By: Christopher Yost (Writer), Marco Checchetto (Artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist)
The Story: Spider-Ock and Thor battles Electro as he is back to Earth after being sent away by the god of thunder.
The Review: With the last issue being a whole shenanigan of craziness with time-travelling agencies, genius kids, Death-Head yet with a somewhat disappointing payoff, what could possibly come after a team-up with the Future Foundation? How about a team-up with the god of thunder himself: Thor?
Continuing the tradition of this title, Spider-Ock teams here with the son of Odin, dealing with something that had happened prior in the spider-corner of the Marvel universe, back in Ends of the Earth when Thor shot out Electro in space. With Electro now back to exact revenge on Asgard own favorite son, the issue shows just how far Electro is willing to go to do just that, as we see the strength of his resolve and see some more of his character as a result.
Still, as interesting as the villain is here, the meat of the issue is the relation between Spider-Ock and Thor, showing how an arrogant genius and an arrogant god can create some one-sided animosity between the two. While Yost still manages to capture perfectly the tone of Spider-Ock by showing his arrogance, his pride and his high level of intellect, I am not so sure about his portrayal of Thor. While he is still kind of arrogant and sure of himself in the comics, it seems like the way he is written here is more akin to the movie version than the comic version of the character (with a specific reference to Thor’s own movie thrown in to cement that fact). Here, Thor does not even see the possibility of him being in danger or does not even heed the warning of one who has fought alongside him countless time, seeing himself as an invincible hero that shall always claim victory. While it does ring a bit true to the character, Yost writes him in a way that seems almost disrespectful of his fellow Avenger, as he does not even want to give credit to Spider-Man as he tries to warn him. Still, it does get better in the actual fight between Spider-Ock, Thor and Electro as Yost does get a better hold of Thor character in battle.
It is specifically that battle that really shines in the comic, as Thor is shown in his heroic glory, fully willing to do battle against a foe that might prove to be the best of him to save innocents. While it does also serve as a pretty good example of why Thor can be an awesome hero, it also serves as a pretty good piece of character development as even Otto seems to be impressed about the length Thor is willing to go to save people. Yost here is making Otto evolve in small ways as he is slowly moving his own plot with each team-up, as Otto is shown with more examples of heroism along the way. He still gets his arrogant quip here and there, but Otto is shown a little bit more as a caring individual, if only a little, as he shows concern for Thor, but also for Electro, one of his ancient comrade in the Sinister Six. While we all know that this is not the title where we shall see the more important development in Otto’s character and personal life, it is still a pretty solid read thanks to tidbits like these.
What also makes this a solid read, although for a different reason, would be the new artist for this book, Marco Checchetto. Continuing his amazing style that he had shown when he drew Punisher for Greg Rucka, he adds a particularly great style in semi-realism here. Thor looks amazing, the energy crackles are abundant and well-done, Spider-Ock has some nice poses and the action is full of energy and grandeur. Checchetto brings his A-game here with his crisp and clean art, but he is not alone in the task as Rachelle Rosenberg adds quite a lot to the mix with her colors as well. The crackles, the lightning, the background coloring in some panels, most of them are filled with a sense of energy and danger as her cold and calculated colors brings all of this into a great visual feast in concordance with Checchetto.
The Conclusion: While there are some small problems with Thor and his characterization in the first part, the rest is very solid, with some good action, a solid plot and some amazing art and colors that makes this issue really worth it. The team of Yost, Checchetto and Rosenberg can stay as long as they like on this title if they keep on doing issues like these.
Hugo Robberts Larivière