Comics Rearview: Avenging Spider-Man

Avenging Spider-Man 1-3 From the Desk of a Comic Book Newbie

I am a rookie comic reader. However, having recently attended my first con (Read all about that here!) and increasingly feeling dumb for not knowing the true story behind Ant-Man/Hank Pym/Scott Paul Rudd, I decided to get into it.


On the recommendation of a colleague, I read the first three issues of Avenging Spider-Man. This seemed good, I know the Avengers and Spider-Man–I’ve seen all their movies! But, of course, Spider-Man and the Avengers have yet to meet in the MCU… and also, this Hulk is red. (I think I was vaguely aware that the Hulk came in colors other than green, but I was definitely unfamiliar with the background and attitude of the Red Hulk, displayed here as grouchy and generally pissed, but still trying to do the right thing.

Luckily, Spidey and Red Hulk ditch their other famous friends pretty quickly in this series to help/fight some yellow oozy dudes that bust up through the floor of New York City, much to the chagrin of Mayor(!) J. Jonah Jameson.

One of the first things that caught me was the color–everything was vivid and engaging, making me want to rush ahead to the next panels where blurs of blue and red and yellow and green and brown zagged across the pages. I like having the supporting art there to move the story along, catching background clues and smart hints that aren’t directly expositioned to you in the dialogue bubbles.

However, where there was dialogue, it was pithy and fast-paced–some good Spidey attitude while keeping in with a heroic and selfless nature. The stories went quick, with somewhat ridiculous cliffhangers that had me reaching for the next issue immediately, which I think is probably what you want, right? Being fresh to the universe, I could maybe have used a teensy bit more background, but that’s probably mostly on me and not the author and artist. The setting of New York and inclusion of pretty straightforward goals kept things grounded and together for someone who’s a novice in these waters, but the fanciful story elements and fun banter also kept it from being dull and monotonous.

All in all, I thought it was a great introduction to the great big world of comic books, and I’m eager to see what else is out there. Any recommendations, dear readers? Hit me up in the comments, and I’ll see if I can do your favorites any justice!

About The Author

Abby Penning

Following in footsteps the likes of: Nora Ephron, Frances Fitzgerald and Eppie Lederer, Abby seeks to hone her opinion into a sharp and decisive tool used to inform and educate the masses – unless they don’t agree, then she just beats them to death with it. Also a lover of pop-culture and friendly debates (arguments), Ms. Penning finds the world of modern entertainment so fascinating and compelling she can’t contain her thoughts on what she consumes!

Educated, articulate and opinionated, Abby’s most distinguishing feature is her ability to work a minimum of 4 jobs for 80+ hours a week (Isn’t that called work-a-holic?) When asked, “Why do you work so much, Abby?” she simply posed, “Who would do it better?” (Just kidding, I can’t actually publish what she said.)

Make sure to cruise her column, Ask Abby…, and to Contact Us with your questions for our thoughtful editor.

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