Review: Avenging Spider-Man #2 – Two Ways to Get Out of a Giant Worm’s Belly

Avenging Spider-Man #2
Writer: Zeb Wells
Art: Joe Madureira [art] and Ferran Daniel [colors]

Zeb Wells continues his fast-paced Spider-Man/Red Hulk team-up in Avenging Spider-Man #2 by opening the book right where the first issue left off — with Spidey and Rulk in the belly of a giant worm.  Naturally, there are only two ways out of the belly of a giant worm, and we find out one of them here.

This should tell you everything you need to know about the overall weight of the book so far, namely that it sticks with being a fun, perhaps even campy, book with a sense of humor.  In that sense, Wells relies on what made superhero comics work to begin with, but adds some modern flair to it, like with the Red Hulk’s attitude.

The Spider-Man/Red Hulk team-up works for the same reason Spider-Man team-ups have always worked, as well:  Spider-Man is a wisecracking smart ass and most of the other heroes in the Marvel Universe take themselves fairly seriously.  Rulk is no exception, and this allows a lot of room for witty banter — another area where Wells really demonstrates his grasp of the character.

The best example of this is probably on page 7 when Spidey wakes up from the worm/slug’s neurotoxin to find that Rulk has been awake several hours and the two debate strategy.

Storywise, there’s some more exposition about how the Mole Man and the moloids lost Subterranea to the invaders, who are revealed to be another race from even deeper below ground.  Mole Man sent the moloids to capture the “king” of the surface world, and they unfortunately brought back J. Jonah Jameson (mayor of New York in the Marvel Universe, if you haven’t been keeping up) instead of the Avengers he was hoping for.  In typical Jameson fashion, he brashly refuses to bow to Ra’ktar, the king of the underground barbarians, and ends up finding himself in a duel to the death.

You can kind of figure out what this sets up…

Overall, an excellent story — even if I’m still trying to figure out where it belongs in continuity.  Wells really gets the tone of Spidey and, if we’re being honest here, is the only person I would want to see writing the flagship Spider-Man book if Dan Slott ever leaves (but here’s hoping he stays there for a long time).  Like last issue, Joe Madureira’s art is absolutely gorgeous and Ferran Daniel’s colors really make it pop.

I’m anxious to see the next part.

STORY: 8/10
ART: 9/10 

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Roger Riddell
Roger Riddell
Essentially Peter Parker with all the charm of Wolverine, he's a DC-based B2B journalist who occasionally writes about music and pop culture in his free time. His love for comics, metal, and videogames has also landed him gigs writing for the A.V. Club, Comic Book Resources, and Louisville Magazine. Keep him away from the whiskey, and don't ask him how much he hates the Spider-Man movies unless you're ready to hear about his overarching plot for a six-film series that would put the Dark Knight trilogy to shame.