Part of a selection of one-shots reviving the name and numbering of older Spider-Man series, “Web of Spider-Man” #129.1 is the first instalment of a two-issue story by Stuart Moore. The focus, in this case, is on Spider-Man’s old super-team, the Brooklyn Avengers. Wait, what do you mean you don’t remember them?
I jest, of course. The group is a continuity insert. The team Spider-Man joined just after his career began are now apparently being killed off by an unknown assailant, and Spidey suspects something a little more pedestrian.
There’s a fair argument to be made that Spider-Man works best outside the team setting, and he’s usually reduced to the comic relief in any group situation for obvious reasons. That said, the Brooklyn Avengers aren’t what you’d describe as A-listers, and thus Spidey’s relationship with his teammates is quite different from normal — entertainingly so. There’s a fairly classic core idea at the heart of the story concerning Peter’s responsibility to those around him, and Moore carefully constructs the narrative to keep him at the centre of what could be someone else’s story.
Damian Scott’s artwork is a little less traditional. There are hints of Humberto Ramos and Chris Bachalo in the exaggerated, expressionistic style, but his figures seem to have very loose anatomy and the style of thick lines and excessive detail makes for some busy panels that are occasionally hard to read. The cartoonish visuals and colouring help keep the tone light, but it would undeniably benefit from being a little more spacious overall.
Still, Moore’s script makes up for any weak areas in the art, and it’s a reasonably fun outing for the character. Moore knows how to crack a joke that’s actually funny, which is an underrated skill in Spider-Man writers.
However, it’s debatable whether this concept is strong enough to carry two issues, particularly when the execution overall is often a little weak. As an amusing one shot, it might have left you wanting more, but the cliffhanger doesn’t really seem strong enough to pull people back for the second half. It isn’t awful, but nor is it easy to recommend. If you’re a fan of more comedy-tinged Spider-Man outings, this is for you, but ultimately, it won’t satisfy everyone.