Welcome to our "British History" lecture series. Our goal is to shed some light onto the murky history of one of Spidey's lesser known current titles... the alternate universe UK-only series Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine).
Started in 1995 as "reprints plus filler", soon began printing original stories in a kid-friendly generic Spider-Man world very similar to that of the "1990's Spider-Man TV Cartoon". It later rebooted itself to be more similar to the "Ultimate Spider-Man" universe. The series is still running today (in 2011), but I have recently been acquiring back issues and filling in the long-neglected review gaps for the middle issues of the series.
In issues prior to this story, Norman Osborn is dead... at least for now. Nobody (except Spider-Man) knows that he died as the Green Goblin. Peter's friend Harry Osborn has become increasingly unstable, believing Spider-Man responsible for the death of his father. Harry's attempt to fake Spider-Man's guilt was recently exposed, and Harry has now disappeared under strange circumstances. Could Harry be the mysterious figure behind the Sinister Six's successful entrapment of Spider-Man?
After being tackled by the Sinister Six, Spider-Man is out for the count. Or is he? Actually, no he's not. He was just taking a breather and considering his options. He has six foes calling for his blood.
Wait, better make that seven. Peter ran off from Flash's party and abandoned MJ without saying where he was going. So even if he defeats the Sinister Six, the hardest fight yet lies ahead.
After doing a brief run from the scene of battle to ask the police to keep the spectators safe, Spidey returns to fight the Six villains knowing that the odds are stacked squarely against him. What chance does Spider-Man have, alone against... oh, hang on. Is that Daredevil over there? And She-Hulk? And Wolverine, Luke Cage and Spider-Woman?
All of a sudden, the odds don't look quite so lop-sided at all!
Cue five pages of all-out tag-team battle, which ends the only way it could. The good guys are victorious and the day is saved. YAY!
Oh, wait. Where is Flash Thompson? Bother. He seems to have vanished. How careless of Spider-Man to have forgotten to rescue the guy he came to rescue. Hmm... there's a clumsy hand-written note here. "Spider-Man, if you want your friend to live, come to the Land Without Shadows - ALONE!"
Hmm... the "Land Without Shadows". Spider-Man is a teen-age science major who spends all his spare time fighting crime, so he knows this refers to "Narrioch", one of the Native American words for the island now known as Coney Island.
And remember, he can't take his friends along. This has to be done... ALONE!
So Spider-Man abandons his allies and heads to Coney Island, which he finds deserted. A yet-again-unconscious Flash Thompson is sprawled atop a roller-coaster. A very conscious Green Goblin is waiting for Spider-Man.
I call BULLSHIT!
No. Hang on. I call quadruple bullshit. And here's why:
Four kinds of bullshit adds up to a one web rating.