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Dan showing off the Spiderman issue he reviewed.

Dan showing off the Spiderman issue he reviewed.

Wow!  Time to put down some thoughts.  I am overdue on getting out December’s review of a Marvel title.  In November I said this month would bring a sharing of  ideas on either the Victor Von Doom or Magneto title.  Magneto: Not a Hero came out as promised.  It was a decent read but, as many first issues, left me waiting for issue #2 before concluding it a read-worthy title.

Wanting to provide a definitive opinion on a title, I waited patiently for the release of the Von Doom title.  Recently, I discovered the first issue is canceled and, to my knowledge, no further plans are in process for the work.  Needless to say, I am disappointed.  So, please excuse me for straying from my intended route.

After picking up a copy of  Avenging Spiderman #1, I knew this to be a comic worth recommending.  The book gave a good feel and vision of its future right from the start.  The die has been cast; so on to a look at a new book with the Spidey we love.

Avenging Spiderman is written by Zeb Wells and drawn by Joe Madureira.   Herein resides the integrity of the book.  Madureira has been known by multitudes in the comic world for many years.  Fans relished his work on Battle Chasers, the X-Men, and on other titles.

Having been away from the comics industry, working in video games for the past several years, he has returned with a flourish in Avenging Spiderman.  Although a fan of his work on Battle Chasers, I never noticed what really impresses me about Madureira’s art until now.

The reader gets a feel for the story and the emotions of the characters without reading the dialogue.  The art is fantastically expressive.  When Spiderman feels dwarfed by a foe, Madureira’s drawings depict a recoiling character that looks and, obviously, feels insignificant and incapable of the task.

Paired with the Red Hulk, Spidey may seem like a floppy rag doll and pale in his shadow.  Conversely, when manning up to a task, via stunning visual depictions, Spiderman is presented as a character absolutely capable of facing any emergency and appears the formidable ally for the Hulk.

Before leaving the concept of the expressiveness of the art, it should be noted that the color artist, most certainly, played a role in setting the tone of the art.  Ferran Daniel brought skillful usage of varying shades, brightness, and color schemes to help shape moods throughout the book.   Finally, Madureira’s art is visually compelling, portraying all the excitement and fun inherent in a good Spidey comic.  The art not only sets a mood, but is consistent throughout and stands as a work on its own.  Now, on to the writing!

Zeb Wells’ writing complements the striking artwork of Madureira.  The story is told through a minimum of dialogue and descriptive text.  The text cements to the reader what the art is saying.  Avenging Spiderman is a quick and clear read.  It is never ambiguous as to what is taking place.

It is a great book for any level of reader to jump into.  Wells brings forth Spiderman as we like to see him.  He is quick with a one-liner and his quips do not fall flat.  Trust me, even a joke about an abusive boyfriend is not tacky but funny.  All I can say more about Wells portrayal of Spidey’s wit is “Hey Kool-Aid!”  Not making sense?  I already said enough, so if your curiosity is piqued then pick up a copy of Avenging Spiderman #1.  If Wells writing is new to you as it is to me, give it a chance.  He unfolded, with artistry, the story that needed be told for this type of a book.

In final evaluation, I will briefly survey the plot of this title.  Although not noted on the cover, in this and subsequent issues, Avenging Spiderman is a team-up book.  Spiderman will be seen with some of Marvel’s greatest heroes and, likely, as well with the least.

Red Hulk is first seen teaming up with Spiderman.  The team-up begins when the Red Hulk is used as Spidey’s means of transportation back to New York City.  Upon arrival in the city, the duo find themselves amidst chaos as moloids are swarming the streets.

Bad goes to worse, as the Red Hulk and Spidey are literally swallowed up in to the bowels of the city.  Mayor J. Jonah Jameson is kidnapped by the moloids, the suspected culprit behind the mess, the Mole Man, is revealed to be a captive of a more sinister foe, and our duo is left in, what appears to be, a hopeless and helpless state.

That about sums up the core of the first issue.  It is an action packed and fun ride.  It will leave you hanging on for the next issue.  Speaking of which, I picked up the just released #2 yesterday.  Time to wrap it up and find out what happens next.  I guess you will have to find out on your own!

Head to your local comic shop and pick up Avenging Spiderman today.  It is definitely a comic worth reading.  Don’t let the fact that it is bagged slow you down.  You will be pleased by what you discover in its pages and may also be intrigued to check out the free digital download of the book that you receive with your purchase.

As to my intentions for next month‘s review, I do not care to guess.  We all know how well I did in determining in advance my comic for review for this month.   As such, all I can say is that I am swinging my way off to read issue #2 and will see you next month.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all and Happy web slinging!

Dan

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