This 6" x 6" kids picture/story book is yet another good old-fashioned 16-page full-color slug-fest from HarperCollins. The Sandman gets the treatment this time.
The Sandman is running round town, a one-man unstoppable wave of bank robberies. Nobody can stop him except... yeah, you guessed it. Spider-Man! This is strictly by-the-numbers stuff here, guys!
Sandman slips away, leaving the loot behind. Given that Sandman appears to be a far-superior fighter than Spider-Man, I'm not really sure why he felt the need to run and hide. But then again, his "defeat" is the trigger to our big plot idea.
Sandman thinks "if only there was more than one of me". Then, using his force of mind, he separates himself... no, just kidding. Despite the fact that the Sandman is one of the few villains who really could self-multiply, we now need a massive gimmick. It's the DX248 "Super Duplicator Machine".
No, seriously. I'm not joking this time. Sandman co-incidentally stumbles across a "Science Expo" where the DX248 will be demonstrated. "Just What I Need!" he exclaims. The next day, Peter and his friends attend... can you guess? Yes you can. They attend very same Science Expo.
Peter's Spider-Sense tingles as Sandman reveals himself and threatens the inventor of the DX248. The inventress is a beautiful woman in a thigh-high skirt and white lab coat. You have to wear a white lab coat if you have anything to do with "Science" in a comic book story. For the same reason that geeks all wear glasses, and laboratories are full of brightly colored liquids in racks of test tubes.
"Tell me how it works!" demands Sandman.
"Just flip the switch!" replies the sexy inventress.
"Out of my way, science nerd!" yells the Sandman in witty retort.
Well, the Sandman piles into the machine, planning to become unstoppable. Spider-Man webs up the machine, which explodes, conveniently transforming Sandman into glass.
Where do they come up with these ridiculous ideas? Each book seems to strive to challenge the preceding one to be more ludicrous, more infeasible, and more mind-bogglingly silly!
In purely visual terms, the production quality is high. The art-work is good, though if anything, it might be just a bit too good, and a bit too realistic for such a daft story. A more cartoony approach might perhaps have helped this foolishness slide past a bit more easily.
Sorry. Silliness quota exceeded. Lines crossed. Sharks jumped. Two webs.
A replicating machine? Instant human cloning? We're talking about an invention which has the same kind of moral, ethical impact as the discovery of life after death! Why not just a device that turned sand into super-hard diamond? Occam's story-telling razor, guys!