Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #57

Background

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!

Written and illustrated (predominantly) by no-name amateurs, this is the kind of thing is pretty humiliating for a classic brand like "Spider-Man". I can understand why Disney has made the decision to pull the plug on these UK-created magazines.

Four issues remaining. We're on the final home straight now.

Story 'Night Mayor in NYC'

Jonah Jameson is running for mayor of New York. Of course, in regular "616" continuity, he actually has become the mayor of NYC. But in this side-stream alternate Marvel Universe, that's far from being a done deal.

As part of his campaign, candidate Jameson has invited the big names of New York to a fancy dinner, along with the entire press staff of the Daily Bugle. With his entire campaign based on his loathing for Spider-Man, it's clear that Jameson has something up his sleeve. All he is waiting for is for Spider-Man to arrive.

Of course, Spidey can't resist a temptation like this one. And so indeed our favourite web-head makes an appearance. But he's not the only super-hero in the room. Everybody please give a warm welcoming hand to Martin Blank, aka "The Gibbon". Unemployed wannabe super-hero extra-ordinare, The Gibbon is present in disguise, paid for by Jameson. And with the web-head on the scene, the Gibbon can now attempt to earn his money by capturing and unmasking Spider-Man before the assembled crowds.

Battle then ensures, but unfortunately The Gibbon is a little heavy-handed. By swinging off the chandeliers, he manages to cause a short-circuit, start a fire, and set off the sprinklers. In fact, after a few pages of rough-housing, he manages to near-wreck the place. Eventually, Spider-Man is forced to step in and save the mayor from a crashing chandelier.

What's more, the Daily Bugle photographers are there to capture the whole messy business on film. And with every Bugle reporter in the room and none out on the streets to shoot alternative stories, Jameson doesn't have much option for the next day's headline but to run a humiliating shot of himself being rescued by Spider-Man.

Ouch!

General Comments

Hey, for once, writer Glenn Dakin has come up with a pretty good story. I'm surprised and impressed.

Oh, hang on a sec. Sorry, my mistake. This plot comes courtesy of guest writer John Tomlinson.

Overall Rating

Oh well. It doesn't matter who wrote it, the plot and dialog isn't too bad this time around.

Unfortunately, the art work is the usual rubbish, and the colouring is as ghastly as ever. In light of that, I feel compelled to knock a half-decent story down to an overall two-and-a-half webs. Shame.