Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #202
Part 1 / Part 2
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.
After a few years of disappointing plots and scripts, the preceding twelve months of this title has seen a real upswing in story quality. It's probably too much to hope that the trend continues as we enter "Iron Man 2 Movie tie-in season" with a new arc entitled "Armour Wars".
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #202
May 2010 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Armour Wars"
There's nothing particularly complicated about this month's plot. I'll spare you the dull details, and give you the Cliffs Notes version.
Peter Parker has a two-week internship at Stark Industries and he's working late.
Armored Villain "The Melter" arrives. Armored Hero "Iron Man" emerges to face him. Armored Villain "Iron Monger" launches an ambush. Non-Armored Hero "Spider-Man" enters battle. Armored Hero "War Machine" enters battle.
There's a lot of tough talking, then Iron Monger hits Iron Man with a computer virus that puts Iron Man under his control. Spider-Man is stunned by Iron Man. War Machine is nearly destroyed.
Iron Monger, Melter and Iron Man destroy the Stark facility and then head off (Iron Man still in tow) to do the same to other Stark sites, leaving Spider-Man and War Machine to contemplate the mess.
You know, without CGI (and without Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow swapping snappy dialog) this whole thing really has nothing to recommend it.
There's not a single idea of merit in this whole issue. Just the whole "sound and fury signifying nothing" shtick. I guess it's no surprise - it's not easy doing anything interesting with Iron Man once he has the suit on. Blow Stuff Up. Missile, Ray Beam, Counter-Missile, Force Field, etc. Virus, ECM, counter-virus. Yadda yadda yawn.
There's no fundamental errors in this issue. There's just... a fundamental lack of any worthwhile story hook. One and a half webs.