Avenging Spider-Man #2 – Review

The battle between the surface world and Subterranea has begun! Before this match begins let me introduce you to the fighters. In the left corner; all the way from the heat planes below and representing the Molans (that’s right, I worded it right), and Subterranea, he is the new king of the underground city: RA’KTAR!
On my right; this man comes from the surface world, rocking his moustache. He’s fought with the likes of Spider-Man numerous of times, whether he was in charge of the Daily Bugle or current Mayor of New York City. Representing New York City: J. JONAH JAMESON!

Let’s get this match started! (Or is it already over?)

Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Joe Madureira
Colorist: Ferran Daniel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Joe Madureira & Ferran Daniel
Variant: Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines & Morry Hollowell    

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

The Plot
At the start of the issue the underground worm monster throws up Spider-Man and Red Hulk after being fed some smelly slop by a Moloid (at least that’s what Spidey chooses to believe).  Deeper underground Jameson refuses to bow down to Ra’ktar even when Mole Man pleads him to do so. Ra’ktar and the Molans take Jameson and Mole Man back to their kingdom. Elsewhere Spider-Man finally wakes up to find Red Hulk and himself being taken to a destroyed city. Once Red Hulk breaks out of his ropes the two Avengers figure out that they were attacked. Spidey realizes that the Moloids may need their help, even when Red Hulk opposes the idea of helping their “attackers”.

Later Mole Man explains to Jameson that the Molans appeared from beneath Subterranea and took over his kingdom. He then explains that the Moloids fled to the surface for help but grabbed the wrong person, that person being Jonah. Soon enough battle armor is put on Jonah for his battle against Ra’ktar. Mole Man explains that because he refused to bow earlier he challenged the new king for his throne and that the Molans believe Jameson is the ruler of the over world.

When the two confront and Ra’ktar draws his sword, the king blade, from the ground Spider-Man and Red Hulk arrive on the scene. Red Hulk accepts the challenge for Jameson  but with a quick slash across his chest and a slit to the throat the red giant is brought down to his knees. With a failed attempt by Spider-Man to stop the final blow, Ra’ktar stabs Red Hulk right in the chest.

The Avenging
What I’m liking majorly about this series so far is how Zeb Wells is writing Spider-Man. Spider-Man is being Spider-Man: a true hero that will have some humorous one liners here and there. And of course there’s Joe Mad whose art just keeps looking fantastic.

With the last two issues I’ve found myself looking back and forth just to look at the art because it’s simply just that good. The plus with this comic also comes with a digital copy which does make the price of $3.99 almost bearable. The story and art manages to make you almost forget about it.

It seems as with this title and comparing it to the Amazing Spider-Man title, this will be the action packed, explosive comic that is supposed to get you interested in like a Michael Bay film (you want drama, go read ASM with Peter and Carlie… or read your back issues, which ever. Soon enough Spidey will team up with Optimus Prime).

Everything in this book so far is drawn with beautiful detail. I think I’ve mentioned the art too much by now and you guys get the picture, but I give credit to people who have really earned it.

Seeing Spider-Man and Red Hulk teaming up is something no one would expect to see, let alone in the first arc of a new ongoing Spidey title but it’s nice to see a pairing that we haven’t seen before. I mean Moloids I don’t exactly care for but with Wells’ writing and Mad’s art its makes it a fun action packed story. Reading the book doesn’t make me feel like I’m forced to (not because I’m reviewing it), but I get a kick out of some of the material.

The Not-So-Avenging
I expected more out of this issue. In sum up all you need to know is that the Moloids aren’t behind it, there’s a new ruler of Subterranea and the Red Hulk has been taken down.

Now why would I say, “The Red Hulk has been taken down”? Because no one expects him to die in a book that’s he’s only guest appearing in. The ending did nothing for me because I know he’ll be alright next month or hell, in his own book and the Avengers. I’m not saying that it was bad writing but I don’t think your fooling anyone.

Reaching the “shocking last page” felt anti-climatic. It didn’t help that Marvel spoiled it in their solicit that Red Hulk was “dead” in the next issue so while I was reading this I knew what was to come. He’ll be fine next issue and the last line will probably be something humorous. We’ll find out next month.

I’m not a big fan when writers overload their comics with: “Check out so and so issue for more details – Whippersnapper Nate!”, but it wouldn’t hurt to actually be told when this is happening. I did point out in my last review with Thor being alive, Peter having his spider-sense, Spider-Island taking place after Fear Itself… you know, I’m about the continuity.

I can’t really say a lot for this issue because not a lot happened here. I’m hoping to have more to actually talk about in the next issue.

Favorite Avenging Spider-Quip
-Jonah to Spider-Man-
Jonah: “Spider-Man?! I knew you had something to do with—actually, you know what? Never mind.”
Spidey: “What were you going to say?”
Jonah: “Never mind!”
Spidey: “That you knew I had something to do with a subterranean civil war? Is that what you were going to say?”
Jonah: “I stopped myself—just drop it!”

3.5 out of 5 avenging webheads.