Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #88

Background

Ever wondered what happened to the Spider-Man of the 90's TV cartoon series? Well, he's alive and kicking in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine, currently being released every three weeks in the United Kingdom. Each issue features a swag of puzzles, posters, letters, and general all-out Spidey fun - all aimed at the young at heart. Plus, there's an 11-page original story featuring more of Spider-Man's Adventures.

Story 'Payback!'

The last thing we'd seen was poor old Spidey blasted off a rooftop by Shocker, who wouldn't stop boasting about his victory. Now, we Spidey's mask lifted from the river. The crowd are shocked as they shout out that Spider-man is no more.

Over at the Bugle, Jonah's pretending that he is sickened at the death of Spider-man, not wanting Robbie to find out he hired Shocker to do the deed. The plan goes a tad wrong when Shocker himself blasts through the door of Jonah's office, where Jonah and Robbie stand. He's demanding the money for killing Spider-man.

JJJ acts like he doesn't know what Shocker's on about. Herman blasts open his safe to find imported Cuban cigars. And so he takes Jonah hostage, leaving Robbie with the demand of $500,000 to get Jameson back.

Now we go to none other than Peter Parker, alive and well, resting in bed. When Aunt May leaves the room after checking up on him, he reveals that he became conscious again, he was at the bottom of the river. Swimming to safety, he retreated to his home.

Mary Jane comes to visit, explaining that Laurence Gentry was just a friend. Peter had caught the two together at lunch last issue and assumed MJ was dating him. Once leaving the Parker house, Mary Jane meets Gentry on the streets, telling him that she and Peter had made up.

When they part a panel later, Gentry decides he should kill Peter, so that MJ can be his. Back in the bedroom, Peter says he's already feeling better and so turns on the TV. A news report is on, explaining JJJ's kidnapping. After creating a web dummy, Peter suits up and heads out of the window to find Shocker.

Herman's holding Jameson in a downtown apartment block. The police have him surrounded. Spider-man enters from behind, Shocker is shocked (no pun intended) to see him when Peter lands and good hard kick on his back. Getting to his feet, Shocker asks why Spider-man is bothering to save Jameson when he paid for Herman to kill him. Stunned at this, Peter loses focus and Shocker blasts him through a wall.

Buried by the rubble, Peter can't get out. Shocker takes him and a head lock. Jameson tells Spider-man not to be beaten by this third-rate bum. That lights Shocker's fuse. He turns to fire on Jameson. The distraction gives Spidey enough time to slam his fists into Shocker's wrists, shattering his vibro blasters.

One heavy punch finishes Shocker off. After webbing him, Peter throws him down to the officers below. Jonah shouts at Spider-man for playing dead while Shocker took him. Peter webs his mouth and slings off.

Meanwhile, Aunt May enters Peter's room with a tray of vegetable soup. Before reaching the dummy, the Porcupine (Gentry suited up rather than just his gun last issue) jumps through the window and shoots 5 rather sharp looking spikes into the web dummy, then exiting, not noticing May.

The shock of it gives Aunt May a heart attack. She faints on beside the bed, left slumped on the floor. Peter slings in through the window later, finding May on the floor. He looks at Porcupine's needles and figures that he has learnt Peter's secret identity. Then he notices May. The issue ends with Spider-man swearing revenge as he holds Aunt May.

General Comments

An improvement from the last issue. The art was better for one. Shocker was portrayed perfectly. Gentry makes an interesting character. The twist at the end isn't something you'd expect out of a title like this.

All in all, a fun, enjoyable issue. What we should be getting from this title.

Overall Rating

Let's have more of this please.