Rating: 4/5- The Daily Show’s Head Writer Gives Us Spider-Man and his Amazing Sweat-Hogs.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Gabe Bustamantez.
Spider-Man has so much on his plate already, he just returned from being stuck in his own body after Doc Ock took over, and now he is trying to save unlimited versions of himself in the huge Spider-Verse event. You almost have to ask yourself, “How many places can Spider-Man be at once?” With the release of this new ongoing series, you can add one more place to that list. Now he’s the newest teacher at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning and does he ever have his work cut out for him this time.
Spider-Man and the X-Men marks the first comic book work for The Daily Show’s head writer, Elliott Kalan, who is able to bring his comedic abilities to this off-beat comic book that puts Spider-Man in a classroom of dangerous teenage mutants and try to teach them about ethics. After the Death of Wolverine story it is discovered that Wolverine had requested that Spider-Man become a faculty member of the school. If you ever felt awkward or nervous on your first day of school, or your first day at a new job, imagine how Spider-Man feels with every member of the X-Men openly hating and suspicious of him and his actions. You’d think he’d be used to that type of treatment, and you would also think the X-Men, who are hated and hunted for being mutants, would be a little more inviting towards someone like Spider-Man. Every member of the X-Men and even the students get their jabs and insults in on Spidey for being a “Normie”, a “Non-Mutant” and “human,” which helps to set up the dynamic of the series, but it did feel to be a little too much. But, Spider-Man can handle himself pretty well in the game of insults and name calling. That said, The Jean Grey School faculty is right to be untrustworthy of Spidey–he does have ulterior motives and was sent there by Wolverine to spy on the school and find a mole amongst his students.
Elliott Kalan delivered a well put together first issue. He introduces the reader to all the important members of the school as well as the “Breakfast Club” versions of Spider-Man’s students in a fun and natural way. This issue also had some really cool appearances by long forgotten D-grade X-Men villains that Spider-Man gets to throw down with. The dialogue was very Spider-Man-esq and had some really funny pop-culture references to go along with the Spider-Man one-liners. The story is a little all over the place, with a lot of lessons about superpower ethics crammed into the story in between a lot of little adventures and scene changes. Marco Filla is able to provide some very nice looking cartooning in this issue and has paid a lot of attention to the figure work. All the characters are recognizable and look like they’re suppose to, but all the effort seemed to be spend on the figures and not a lot on the backgrounds or perspective. That said, I thought the art was still very enjoyable and moved along just fine without any crazy or confusing page layouts.
Spider-Man and the X-Men #1 was a great launch to a new fun series. It’s about time we had a series that combined the X-Men with Spider-Man. This series feels very much like Avengers Academy 2.0, but with young, impressionable, and possibly dangerous X-Men characters, and Spider-Man as their guidance counselor. It’s great that this series is able to take younger and undeveloped characters and put them front and center to be fleshed out and develop alongside Spider-Man. I was hoping that these characters would not end up forgotten after Death of Wolverine. The added mystery element of “who is the mole?” is a wonderful hook that has me interested in the rest of the series and well as seeing how Spider-Man is going to handle being at school full of super mutants and don’t trust him. This series is my favorite post-Death of Wolverine series so far and it feels like the natural progression of the Wolverine and the X-Men series. I would recommend this series to anyone that enjoyed Avengers Academy, Young Avengers, or the original volume of Wolverine and X-Men. The creative team has a pretty good grasp on Spider-Man and I’m willing to stick around to see that grow and to see where this story will take us. If this issue is any indication, Spider-Man and his Sweat-Hogs could end up anywhere.
Reviewed by: Gabe Bustamantez
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