This UK kids magazine is one of three regular Spidey magazine offerings from Panini. Spider-Man & Friends targets the 4-10 year old market, while sister publication Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) aims at the pre-teen and teen crowd. Finally, their Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) hits the same mid-teen crowd but with a video game/movie angle.
But let's get back to Spider-Man & Friends. It features a distinctively drawn semi-Manga style kiddie Spider-Man, his cousin Spider-Girl, plus early school versions of Hulk, Wolverine, Beast, Storm and Captain America along with guest appearances from many other big name Marvel heroes and villains. Toy tie-ins are also available, plus in 2009 they produced a hardback annual.
Published every four weeks, this UK magazine features a toy taped to the front of each issue. Inside you'll find a four page Spidey & Friends story with three panels per page, captions of 8-20 words per panel. Then there's some nice simple kids puzzles, some coloring, a couple of competitions, and a page or two of Spidey merchandise. It's similar to the formats used for the older kids' magazines, just pitched for a much younger target audience.
"Surfing looks like fun," says Spidey to the Silver Surfer.
"It Is," the Surfer agrees. "Why don't you try?"
So Spider-Man goes for a spin on the Silver Surfboard. He flies up into the air, out of control, into the schoolroom through the open window, and out through the door, then off into space to Asgard, the magical home of Thor and the Norse Gods.
There, Spidey "crashes" his surfboard, right in front of Thor.
"Art though hurt?" queries Thor?
Thor flies Spidey back to earth, and back to the school, where the surfboard is returned to its true master.
"From now on, I'll stick to web-swinging," says Spidey.
And the point of that was...?
I'm not sure exactly how you crash a surfboard in space. There's nothing to crash into, as far as I can tell. Nothing at all. Space is just a big, open, empty, eventless stream of nothingness.
Kind of like the plot of this story, really.
Suddenly... nothing happened!
Today's story could have been told perfectly well in two panels. Spidey borrows the Silver Surfer's surfboard. He can't fly very well, so he gives it back. The End.
Two panels worth of story. Two webs.