't bother describing the following two-pages of Avengers vs. Crew combat, save to mention that in the midst of the battle, Kingpin hands out a solid hit on Black Cat that causes Spidey to see red. But before things get out of hand on that front, the Avengers have already dealt to the Wrecking Crew and it's time to figure out what to do about Spidey, him still being a wanted felon and all.
Still, the Avengers have one more trick up their sleeve. Vision mentions that he could force access to Kingpin's computer. Kingpin replies that the evidence they find would be inadmissible in court. Then Vision zings back that he hasn't actually done it, but Kingpin's voluntary admission that evidence exist is sufficient to justify a search warrant. HAH! Take that, fat-guy!
Actually, the point is rendered moot by the discovery of the real Prowler held hostage. That's kidnapping, and that's enough to put Kingpin in trouble and get Spidey off the hook. Some friendly banter follows, and then our web-headed-hero swings off into the sunset.
I've got to hand it to writer Ferg Handley, that's two great stories in a row. I'm not sure what vitamins he's been munching, but this is a great follow-up to last issue's excellent effort. Twists and turns abound. All the fight scenes are nicely threaded into the script, and nothing misses the mark at all.
Just as good as last issue's exception effort. But I can't keep handing out five webs all the time, I'll have to soften the score to 4 webs just to keep the universal equilibrium. Nonetheless, a truly excellent effort all round from the whole team: Handley, Tong and Justice.
Nothing special in the filler material. Posters, puzzles, games, coloring, fan art, and a couple of pages of discreet in-house advertising.