Spider-Man Heroes & Villains Collection (UK) #56

 Posted: Feb 2012
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


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.

Five issues left to go. Will my stomach have the strength to last the distance?

Story 'Seven Brides for Mephisto'

Peter Parker and Flash Thompson have (by co-incidence) both taken their Valentine's Day dates (Mary Jane Watson and Liz Allen respectively) to the same pizza restaurant for dinner. But both of the girls have disappeared. Have (a) the boys both been stood up, or is (b) the subway running late?

Or perhaps (c) has Blackheart (demented son of the evil Mephisto) randomly kidnapped them as part of of a group of seven young women to be his bride in an ancient ceremony to be performed in the "Tunnel of Love" at the local amusement park, with the aim of transcending his father's power to usurp the underworld throne?

If you chose option (c), then you win a cigar. Nice guesswork.

At this moment, Ghost Rider turns up at the pizza place, sees Peter and Flash, and says: "Just as I thought -- young women disappearing! My enemy Blackheart - Son of Mephisto - is stealing them for some occult purpose!"

Strange. But what is perhaps more strange is that this is said in response to a conversation between Peter and Flash inside the restaurant. But in the immediate next panel, one sentence later, the boys are shown outside the restaurant. Some kind of strange topological inversion has caused the interior and exterior of the restaurant to occupy the same physical space at the same time.

Peter and Flash hop onto the back of Peter's motorcycle (I don't recall Peter ever having had a bike in the preceding 55 issues, but perhaps it slipped my mind). They then follow the blazing trail which Ghost Rider has left behind him, all the way to the abandoned fairground.

Bloody hell. Not the "abandoned fairground" again. Just how many abandoned fairgrounds are there in New York? Why do people keep building fairgrounds if they always just get abandoned? Whatever. In any case, Blackheart is there, with his seven intended brides, ready to perform the ceremony to unseat his father.

Peter and Flash arrive on their bike. Blackheart fires a zap at them, and Flash is conveniently knocked unconscious, allowing Peter the opportunity to change into costume. Ghost Rider battles Blackheart, but is temporarily defeated. But he has given Spider-Man a few seconds... which is enough time to create seven convincingly accurate full-sized female web dummies. Nice going!

Flash recovers, and Spider-Man asks him to lead the girls away. At this point it becomes clear that while Spider-Man did fool Blackheart with the dummies, the real girls were still standing just a few feet away. So while Peter's impromptu statuary skills were stunning in their adeptness, they were equally as impressive in their pointless stupidity.

Blackheart battles Spider-Man, but loses. Why? Because Mephisto was here all along, providing power to Spider-Man so the wall-crawler could "punish [his] errant son".

Then they call call the police. No, wait. I mean, the boys take the girls back to the pizza place and order some food.

General Comments

Fatally flawed and stunningly stupid.

By current exchange rates, this magazine costs US $7.50. It contains 22 pages, of which 7 pages are original story. Very, very badly written original story.

I have no idea how these companies can get away with this drivel.

Overall Rating

Anybody who actually paid money for this turd-pile needs their head read.

One and a half webs.

 Posted: Feb 2012
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)