By: Story A: Karl Kesel (writer), Paulo Siqueira (art), Fabio D’Auria (colors), Joe Caramanga (letters); Story B: Kurt Busiek (writer), Pat Olliffe (art), Steve Buccellato (colors) & Comicraft (letters)

The Story: In one story, we see “the first meeting” between Spider-Man and Captain America.  In the second, we get a light-hearted fictional tale of how the first Spider-Man comic book was launched by Stan Lee.

What’s Good: The art in the first story is just great.  The story is fun too and I’ll get to that, but the star of this entire issue is Paulo Siqueira’s art.  His art is just so detailed and vibrant that it is worth a second look.  That’s how you do it kids!  Also kudos to Fabio D’Auria for busting out an old-school color palate, which is appropriate, considering this is supposed to be an older story.  Buy this issue for the art of this first story alone and you won’t be sorry.

I really enjoyed the story for this Spidey meets Cap issue.  You have to put aside serious continuity concerns and just enjoy it, but the whole thing centers around how Cap is the loved hero while Spidey is the guy who can’t catch a break from the media.  And, just as I was enjoying this little bit of the story, it goes all science fiction on us and time warps in three dorky science-guys with a hot chick who are there to deal with Sandman before he can cause some horrid danger in the future.  The way this whole scenario plays out is just the kind of fun you read Spider-Man comics for.

What’s Not So Good: The second story just pales in comparison to the first.  It isn’t “bad”, it’s just dull.  I love reviewing comics online (obviously) but the only thing that I hate about it is when I get an issue that is just dull/boring/bad.  I’d love to just bail out on those stories and go read something better, but NO….I have a duty to our faithful readers to tell you just how bad/boring/dull that issue was and give it a score.  This second story was one of “those stories”. 🙂

Conclusion: Can a really fun story with awesome art make up for a mediocre “I-can’t-finish-this” second story?  I say yes, but your mileage may vary.

Grade: First Story: A-  Second Story: D  Overall: B

– Dean Stell