Chris Yost (Writer), Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco (Artists), Dave Curiel (Colorist)
The Story: Spider-Ock teams up with the X-Men to battle a giant spider in New York City.
The Review: With the Spider-Ock thing now running in the Marvel universe, it was only a matter of time before we saw him interact with the other teams and other super-heroes in New York and the rest of the world. A concept with so much potential as Spider-Ock needed to be exploited in various ways, which makes this team-up book an actually great idea. In this particular issue, Spider-Ock teams with perhaps one of the most, if not absolute, well-loved team of the Marvel Universe: the X-Men, specifically those who work at the Jean Grey School of higher learning. Here, Chris Yost manages to advance the Spider-Ock character, but also write a fun team-up full of action and funny moments all in character.
What Yost manages to do here is make Spider-Ock actually funny, using his arrogance and his analytical mind to its fullest to bring some snide remarks. He is kind of a jerk, yet we can see how he interacts with Beast and the rest of the X-Men in a way that shows much insight into what kind of man he is. Still driving on the point that he thinks he is better than everyone else, his thoughts and dialogue are full of these small tidbits of characterization. When he says that he thinks it right that the X-Men obeys his instructions or that Beast is a cheater of a scientist since he has access to Shi’ar technology, it shows us just what kind of person he is, yet it manages to make him entertaining all the while.
What’s also entertaining would be the action, as the way the threat is dealt with is actually quite interesting, seeing just how the analytical mind of Spider-Ock checks out the power and uses of every of the X-Men around him. There are still a lot of hints about what’s happening and the situation Spider-Ock is unaware of from the ending of Superior Spider-Man #1 and it works quite well. How Spider-Ock wonders why he saved Storm and just how he answered her makes for some deepening of the plot. I know we will most probably see no true development of the character in this series, but it is nice to see that Yost uses what Dan Slott is setting up in the main series.
It’s not all fun and sunshine, though, as there are still some problems with this issue. The main one would be the fact that Spider-Ock is still a little bit unlikeable. He is a very interesting character to follow and he is full of potential, but it is hard to forget the fact that he did quite some villainous acts to get where he is right now. Another problem, a smaller one, would be the aggressive attitude toward Wolverine. In a particular scene, Spider-Ock beats up on Wolverine after he touches him on the shoulder, which makes for something that seems a little bit out of character. It was funny, but also a bit out of character, as Spider-Ock must surely know that they are allies in an Avenger team despite the small rivalry between each other. I do not believe Spider-Ock would have been stupid enough to beat down Wolverine, knowing that he has a healing factor in play.
What I do believe in, though, would be the incredible quality of the art by Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco, who truly get their A game here. The panels, the effects, the characters and the actions are all well illustrated, creating a fast-paced and energetic experience for us readers. They are, of course, heavily helped by the bright and lively colors of Dave Curiel, who does a great job with the different panels. The spider-vision of Spider-Ock and the various powers of the characters are all very well represented thanks to his color work.
The Conclusion: A fun team-up book full of great action, characters and some very nice art. I am eager to see how the title will be affected by the other spider-titles and to see just who Spider-Ock will team up with.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière