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.
Unfortunately, there's still six of these monstrosities left to review before I can file them away in the bowels of my collection, never to see the light of day again.
Spider-Man is swinging around New York when he spots martial arts mistresses Misty Knight and Colleen Wing together battling a bunch of Fu-Bots. Yes, kung-fu robots.
Our web-headed hero assists to defeat the fu-bots, and the two young women explain that they are returning a "Chi-Droid" to the museum from whence it was stolen. The path to return the droid is via a Chinese restaurant.
We'll get to the restaurant soon. But first, a quick recap on "Chi-Droids". Apparently they are lifelike robots "designed to house the spirit of any Iron Fist that fell in battle -- and enable him to fight on." Which is to say that they could effectively make somebody immortal.
This is why a super-fu-bot controlled by The Mandarin suddenly appears at the head of another fu-bot army. The Mandarin wants to steal the Chi-Droid. But Spidey and the girls manage to get the chi-droid to the "Golden Temple" restaurant, which turns out to be abandoned. The important secret feature of the restaurant is that the elevator shaft drops through the roof of the subterranean kingdom of the Mole Man.
The three heroes drop through the ceiling into the Mole Man's lair. The Mandarin robot drops through as well, then is promptly beheaded by Colleen Wing's sword. The rest of the fu-bots... hmm... are presumably defeated too. It's not clear.
We learn that the Mole Man is a friend of Misty and Colleen. The Mole Man promises to have his people return the chi-droid safely to K'un L'un (which if I recall correctly is the spiritual home of Iron Fist). Mole Man then invites the heroes to stay for a fiesta.
Meanwhile, The Mandarin is so cross that he accidentally shoots a hole through his new TV with one of his power rings. Ha ha.
Baffling. Truly baffling.
If you don't own any of these magazines, then perhaps the most accurate way for you to accurately reproduce the confusion which you would feel upon reading these spasmodic stories is this:
First, rent some DVDs. You will require a good mix of genres, and most importantly, ensure that none of them are in a language that you know.
Now drink a bottle of vodka, hang upside down on the back of the sofa, and play thirty seconds of video randomly selected from the middle of each of these films. Whilst also counting backwards from one hundred.
It's not perfect, but it should get pretty close.
WHY? WHY? WHY!!!??!!!
Oh, wait. $8.99 per week for 60 weeks. I remember.