Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #226

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This story is part of an Arc: "The Osborn Identity"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This story is part of a Lookback Series: British History

This review was first published on: Jan 2014.

Background...

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 erratic quality at best, this title is finally producing some half-decent material. Too bad that Disney (the new owner of Marvel) has announced its intention to pull the plug on all non-U.S. original stories.

This is the last issue in the current three-part arc, the last issue in the series, and is also very likely to be the last UK original Spider-Man story... EVER!

All you need to know for background... Normal Osborn is back to his Green Goblin tricks. Oh, and Spider-Man just entirely destroyed Oscorp, and is feeling pretty pleased about it.

In Detail...

"The Osborn Ultimatum"
Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #226
Sep 2011 : SM Title
Summary: 28-Sep-2011
Arc: Part 3 of "The Osborn Identity"
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Spider-Man gets back to his apartment to find a note on his pillow. The Green Goblin has captured all his friends and placed them on the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. I wonder if this is a trap?

Yeah, it's a trap. Did you guess too?

Well, now proceeds the most jaded and worn-out of Spider-Man plots. The Goblin is threatening to blow up Liz, Flash, Harry and MJ. Spider-Man must fight against the clock to defeat the Green Goblin and save his friends!

Oh, Yawn. Honestly, this is it? The is the climactic conclusion?!

Cue the fighting. Osborn stops periodically to chug from a vial of his new super-formula. He's unbeatable!

Oh, wait. Norman doesn't feel so good. He has drunk too much super-formula. Spider-Man grabs the remote control and pushes the red button to save his friends!

What? Hang on. Let's have another look at that remote control. It only has one button on it. It's big. And red. And pushing it disarms the giant pumpkin bomb. So... which button actually sets off the pumpkin bomb? Why did the Green Goblin carry around a device which could only ruin his plans?

And speaking of the Green Goblin... he's in a bad way. He's going to need "The Antidote". Yes. In his bag is a vial which makes him lose all his powers and lose his memory. And once again, I really have to ask why a psychopathic super-villain hell-bent on power at any cost would be carrying around a vial which does nothing but undo all his work to date?

Well, there it is. The Antidote. Spider-Man gives it to the Goblin. Bye-Bye Green Psychopath, Hello Norman Osborn, once more in his white underwear at the bottom of the bridge waiting for the paramedics to take him back home to do it all again.

But Spider-Man swears that will be the last time he "covers up" Norman's secret. And if you believe that, I'd like to sell you this Brooklyn Bridge, only slightly damaged from the recent battle.

In General...

As is the sad habit of these stories, there are plot holes you could fly a Goblin Glider through and not touch the sides.

For starters, the idea of Oscorp's ridiculous total destruction (after a pathetically small battle in one of the armoured sub-basements) still offends my intelligence.

But even if Oscorp had been destroyed, why is Spider-Man so pleased about it? Yes, Oscorp is a front for Norman Osborn's activities. But it is also a 99% legitimate business concern, employing tens of thousands of employees, contractors, suppliers, cleaners and security guards. Destroy Oscorp, and you ruin thousands of innocent people's lives.

Then there's the oh-so-threadbare "Goblin captures the supporting cast" plot, and the ridiculous goofs with the detonation device and the antidote. It's just bad all through.

Overall Rating...

This ain't no way to end a series. Not with a bang, but with a plot that used to go "bang" until it was stolen, adapted, reworked, revisited, borrowed, plagiarised, and stolen again leaving it as fresh as last week's fish wrapped in last month's baby diapers.

Perhaps this is all part of the plan to acclimatise the readers to the title returning to being a reprint magazine. This plot was basically a reprint. But worse.

One web. Goodbye, Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine).