Posted October 12, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Avenging Spider-Man #13

Reviewing Avenging Spider-Man #13 by Kevin Shinick and Aaron Kuder.

There was a time when I was crazy for Deadpool.

I loved his costume, his unpredictability, and the fact that, despite his questionable morality, he was a character I almost always found myself rooting for. Besides, any character who can kick Captain America in the nuts with a straight face definitely earns my respect.

I especially loved the way Deadpool was portrayed during Joe Kelly’s run; the character was compelling, hilarious, and had so much more substance than the lolsorandumb meme-spouting simpleton he tends to be written as today. One of my favorite issues during that run was Deadpool #11, which featured Deadpool and Blind Al accidentally being thrown into the past, forced to take on the roles of Peter Parker and Aunt May to allow the events in Amazing Spider-Man #47 to unfold the way they should have in order to save the timestream. Spider-Man is my favorite character of all time, and so I really went out of my way to track down a copy of that issue.

However, since Spider-Man and Deadpool didn’t really get to meet and exchange barbs there, I was left wanting more, and I eagerly waited for the day that my top two comics characters would finally get the chance to insult the living daylights out of each other and leave us all in tears. Eventually, the two met again in Cable and Deadpool #24, which fell flat and didn’t give us the wisecrackathon we deserved to see. Spidey and DP were next seen trying to out-snark each other in the Joe Kelly-penned Amazing Spider-Man #611, which, while downright hilarious, had terrible art to go with it. A few more attempts at putting the two together soon followed, but none of them were particularly memorable.

Bottom line: I still really, really wanted to see a good Spidey vs. DP comic with good writing AND good art.

Thankfully, this two-part story does the job almost flawlessly. Written by Robot Chicken veteran Kevin Shinick, this two-part story began in last month’s Avenging Spider-Man #12, and featured Deadpool tricking a hypnotized Spider-Man into breaking one of his more memorable (for the wrong reasons) villains, the Hypno-Hustler. The issue features the culmination of the Hypno-Hustler’s plan, and the inevitable team-up of the Wallcrawler and the Merc with a Mouth to put him back in his place.

The humor here is fresh, and while not as laugh-out-loud hilarious as I expected it to be, it’s Way, er, I mean, way better than how Deadpool’s written in other recent comic books. Shinick happens to be a big fan of Joe Kelly’s run, and it really shows in this comic. I also really like the strategy they come up with to defeat the Hypno-Hustler; it puts a new spin on a long-running visual gag involving the two wisecracking protagonists, and actually makes you wonder why it hasn’t been done before.

Perhaps the thing I loved most about this story is the fact that Spidey isn’t portrayed here as the straight man to DP’s gags – he actually gets quite a few funny shots in, and we see a Spider-Man that doesn’t play up the “great responsibility” shtick too much just to provide contrast to Deadpool’s baffling insanity.

Aaron Kuder’s pencils here are nice and clean, too. This is by far the best balance between story and art in a Spidey/DP team-up comic that I’ve ever seen. Kuder’s panels are energetic and, aside from the occasional flat panel here and there, well-suited to the story.I like his rendition of Spidey; I wouldn’t mind seeing him do a few more stories, or even have a stint on the upcoming Superior Spider-Man ongoing.


Avenging Spider-Man has been a strong title so far, and its winning streak continues here. I’m really glad that this is one of the comic books that make it out of the transition to Marvel NOW! alive. This story definitely scratches my Spidey/DP itch, and while not perfect, it’s certainly one of the best so far.

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Mikael Angelo Francisco