Avenging Spider-Man #11
Writer: Zeb Wells
Pencils: Steve Dillon
Colors: Frank Martin, Jr.
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Chris Samnee & Javier Rodriguez
***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***
THOUGHTS: After being absent from the book for several months now, Zeb Wells returns one last time to tell a touching story with Peter and Aunt May having a heart-to-heart at Uncle Ben’s graveside. While having these two characters talk about the events that took place the night Uncle Ben died is certainly not new, this issue rather deals directly with the days that followed, during their mourning period.
The only superheroics in the issue are found in the opening scene, when Spider-Man quickly dispatches Copperhead from the Serpent Society (without even one zing, as one eyewitness comments). Other than that, it’s a very grounded, human story, focusing on very real feelings that we all either have experienced or will experience at some point in our lives, namely, the grief of losing someone we love. We see how Peter can’t bring himself to get up from bed and go to school. We also see Aunt May having to be strong for Peter, except for one instance, when she breaks down in front of Peter. It’s very powerful stuff.
Unfortunately, Steve Dillon’s art tries to make human characters look realistic but only ends up making them look, well, creepy. The few times we see Spider-Man in costume look perfectly fine, but this being the story that it is, maybe the issue could’ve used someone who drew faces more pleasing to the eye. Martin’s colouring doesn’t help, either, as characters end up looking kinda plastic.
There are some nice callbacks that we see in flashbacks as Aunt May tries to comfort young Peter, such as the “death” of the Green Goblin or that famous scene from Kraven’s Last Hunt. These are easily the highlights of the issue.
The cover by Samnee and Rodriguez looks like a Norman Rockwell drawing. By that I mean that it looks beautiful and could easily be turned into a wall frame.
JAY: Yep. An hour late, on the dot. I told you we should’ve left at noon.
AUNT MAY: This is my nephew we’re talking about, Jay. Why would we possibly want to get here on time?
VERDICT: Avenging Spider-Man #11 is a wonderful read for any long-time Spider-Man fan. The story is very human, and anyone could easily relate to it. The inside art and colouring drag down an otherwise fine issue. 3.5 Webheads out of 5.
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~My Two Cents