Spidey #5 Review

“But when you fall tonight– And you will fall— The city will fear me” SPIDEY2015005_DC11jpg_Page1

Writer: Robbie Thompson

Artist: Andre Lima Araujo

Colors: Jim Campbell w/ Java Tartaglia

Lettering: Travis Lanham

Cover: Andre Lima Araujo & Jim Campbell

Editors: Devin Lewis, Darren Shan, Nick Lowe & Axel Alonso

Spidey fights against his arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin! 

Story: The story begins with Peter meeting Harry and Norman Osbourne after school. Norman offers to pay Peter if he tutors Harry. Peter accepts and then leaves to do some patrolling as Spider-Man. Shortly after his spider-sense goes off and he takes down two suspicious men. However, the two men were only meant to be a distraction for the real threat, the Green Goblin.

The Green Goblin employs hit and run tactics as well as using Spidey’s concern for the public against him. Green Goblin’s tactics work as he is able to corner Spidey. However, though cornered Spidey does not give up and manages to get the upper hand against the Green Goblin and forces him to flee.

The next scene shows the next day as Peter and Norman are observing each other with suspicion. Peter notices that Norman has a broken arm and Norman notices that Peter is limping. They collectively dismiss these suspicions and later in the day their alter egos prepare for the fight ahead. Spidey2015005_int2jpg_Page3

Pros: Issue #5 has many of the aspects that I enjoyed about issue #4. Like issue #4 it moves away from the “moral of the week” formula that issue 1-3 followed. I did not like this approach because I felt it was out of place for a Spider-Man story because it watered down Uncle Ben’s original message.

The second pro that I have with this issue is that the artwork has improved since issue #4. Araujo has put more detail into the background which I appreciate. Also what I failed to mention in issue #4 which is present here is the design of Spidey. Although I do prefer Nick Bradshaw on this title I do appreciate and prefer Araujo’s design of Spidey himself. The body structure and even the detail in Spidey’s boots look excellent. It is believable through Araujo’s work that Spidey is a fifteen year old boy.

The third pro of this issue is that the reader can really see that the world is passing Peter by. In living up to his Uncle’s teachings and taking up the mantle of Spider-Man he has grown distant from Gwen, the girl he tutors and who tutors him. Prior to this issue in issues 1-3, Peter and Gwen were growing closer together but now she is dating Flash. In Peter living up to his Uncle’s legacy it has put a toil on his happiness but he has stayed with it.

The fourth pro/positive of this issue is the villain and his interaction with Spidey. The villain like in the previous issue is decently characterized and has a great confrontation with Spidey. Although I did not feel that the Green Goblin is depicted as interesting as Dr. Doom he is still depicted nicely in this book. Through the dialogue and action sequences the reader is able to get a feel for this villain. His unique mannerisms and personality are put on display for the reader to enjoy. It is clear that this is a dangerous opponent for Spidey to overcome.

The final positive is that the solution to the Green Goblin is not a super convenient one. Spidey simply catches the Green Goblin off guard. This is refreshing considering that most issues dealt with Spidey coming up with some convenient solution or somehow instinctively knowing how to take down his foe. This issue on the other hand went differently and I appreciate it.

Cons: The first con/negative of this issue is that the reasoning behind Peter not defending himself against Flash is changed yet again. The first explanation we get is in issue 3 and in that issues it tells us that Uncle Ben told him that doing certain things would upset a certain balance. In issue 4, Peter says that the reason he cannot do it is because his Uncle did not like an “eye for an eye type justice.” And in this issue we get another reason, that in order to keep his identity a secret he has to take the abuse. Although these may all be loosely related they are still different. Its almost as if the writer feels he needs to defend it over and over.Spidey2015005_int2jpg_Page1

The second negative I have with the issue is the question I initially had with the Spidey comic books and that is the question of intended audience. There is a panel of the Green Goblin, Spidey and the Hulk. At first seeing that panel I was a bit disappointed that there was not more information about that situation. After reading the book I later found out that the panel is an allusion to an older Spider-Man story. But the allusion begs the question who is this book really meant for.

Is the book meant for old school fans that want to read new content that feel like the good old days or newer and younger fans that want to know more about Spidey?

The third negative I had with the issue is a problem that has yet to be addressed and may never get addressed. I do not believe the story offers enough information on why Peter likes Gwen. A book should stand on its own and not rely on other comic books and movies to support its story. I believe in this instance and some others that the Spidey comic books is relying on outside material to characterize Gwen and Peter’s relationship. However, I believe this is a bad move.

Overall: The Spidey comic book has been changing for the better but I would like the comic book to continue to grow because there are still many problems with it. I want Spidey to truly earn his victories against the villains and for the book to decide what it really is, in terms of being a new reader friendly book or one for older fans. With all that said I did enjoy this issue and I award this issue with a grade of  B-

(6) Comments

  1. krankyboy

    @4 - I didn't mean to indicate that it wasn't. I just really hate Araujo's style. I guess there is also a certain amount of resentment on my part towards Marvel, because the title was sold with Bradshaw as the monthly artist (whose work was terrific), but who has sadly bowed out after only three issues. I have no idea what the reasons were for that, but I feel really stupid now for having bought a year's subscription. So there's quite a bit of buyer's remorse as far as that goes. And this was also the title that I wanted to read on a monthly basis -- one and done adventures with a teen Peter Parker -- so to have it get mucked up with an artist that I don't like is depressing. But others don't seem to share that view, so... what are you gonna do? @5 - I didn't understand Gwen suddenly dating Flash either, especially after Gwen decks him in the first issue (which struck me as both implausible and an idiotic way of showing a "strong female character" which some very unimaginative comic writers seem to rely on). I strongly doubt that any jock, or self-respecting young male, would be dating a girl after such a bit of humiliation. At the very least, he'd never live it down. And for her to go running off with a guy that she didn't even seem to like that much? I don't know. Thompson's writing has really been scattershot. For the first three issues, the art held it up for me. But now...

  2. PeterParkerfan

    Nuts, my local book store didn't have a copy of SPIDEY #4, but luckily they had #5 since it's the latest issue in the series. Well, The art change can be a bit jarring at first... but once you get used to the art, it flows quite well with the story. This issue was a fun read. I liked Spidey's confrontation with Green Gobiln. Their interactions were fun. I had a good chuckle out of Spidey shaking his fist while saying "THAT'S RIGHT. RUN, GREEN BEANS!". The only thing I didn't like about this issue was Gwen dating Flash. Ugh, how did it turn out like this? In SPIDEY #1-#3, it seemed like Peter and Gwen are getting closer.... but in this issue she's suddenly dating Flash. -_-

  3. krankyboy

    #2 - I can't agree with you, man. Arujo's artwork is just terrible to my eyes, especially when drawing Peter out of costume. It's almost amateurish. But it looks like he's the new regular artist. Oh well, so much for this title.

  4. Sean

    To play devil's advocate, I prefer Spider-Man's design with Araujo. When I see Spidey's figure in Araujo's work I believe that it is a 15 year old boy. And for the most part his work reminds me of old school comic strips. Bradshaw's strength was in depicting grand action sequences.

  5. krankyboy

    Once again, the artwork really hurt this one. Nick Bradshaw can't return soon enough.

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