Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Roger Stern
Artists: John Romita Jr. & Bob Wiacek

Following my review of the British reprint of this story, for Christmas I was given a copy of the original US printing to compare it with.

And it's very much as I expected. The suspected gaps in the narrative were confirmed, and it turned-out that the UK version had cut five pages in total – that's almost a quarter of the whole 21-page story!

The missing scenes provide Greg Salinger's Foolkiller with a two-page origin, a quick exchange between Parker and Robbie, and some more friendly neighborhood fighting.

Oh, and do you remember how these two panels didn’t seem to run on?

Well, there are four missing panels between those, of Spidey swinging around town in search of FK, and yes, the final panel did indeed run on into that mysterious "—WHERE..." narration at the top. But here's the thing: compare the US version of that panel on the left, with the tweaked UK one on the right...

That's right, it looks like someone actually chopped-off the top of the panel, took the now defunct narration-box and went to the trouble of re-inserting it where it could not now make any sense! Ahhh, I love Marvel UK.

But the biggest surprise in getting to read the full-length original version has got to be discovering an entire scene with Deb in, (yep – Deb was in this story) in which Parker not only works out the Foolkiller's identity, but also where he's about to strike next!

A fairly pivotal exchange if you ask me – in the UK version Spidey just showed up with no explanation of how he knew what was going on. And yet, I actually think that improved things. Greg is so blatantly the Foolkiller, that it really didn't need to be said, so the shorter UK edit inadvertently endowed Parker with a subtext.

Finally, there's one more great thing that the American publication had that the British reprint sadly didn't.

Yep, heh-heh, this maze is actually possible to solve!



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