Comic Vine Review


Avenging Spider-Man Annual #1


Thing and Spider-Man have teamed up a lot recently, so it makes sense that these two heroes work together in the AVENGING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL.

The Good

The best part about this issue was probably the art. I think that the characters are drawn really well in this issue. Spider-Man looks flexible and looks like he's moving really effortlessly from one panel to the next, which is good. I think that's really important for a Spider-Man comic. The whole idea of having Thing team up with Spider-Man and having some of the FF kids (Franklin and Val) tag along was really fun; those kids are really great and I love reading them in FF so it was nice to see them make an appearance here.

The overall concept and story is not so bad. The main story centers around an alien device found by two thugs in central park which has the ability mess with people, creating conflict (and compassion) between them. So throughout the issue you see a lot of people fighting with one another. While the start of this comic may have had some really bad dialogue, I think the overall idea behind the story was a good one. At it's core, this is a story about conflict and compassion; and you can definitely tell that that's at the heart of writer Rob Williams' story.

The Bad

Sometimes referencing pop culture works really well in comics, but that's pretty rare. The problem is that pop culture is so fleeting; so there is only a small window of time in which you can use a pop culture reference or joke in your book. Which is why I thought that referencing rapper Eminem's song from over ten years ago (and later Ryan Seacrest, the movie 'Cloverfield,' Ronald McDonald…) made the first few pages of the comic feel a little bit stale and not at all funny. Yet, it was a reflection of the quality of the dialogue on Peter's part in the issue. Sure, Parker can be pretty corny, but this felt really over the top and really silly. This wasn't the only scene where his dialogue fell flat, either; this was sort of a constant thing throughout the issue.

Spider-Man should never say things like:

Still, the fact that everyone in Manhattan has gone all "Thrilla In Manila" may mean something evil is transpiring.

If you could only see me shaking my head. I get the idea that there should be funny jokes to create this light0hearted tone for a Spider-Man/Thing team-up book; but that doesn't mean Spider-Man needs to sound like a huge dork. I mean, a bigger dork than usual anyway.

The Verdict

Like I said, at it's core the idea behind this issue is a good one. I felt the issue's focus on compassion was great, but that this good idea could have been better executed. The very start of the comic gives us some great examples of bad dialogue and unnecessary pop culture references and jokes that just simply aren't funny -- as though the writer was just trying way too hard. Having said that, the writing and the dialogue does improve. After both Spider-Man and Thing team up to work together in the issue, the comic definitely improves. Overall, I thought the art was great. The panels are really well organized and the art, in general, was really pretty (save for the fact that we can see Spider-Man's toes). In general, this is an alright self-contained story. I'm not sure if it's a comic I would go out of my way to get, but it could definitely have been worse.