Avenging Spider-Man #1 – Review

“Hey kid, do I have your attention? I know the way you’ve been living: life so reckless, tragedy endless; welcome to the family.” Yeah I’ve been listening to Avenged Sevenfold while typing up the review for this issue, not a lot anyone else can do about it. Welcome to the family of Spider-Books, AvSM (there I go again with the music). Without further ado let’s tackle this first issue shall we?

Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Joe Madureira
Colorist: Ferran Daniel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Joe Madureira & Aaron Lusen
Variants: Ramos & Delgado; Campbell & Delgado; Joe Quesada, Danny Miki, & Richard Isanove

Spidey Team-Up: Spider-Man (Peter Parker) & Red Hulk (General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross)

The Plot

Spider-Man and the Avengers are fighting AIM agents and a giant robot somewhere outside of New York. After saving the day Spidey is baffled that no one’s going back to NYC. After the heroes quickly call out “NOT IT”, Red Hulk is left with taking the web slinger back to the city. Mean while back in NYC, J. Jonah Jameson hosts the New York City Marathon run. As people start running the marathon their suddenly swarmed by an army of Moloids.

Spidey gets the call from Iron Man about what’s happening and tells Red Hulk they need to head to the George Washington Bridge ASAP as they’re the only ones available for the time being. Once the two Avengers show up their attacked by one of the Mole Man’s underground monsters. The two heroes are swallowed up inside the monster as Mayor Jameson is taken by a group of Moloids. Red Hulk tells Spidey that the monster is giving off a neuro-toxin and its starting to slow even him down. Eventually the wall crawler succumbs to the neuro-toxin and goes unconscious.

Elsewhere, underground, the Moloids lead Jameson to a chained up Mole Man. Mole Man informs the mayor that he’s no longer the ruler of Subterranea and now his Moloids follow a new master whom which so happens is holding Mole Man’s chains.

The Avenging

This issue was fun to read. Unlike ASM where the drama all happens, this is supposed to be the fun, action packed series which our favorite wall crawler finds himself teaming up with other heroes. This book looks exactly like what I wanted to see out of it: fun, humorous, adventurous with a dash of good looking art.

Of course I’ll be picking this up every single month (“I’m the God damn Avenging reviewer!” *AHEM* Batman voice now put aside…), and even though its four bucks it does come with a free digital copy of it so to me it feels like an okay deal.

Zeb Wells does a great job with the writing in this issue. If I had to pick between Wells and Dan Slott on Amazing Spider-Man, I’ve got to say I enjoy how Wells writes Spidey’s dialogue more. The quips are funny and heck, J. Jonah Jameson is written in perfect character and that just adds to the humor.

Of course the writer is nothing without his artist and damn Joe Mad does a great job in this first issue. Last time I saw his work it was on Ultimates 3 and that is the one good thing that came out of that series. But anyway, Joe Mad’s fluid pencils and stylized poses should be one of the good reasons as to why someone should give this book a shot. The expressions; in both facial and poses; really does a great job bringing Zeb Wells’ dialogue to life.

I’m intrigued to see how the team up between Spider-Man and a “newer” character like the Red Hulk will play out as they work together. Their characters already work well off of one another as shown in some of the panels and the dialogue between the two shows that there will probably be some funny moments to come.

I’m interested to read what happens in the next issue. The writing is good, the art is stylish and Spidey is written in character.

The Not-So-Avenging

On the other hand with the price tag, not a lot happened in this issue. Plus with the fact that the offer to download the digital copy expires today (Thursday, November 10th, 2011 to be exact for those kids of the future who will look back on this) means that unless you buy the comic on the day it comes out or the next day, your digital copy will mean nothing. Will I personally download it? Not sure yet though I should make a decision as soon as possible.

No one is willing to give Spidey a ride back to the city? Really? He’s on two Avengers teams and he’s part of the Future Foundation yet he’s forced to have a piggy back ride with the Red Hulk? Apparently Peter hasn’t yet earned to ride a plane yet with the Avengers.

Still on the topic of the Avengers, what’s going on with the continuity? Steve Rogers’ is wearing his Super Solider uniform and Thor is still alive. Looking at that I would think “Okay, this must take place before Fear Itself,” but Spidey then briefly says he recently got his spider sense back a few pages later. Peter didn’t get his spider sense back until the end of Spider-Island and yet were told Spider-Island took place AFTER Fear Itself, AFTER Steve donned his Cap uniform again and AFTER Thor died.

There, I pointed out that error.

And the two spread page that will be the recap page just took up space. I hope that we don’t see that in the next issue.

Favorite Avenging Spider-Quip: There were a couple but I’ll just list one of them.
-Spidey and Red Hulk stand next to one another after the battle with AIM and are about to head off-
Red Hulk: “Grr…”
Spidey: “How should we do this? I could web up a backpack and we could do a Luke/Yoda thing, or–”
-Red Hulk grabs him by the arm, preparing to jump-
Spidey: “–you can pretend you’re my abusive boyfriend–?”

I should note that the page with Jameson trying to shoot down the Moloids with the starter pistol full of blanks was amusing. Almost every moment with Jameson in this issue was fun to read.

4 out of 5 avenging webheads. Minus a bump in continuity this was a decent read.