Ultimate Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #296

 Posted: 5 Jan 2023
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


For much of its middle years, this Panini UK Magazine "Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man" produced short, original Spider-Man story material from UK creators. That came to an end when Disney bought out Marvel in 2011, and The Mouse made the decision to curtail the independence overseas of Marvel UK. So for four years this title was a reprint-only magazine.

However, starting with #282 we have started to see apparently new stories written by Canadian Jim Zub appear sporadically among the reprints. These stories take place in the universe of the Ultimate Spider-Man TV (2012) cartoon series.

At least one of these was simul-published in the US and the UK. And where I can find both US and UK publication, I have treated the US as the "original" and the UK as the "reprint". But as far as I know, this 11-page story has only appeared in this UK magazine, and so I am reviewing it here.

Here is: "Tiger Tale" featuring the jungle lord Ka-Zar & his feline friend Zabu teaming-up with Spider-Man to face Klaw.

Story 'Tiger Tale'

  Ultimate Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #296
Summary: 21-Oct-2015
Consulting Editor: Emily Shaw
Editor: Mark Basso
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Mario Del Pennino
Lettering: Clayton Cowles
Colorist: Sotocolor

Pages 1-5: Spider-Man and Ka-Zar practice sparring on a Manhattan city rooftop, but Zabu (the sabre-tooth tiger animal ally of Ka-Zar) heads off by himself on an unknown mission, causing a traffic disturbance, but eventually leading the human heroes to a warehouse which is generating a weird ultrasonic noise.

...and... that's the first 6 pages of the 11 page story right there.

Just let that sink in for a moment – over half of the already-limited page-count is used to have the heroes move from the place where they started, to get them into position where the actual story can start for real.

I would just like to point out that in a classic Lee/Ditko story, we would have started here, with a panel captioned:

Outside a warehouse in the harbour district...

But those days are long gone. Well, let's see what these folk can do with the five pages that remain.

Page 7: The heroes open the door to reveal Klaw who exclaims:

Impossible! How did you find me?!

Page 8-9: Everybody fights, and Klaw is winning!

Page 10-11: Spider-Man uses his webbing and wins the fight.

In the final panel Zabu starts purring and snuggles up to Spider-Man.

General Comments

To summarise in three acts:

  1. Ka-Zar and Spider-Man fight.
  2. Ka-Zar, Zabu, and Spider-Man walk about the city.
  3. Ka-Zar, Zabu, and Spider-Man fight Klaw.

Overall Rating

I guess this is what passes for a Spider-Man story these days.

The theory seems to be: "If you don't put anything in your story, nobody can be offended."

Except me. I'm offended by the implication that I'm supposed to be entertained by this.

 Posted: 5 Jan 2023
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)