Avenging Spider-Man #5 Review

Posted by Spiderfan001 13 April 2012

A touching tribute to the late, great Joe Simon.

The Story

The Avengers find an old comic book that Steve Rogers drew in his spare time before he became Captain America.  As the Avengers poke fun at it, Cap walks in and tells them that drawing is in his past, and throws the comic in the trash.  Spidey tells Cap that he liked the comic, and after he leaves the room Cap picks the comic up from the trash and admires it.  Out in the hall, Spidey expresses his excitement to the rest of the team that Cap used to be a nerd like him.

Later, the Avengers land in the jungle to take down the remaining members of the Serpent Society.  When Cap orders the Avengers to pair up, Spider-Man immediately calls dibs on him.  Spidey and Cap scope out and attack one of the Society's bases.  During the fight Cap does his best to ignore Spider-Man's frequent questions about high school and his artwork.  The two later rendezvous with the rest of the team and head back to the mansion.

Back at the mansion, Spider-Man surprises Cap by framing one of his comic book pages and hanging it up in his room, hoping that it would reawaken Cap's artistic side.  Cap tells Spider-Man that drawing is in his past, and that he wouldn't want to go back to being the scrawny, weak kid who drew that picture.  To cement his point, Cap asks Spidey whether he still uses his first chemistry set.  Upset, Spider-Man leaves the room, telling Cap that he does pull out his first chemistry set from time to time.

Later in his room at Avengers Mansion, Spider-Man prepares to toss his first chemistry set into the incinerator, but is stopped by Cap.  Cap shows Spidey some drawings he's been working on recently, and the two of them bond over them.


Zeb Wells delivered a beautiful done-in-one story here.  This story shows us that no matter how far we get in life, it's important not to forget who we were and where we came from.  Steve Rogers was someone who abandoned who he used to be when he got his powers and became the ultimate soldier, while Peter Parker has always remained in touch with his past life despite his powers.  In rejecting his artistic side, Cap was essentially rejecting who Peter was.  Reconnecting to his artistic side allowed Cap to reconnect with his humanity and to rediscover a passion he used to have.  This story is one of those rare instances where Spider-Man inspires Captain America and not the other way around.  Having Cap once want to be an artist is a great way to pay a tribute to his co-creator.

Accompanying Wells is Leinil Yu on art duties.  Although Yu always does a stellar job, I have to say that this comic book is the best thing he's ever done.  Each page is rendered in gorgeous detail; you can tell that a lot of love went into the crafting of this comic book.  

Avenging Spider-Man #5 is a must buy for both Spidey and Cap fans.  While it's disappointing that Wells won't be doing anymore issues of Avenging (aside from a story to coincide with Spidey's 50th anniversary), I can't think of a better note to go out on than this.  

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