|Complete Spider-Man (UK) #15
After a brief and needless recap, Spider-Man bursts free from the ice. The art guys aren't there any longer though. Because there's only been 77 crossovers in the three issues so far and the Avengers are rubbish, the Fantastic Four then show up. It turns out that Painter is some old FF villain from Strange Tales 108. Anyway, Spidey and Johnny Storm go after Avant Guard after Spidey got a tracer on Boring.
Painter declares the duo must “suffer for our art” and so, of course, the trio get a pasting from Storm and Spidey. After some more rubbish, Painter 'unpaints' the three of them and Spider-Man and Storm are a bit puzzled … not at all unlike this reader.
Well, where do you start? Villains with no plan, or motive. More crossovers than the big giant book of Marvel Crossovers and a 'Part One' that has nothing at all to do with the other three parts.
“Mess” is a bit kind. A four-letter word that begins with 's' and ends in 't' is probably more apt.
In the course of reading Spider-Man comics, every now and then you just have to wonder: “What in the hell were they thinking”? This is one of those moments. I mean, how on earth did writer Tony Isabella pitch that to the Marvel bosses?
Tony: Wow! I have like the BEST Spidey idea ever.
Marvel: Great stuff, Tony. What is it?
Tony: Well, we have this artist guy who can draw things that are real. He was once in this Fantastic Four story from the sixties. Let's bring him back and write a four-part arc all about him.
Marvel: Woah! Steady on there, Tone. Four parts?
Tony: OK three… but we'll call it four and use something completely random for the first part…
Marvel: Hmmm… messing up Spidey continuity and completely baffling the readers … I'm liking this already.
Tony: Great, great. Next we'll use every possible Marvel character for no reason whatsoever.
Marvel: (Rubbing hands with glee) Needless crossovers and silly continuity. This is getting better, Tony.
Tony: Right and I'll write some really dodgy dialogue about art and how it can't be silenced and so on.
Marvel: (Ching, ching cash register noises) Tony. You are THE man. Nonsense dialogue, a four-part story that's only actually three and every character Stan Lee ever dreamed of. This is gold, my friend.
I don't really know what else to add. Perhaps this is all a dream and no-one ever came up with that nonsense?
At least the art is OK.