In the same vein as the Marvel Team-Up books of the past, this new Spider-Man ongoing title pretty much works with that classic formula. Pairing the Wall Crawler up with various characters as they take on some menace, and these days Spider-Man has plenty of back up. So it’s only natural that this first issue pairs him up with one of his Avengers teammates, as Red Hulk becomes Spidey’s running buddy for our first story arc here.
If Zeb Wells has much more of what we got here, then there is no reason why Avenging Spider-Man shouldn’t be on your pull list. It’s more of a lighter take on the character without all of the personal issues that we get in Amazing Spider-Man, but you still get the same amount of fun and over-the-top action that has defined Spidey for decades. The dialog is wise cracking hilarity from the “not it” game to the Kool-Aid reference, which helped make the back and forth between Red Hulk and Spidey great to read. Among all of the familiar faces and personalities, Wells also sees fit to throw in something new that sets up a cliff hanger that was a bit of a surprise.
No disrespect to Wells’s ability to tell a good tale here, but I know a lot of the huge draw for this title was the fact that Joe Madureira was handling the artwork. He’s been gone for quite some time and hopefully I’m not alone here, but it was great seeing this guy work his magic once again. From the huge splash pages to various panels, the superhero action just gets better and better as you flip through the pages. The big action scenes don’t detract from the story, and it seems as if Wells wrote this so Madureira could show us that he’s still got it when it comes to a great looking book. Team up books like this usually end up with various creators pitching in here and there, and though I’d love to see Madureira every issue, I’m pretty sure that we’ll get a guest artist here and there.
So far the only thing I don’t like about this title is the actual title itself, since it seems a little too dark for the amount of lighthearted humor scattered within these pages. Wells and Madureira really captured that classic Marvel Team-Up feel, and if you’ve been missing that like many fans have, then you need to pick up Avenging Spider-Man and have a good time!