With it’s ‘Marvel Team-Up’ style of storytelling, ‘Avenging Spider-Man’ is hit and miss with each issue. Luckily, so far this series has been mostly hit. It’s teamed up my favorite Marvel character (Spidey) with a slew of great heroes. Heck! It even managed to make me like Deadpool with the past two issues! However, until now, ‘Avenging Spider-Man’ had mostly teamed the wall crawler with characters that I normally didn’t read. That is… until now. This issue teams Spidey with the Thing and, when I saw that cover, the 10 year old in me lept for joy at the thought of this classic pairing!
The issue begins with a pretty normal day-in-the-life of Spider-Man. Peter Parker is trying to get to work and running late. Meanwhile in Midtown New York, the Thing is babysitting a group of kids and not enjoying it one bit.
While our heroes are dealing with their mundane lives, a couple of upstart criminals are in Central Park. They’ve come up with the brilliant idea that, since so many of Marvel’s battles have taken place here, odds are there there must be some sort of valuable weapons or alien goods somewhere in the park. So, metal detector in hand, the two begin searching. It isn’t long before they come across an alien device. (This makes me wonder why S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t more thorough with their cleanup crews.) The alien device seems to do nothing at first but it isn’t long before its purpose is revealed. It’s able to manipulate the emotions of people, making them violent and causing chaos across NYC.
Spidey is doing his best to discover the cause of the sudden outbreak of anger and attacks. As he’s tracking down the source of the disturbance, he runs across the Thing… who’s affected by the alien device and wants a piece of Spider-Man!
While it’s not the best Thing/Spider-Man team-up ever, this issue is still fun. The alien device plot didn’t excite me like a real villain would have but it did the job of getting the Thing and Spidey together and allowed writer Rob Williams to provide the prerequisite Marvel banter with the two heroes.
If this issue had been a few pages shorter, I might have enjoyed it more but the lackluster setup and the length had me wishing it were a little more tight in the story department. Still… fun issue. I’m just not sure it’s worth the “annual” price of $5 unless you’re just a Spidey completist like myself and would be getting the issue anyway.
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1
Story by Rob Williams
Art by Brad Walker and John Livesay
Cover by Patrick Zircher and Marte Gracia