3 out of 5
Marvel’s all-ages version of S-Man, these two issues are mostly what you’d expect from an Archie-ized comic: bubbly, bright illustrations, capturing Peter Parker and S.H.I.E.L.D.-y friends during their high school years in half-issue shorts.
Issue 10 has Brian Clevinger poking fun at Youtube extremists with Spidey faring off against some fame-baiting daredevils. It’s actually pretty effectively plotted for a one-and-done, with dnyamic artwork from Ramon Bachs, inker Raul Fonts and colorist Peter Pantazis. Ty Templeton does double art/writing duties on his half – his thick-lined artwork is actually damned fantastic here, again backed by Pantazis’ colors – and he delivers a clever and silly bit with Spider sporting a mustached. Worth it for that visual alone.
In issue 11, Bachs / Fonts art and ink both halves, with Pantazis coloring the latter story and Andrew Dalhouse – using a slightly less exciting, dimmer range of colors – on the first half. The latter of which is written by Chris Eliopoulos, and falls rather flat, as it gets stuck in the trappings of Spidey tutoring Power Man on ‘science,’ which only apparently amounts to Newton’s laws (which they apply to foil some criminals). It’s standard fare, just inevitably short-sighted with its setup. Clevinger takes up the second story, which has some eye-rolling Spidey banter but also makes a throwdown between Mad Thinker, robot footballers, and Power Man, Iron Fist, and Spider-Man into a pretty raucous lil’ tale.
Both issues feature a classic comics page with rewritten dialogue, which should be funny but end up being incredible wastes of space.
Nothing out of the ordinary, overall, but this is totally the kind of stuff that would’ve been fun to read as a kid, which would very much seem to be the aim.