Spider-Man and the Thing help out two brothers who are in way over their heads...
As Spider-Man and the Thing both start their days off on the wrong foot, two brothers search Central Park with a metal detector in the hopes of finding something valuable to solve their money woes. They wind up stumbling upon a strange device that, unbeknownst to them, causes everyone in its vicinity to fly into a rage and accidentally turn it on.
As the brothers ride home, their cab suddenly comes to a halt, as the street is being congested by angry New Yorkers fighting with one another. The brothers realize that the device is causing it and decide that they could sell it to some criminals for a fortune. One of them arranges a meeting with a gang leader and then steals a cab. Spider-Man, attempting to stop everyone from killing each other, spots the brothers' cab speeding away and attempts to follow them. Unfortunately he's stopped short by the Thing, who is also feeling the effects of the device. Spidey fights the Thing briefly before retreating to follow the brothers. The Thing, now joined by Franklin and Valerie Richards, get the Fantasticar and follows him.
Meanwhile, one of the brothers tells the other that he's having second thoughts, and is subsequently ejected from the cab. The brother reaches the gang hideout but quickly finds that he's in over his head. Luckily, he left the device on, which causes the gang members to start shooting each other. Spider-Man and the Thing then crash through the ceiling, still fighting. Amidst the chaos, the device is dropped on the ground which reverses its effects, causing everyone to start loving one another.
While it was nice to have Rob Williams back on Spidey, this particular team up failed to make an impression. While there were funny moments, (particularly from Franklin and Val) they were few and far between as Williams couldn't seem to resist the urge to stick corny pop culture references into much of his dialogue.
The Annual spends a lot of time focusing on the relationship between the two brothers, who we never really come to care about. It was the typical relationship between the more reserved, level headed brother and the hard headed impulsive one. You could see the story beats for these two coming from a mile away. The best part of this issue was Brad Walker and John Livesay's artwork. Their Thing and Spider-Man are both rendered with a lot of detail, making the book a pleasure to look at throughout.
While it contains nice artwork, the story of Avenging Spider-Man Annual #1 quickly wears out its welcome. It would have been better served as a normal sized issue.