The GeeksverseAvenging Spider-Man #4

Avenging Spider-Man #4
Published on Monday, February 20, 2012 by

Welcome aboard the Pryde’s new reviewer: Andrew Hall

Avenging Spider-Man 4

Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Greg Land

I feel that I must start this review by gushing about how much I enjoy living in a world where a monthly book like Avenging Spider-Man exists. A Spider-Man book that pushes past the drudgery of the baggage-riddled, post- “Brand New Day” Spidey, and just gives us a book seemingly free from hackneyed continuity. A Spider-Man book that features the best characters in the Marvel stable, and penciled by the crème de-le crème of the talent pool (Issues 1-3 featured art by Joe Madureria, and this issue is penciled by the equally great Greg Land).

So how did Issue 4 hold up under my fanboy scrutiny? The answer is a resounding ‘meh’.

The story itself is typical ‘Marvel Team-Up’ fare that features Spidey and Hawkeye meeting in Central Park to patrol New York. While on patrol, they uncover a plot that involves the Serpent Society releasing ‘Snake Gas’ onto Grand Central Station. The two must form an uneasy alliance and work their way up the Serpent Society ladder to foil the villainous plot (Spoiler Alert: They do). But surprisingly, it wasn’t the regurgitated plotline that I had issue with, it was the writer’s flawed takes of the characters he was writing.

Gone was the veteran Hawkeye who led the New Avengers, and Thunderbolts. In his place was the 70’s era, douche bag Hawkeye whose antics tired even Spider-Man. Even Spidey seemed out of place in this issue, switching his role as ‘the annoying little brother’ of the Avengers to that of the seasoned mentor to Hawkeye. One has to wonder if Hawkeye’s regression to his old habits has anything to do with the upcoming Avengers motion picture. Perhaps it is part of a marketing scheme designed to make the characters accessible to casual readers (it should be noted that Hawkeye is wearing the same costume in this issue that he adorns in the movie).

However, this issue is not without it’s merits. I really enjoyed the scene where Hawkeye confesses to Spidey that he obsesses over training because if he’s misses a shot, he’s just a guy with a bow on a team of Superheroes. The ending is also fun, and almost makes up for the sub par characterization. Overall, I would recommend this book for new readers not mired in 20 plus-years of Marvel continuity; or for people looking for a quick read while pooping.

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