Today we’re gonna party like it’s 1981! You know it’s funny how things work out. We just had our 300th podcast episode celebration which featured a great interview by Brad with Dan Gilvezan and Kathy Garver – Spidey & Firestar from the old 80’s Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends cartoon. The next month this X-title, featuring Spidey, Iceman and Firestar sort of slips by us a bit on the radar. It’s a week late but here we go with the Spider-Reunion!
‘No Goats, No Glory!’
WRITER Kathryn Immonen
PENCILS Paco Medina
INK Juan Vlasco
COLORIST Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER VC’s Joe Caramagna
EDITOR Nick Lowe & Mike Marts
EDITOR IN CHIEF Axel Alonso
Minor spoilers below…
PLOT: Firestar and Iceman are on a supply run for the X-Mansion in Wolverine’s ride, but Spider-Man, aliens and a goat threaten to derail their shopping agenda.
In the interest of full disclosure I have not given a damn about anything X-related in comics since Kitty Pryde left the team after scattering Colossus’s ashes in Russia. I hear Colossus got better. I also know at some point Nightcrawler died. But apparently he – say it with me – got better.
Kitty’s departure was was right before Grant Morrison came aboard New X-Men and I knew I didn’t want a seat on that bus. So I left with Kitty. Since then (and really for many years before then) the X-section of the Marvel Universe has always felt like a separate entity from the rest of the 616 universe. I once used the word ‘impenetrable’ when it came to X-Men continuity. Years later I heard a formal Marvel writer (I cannot remember who) use the exact same word to describe it. It has suffered greatly from title bloat. By the way, the Avengers are currently suffering the same problem.
So imagine my surprise when our very own Brad Douglas texted me this week and asked me if I would like to review Amazing X-Men #7 on the site.
BRAD: Hey, am I interrupting you? Got a sec?
GEORGE: Well I was getting a bikini wax so I’ll be ready to hit the beach this summer.
BRAD: My eyes just threw up. Do you want to review Amazing X-Men #7 on the site?
GEORGE: I wasn’t aware there was an Amazing X-Men #1-#6. I assume this mission is Spidey-related?
BRAD: It is. It’s a Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends reunion.
GEORGE: … I’m listening.
BRAD: That’s it.
GEORGE: Oh… well okay, sure.
When the Godfather calls you up, you say “Don Douglas, I will do this thing for you.” Here then is me putting my toe in the X-universe kiddie pool.
I am not familiar with Kathryn Immonen’s writing and can’t recall if I’ve come across it before. This story is mainly played for laughs, in a far from serious manner, and on that level it works fairly well. It’s a comic that almost demands a Saturday morning cartoon laugh track. That’s not the only comparisson one can make between this story and Saturday morning cartoons. The gal is the smartest one and the guys are often played off as barely-capable buffoons.
Both Spider-Man and Iceman are written more immature than I am used to them being presented while Firestar gets the ‘grown-up’ role. This is somewhat consistent with the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon. Of the three heroes, Firestar was usually more centered on whatever task was at hand.
There are a lot of gags throughout the story, many visual, many verbal. When Firestar and Iceman discover an abandoned baby (which turns out to be some sort of fire breathing alien) Spidey makes the scene just in time, trying to explain that the baby must be returned to its people in order to retrieve a ‘VIP’ back in exchange. The VIP in question is a goat, which has something to do with a football game. It’s actually kind of nebulous.
Writer Immonen does well with Iceman and Firestar (which I actually did just type out as ‘Icestar and Fireman’) though her voice for Spidey didn’t ring as true for me. The pacing of Spidey’s humor and knowing the right amount of quippage – and what type – can probably be daunting for writers their first time out of the gate. I shouldn’t give the impression that Immonen’s Spidey isn’t a funny Spidey; he is. It’s just a Spidey with a different type of funny.
Artist Paco Medina gives us some neat action scenes and does very well with the principle characters. He does a fine job with letting the characters be young without being too young. This stood out in my mind for how right Medina’s artwork gets that while it’s something that wholly escapes New Warriors.
If you pick this up know it’s light-hearted, nostalgic fun. Also, if you pick this up it helps, tremendously so, to have enjoyed these characters working together on Saturday morning TV thirty years ago.