Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciler: Ron Frenz
Spider-Man Weekly #633 must surely be the most tweaked British reprinting of a US Spidey-story in Marvel UK's version-shattering history, and as such offers the reader hours of fun in spotting the unprecedented fifty changes.
So – have you found all fifty yet? Really? Okay, then look away now if you don't want to know the answers...
1-21. Subtly removed page numbers:
Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.
(page 1 didn't have a page number in the original)
22-31. Colour pages printed in black and white:
Pages 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 16, 19 and 22.
32-34. Footnote boxes rewritten: (which is fair enough)
Page 2 panel 2
Page 13 panel 5
Page 22 panel 7 (the 'next issue' box)
35-37. Footnote boxes removed:
Page 5 panel 1
Page 7 panel 5 (in fairness the US edition referred to the wrong US issue - Pete fell-out with his aunt in #253, not #252, or this box could have been relettered to refer-back a week or so to #631 or #632)
Page 13 panel 4
38-40. Anglicised spellings:
Page 1 panel 4 –
"Colorist" changed to "Colours"
Page 6 panel 3 –
"labor and was" changed to "labour and was"
Page 9 panel 4 –
"labor" changed to "labour"
41-50. Rewritten dialogue:
Page 2 panel 5 –
Spider-Man: "As a super villain, you're a bust!"
Spider-Man: "As a super villain, you're a no-no!"
(Can't have a bust in a kids' comic. In fact, nearly all of these changes are a bit girly. Hey – the sub-plot is about Liz giving birth!)
Page 5 panel 4 –
The Black Cat: "Let's go back to my place and snuggle for an hour or ten!"
The Black Cat: "Let's go back to my place and spend the evening together!"
Page 5 panel 6 –
The Black Cat: "If you want to sit in judgment, find another patsy!"
The Black Cat: "If you want to sit in judgment, find another girl!"
Page 6 panel 6 –
Spider-Man: "She was experiencing a false labor which had been induced by the trauma of her captivity!"
Spider-Man: "She was suffering complications as a result of what she'd been through!"
Page 9 panel 2 –
Peter Parker: "I see her husband now."
Peter Parker: "He's over by that drinking fountain."
(And what the heck is that one about? Did they think that Harry was also his wife's doctor? Were they worried that the picture above looked too much like Harry was vomiting into a bin? Did they think the word 'husband' might be too risqué? Did they accidentally spill Tipp-Ex over the line and forget what was written underneath it?)
Page 9 panel 5 –
Hospital doctor: "It's still too early to judge whether this will adversely affect the birthing process!"
Hospital doctor: "It's still too early to judge whether this will adversely affect the birth!"
Page 12 panel 2 –
Harry Osborn: "Liz is still in labor!"
Harry Osborn: "Liz is still in there!"
Page 13 panel 6 –
Spider-Man: "... she could easily become the Sergio Valente of the super hero set!"
Spider-Man: "... she could easily become the top designer of the super hero set!"
(NB. Sergio Valente is an American company that makes women's clothes.)
Page 16 panel 9 –
Surgeon: "I'm afraid we'll have to take the baby from her!"
Surgeon: "I'm afraid we'll have to operate..."
Page 21 panel 5 –
Harry Osborn: "The doctors had to perform a cesarean"
Harry Osborn: "The doctors had to perform an operation".
However, for me, by far the most surprising editorial decision in this UK imprint has still got to be the actual choice of strip.
A mere two weeks earlier, Spider-Man's cool alien black costume had been unveiled to us in a blaze of glory. It could change appearance at his mental command! It could slide on and off of him automatically! It could stop global hunger! (alright I exaggerate a little with that last claim)
Now, just a fortnight later, we had Peter explaining in a few throwaway lines how it had actually been bad, and had since been replaced by a woolly home-made version, which looked roughly the same, except in the details.
In short, it appears to have been an unintended metaphor for this reprint.