Written by Senior Editor Chris Harder
Not unlike other cross-over events that came before it, Spider-Men relies on a forced premise. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is certainly an all too familiar recycled narrative taken out of the ‘ol trope bin. But once the story gets over that annoying hump of how these two characters get together (however implausible) there’s much fun to be had. The only problem is whether you can get the reader to suspend disbelief and go with it.
Spider-Men #1 had me eye-rolling over and over again from the start with Mysterio’s mystical nonsense and Spidey’s traditional quips. That first section is really just classic Spider-Man but at a lightning pace, obviously pushing forward as quick as possible to get the story into that ‘Freaky Friday’ territory that the series is all about. The first issue is all about making it feasible for the different Spider-Men to meet each other, and that first issue is successful in doing that, but not much else. The real push to continue on into issue two comes from the curiosity of how the two characters will react to each other. The charm of that issue comes from Peter Parker’s befuddlement as he realizes that he isn’t in a familiar place any longer. The only reason I was interested in continuing with Spider-Men #2 is because of this specific character in this specific situation. Bendis did just enough with that first issue to sell me on the notion that this isn’t a dumb idea for a comic book.
Luckily, Pichelli and Bendis work so well together that the idea ends up working, at least for me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is a must-read series or any kind of game changer for Spider-Man, but it’s fun, and with all the action/devastation oriented events Marvel is churning out these days that aspect of fun is refreshing.
Spider-Men #2 continues with more of what I liked about #1 as there are some great lines between the two Spidey’s as they try and figure out who the other is and how they are meeting each other in the first place. Pichelli’s art helps make this a bright, concise, and even a beautiful book. Her drawings are infused with emotion, which gives the book a depth beyond the wacky premise, grounding it as something more than I initially expected. The writing also comes together, especially in its humor. The art and writing weave together well to convey the tone. I think this might even be something of a romp for Bendis, who seems to be having fun with the writing, which shines through successfully.
If you’re a huge Spider-Man fan, you’re probably already reading this. If you’re not sure whether you want to pick it up, I say it’s worthwhile if you’re in the mood for some light superhero fare.
3 out of 5