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Thursday, November 10, 2011

REVIEW OF AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1 - NEW ART BY JOE MADUREIRA [JOE MAD!]

Avenging Spider-man #1 Written by Zeb Wells, Art by Joe Mad!

This new comic book was released in stores yesterday. Along with the hard copy, fans were privileged to receive a code that allows them to get a free digital download of the book via comiXology.com. And this was one of those comic books that are completely centered upon outstanding artwork.

I previously did an article that showcased the artwork of Joe Madureira and his work on Red Monika, from the creator-owned series he started back in the late 90s called Battle Chasers. And now that he takes a brake from video game designing, diehard fans are privileged with beholding more of his phenomenal art. I've gathered a series of penciled and colored pages, which were part of the free set of comic art released by Marvel to promote the new comic book.

Joe Mad! has a very dynamic art style; he makes you stare longer and harder at his pages, in order to soak in the panoramic view of the action that he creates flawlessly. And the writer of the current issue #1 appears to have centered the script around his entertaining style.

Take a look at the double-page spread below, showing the original pencils and the colored version.




In Avenging Spiderman #1, a few basics are established amidst the introductory tale. It appears that Spiderman is set to commence a series of Marvel Team-ups with the most popular heroes from the vast library of characters in the Marvel universe, in a tag-team style. Thus, perhaps every 2 or 3 issues, there will be a change of co-stars, so that Spidey will be able to interact with another popular heroes like Wolverine or Ironman. Thus the title of this new series is basically a fusion between "the Avengers & Spiderman".

In this premier issue, there appears to be a marathon taking place in New York City and it is being officiated by the loud-mouthed manager of the Daily Bugle, Mr. J. Jonah Jameson. But alas, shortly after the race commences, some sort of alien invasion takes place upon the Brooklyn bridge [I called it an invasion because there is a double-page spread that features a host of tiny green men swarming upon the runners]. These tiny green dwarfs are called Moloids.

Elsewhere in another city, after defeating a giant robot with the Avengers, Spidey seems to petition them for help in returning back to NYC, in order to combat the alien invasion; yet all of the heroes appear to practically "chicken out", without specifying exactly what else they have to do on this very day, besides combating the bad guys. This displayed lack of interest in helping Spidey was actually... odd... because honestly, what else do superheroes do in a typical comic book? Aren't they supposed to hunt down villains? Haven't we all grown accustomed to the fact that most Marvel Heroes really don't have casual lives, or meaningful day-jobs that require their complete attention?? If a superhero worked a regular 9 to 5, then trust me, they'd get fired for either being constantly absent, inexplicably late, or just too sleepy in the daytime to get the job done.

Yet with just 24 pages in a comic book [actually about 20, if you ignore the intros listing the plot so far and the editor's note] it's probably understandable why writers don't really have time to create strong social lives for superheroes these days. But at least with Spiderman, he's always had a day-job & a life at the university / the Daily Bugle.

Anyway, eventually one of the strongest members of The Avengers takes up the challenge, to become Spidey's tag-team partner - The Red Hulk. And you will note that the comic's pace shifts into fifth gear from that point, as the two heroes attempt to confront the horde of tiny alien men, while not knowing who is the mastermind behind their invasion plot.

  
          
 [New art work / pencils by Joe Madureira, showing the arrival of Red Hulk and Spiderman]   

There really isn't a whole lot of depth to this issue #1. In the beginning, Spiderman initially sounds like he was conflicted, since he's struggling between balancing a job, a girlfriend, and being part of two Avenger superhero teams. But all of that anxiety is put in the rear seat as things heat up in NYC. Yet it is clear that the art, and not the story, is being used as the magnetizing element to draw fans to the book. There are some scenarios in this comic which I've tagged as "Classic Joe Mad Scenes" because there are some action sequences that no other artist in the whole comic industry can pull off as effortlessly as Joe Mad! can. And I'm saying this from an artist's perspective, as I too have drawn posters and commissioned works of Spiderman, posted Here in this blog.

Overall, I give this book 5 out of 5 Stars, because of the strong aesthetic & classic entertainment value, and not truly for the story content.

Will there be any substance or even a deep twisting plot to the new Avenging Spider-man set of comic books? Honestly, I dunno.... and I'm more concerned about the notorious book delays that have plagued the titles that Joe Mad! has handled over the years, dating back to his Battle Chasers series [fans had to once wait 9 months between two published comic books, in order to see what happened in the storyline]. Let's hope that Joe Madureira and his team stay on top of this one, so that we can tag this as a story worth following on a MONTHLY BASIS.

~ Article written by the DSNG Artist, author of the 8 Ebooks in the DSNG Chronicles, a Sci Fi Series.

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