by Robert Rodi (Writer), Michael Del Mundo (Artist)
The Story: As Otto fights the invasion with the rest of the Mighty Avengers, a girl gets transformed into something else entirely.
The Review: Sometimes, during large event comics, we can get some unfortunate creative changes for some books. Some of them are temporary and some of them are actually for the best, like when Jason Aaron took on Black Panther during Secret Invasion, but some of them can be short affairs that have the only comfort is the rather short time they will be on a title.
It’s sad to say, but Robert Rodi is more easily associated to the latter statement than the former, as while he does play to the team-up format of this book and do seem to get how to write Spider-Ock, his story never really lift off in a way that seems natural or even well thought-out.
Part of the problem is due to the pacing, which is atrocious at times. There are two scenes, tow narratives that jumps around in the beginning, with a new character named Sylvia being in a library while Spider-Ock battles on with the Mighty Avengers. The two scenes are very disconnected from each other, with their progression being halted each times the focus is altered. The two scenes do finally connect in some way, yet it takes quite a bit of time to reach that point, which doesn’t help the progression of this story at all.
Unfortunately, another part of the problem comes from this new character, who comes off as being rather unbelievable when it comes to her traits and to her motivations. While it must be common happenstance to see huge threats and abnormal things in the Marvel universe, the way she is introduced is perhaps one of the most bizarre and nonsensical aspect of this character, as she merely sees the destruction and the chaos around her as some mere nuisance. She wants to stay in her library, despite the fact that the city is under attack as she dreams about a world without electricity, thinking the world would be so much better without all that pesky technology. Her whole evolution and her role in the story seems a tad confusing and does not really give the plot any sense of connection that really add anything to either Spider-Ock or to the Infinity event.
Still, Rodi do gets how to write the arrogance and the more curious side of Otto as he sides up with the Mighty Avengers, giving some of them panel time in order to justify the team-up in the book’s title. It’s just a bit disappointing that the main approach to this title is quickly disregarded to push a newer character instead of bringing action and some fun concepts around like some of the previous issues of Avenging Spider-Man did. The fun factor is simply absent here, much to the issue’s shame.
On the very least, Michael Del Mundo is competent here, as he do try to bring the style his X-Men Legacy covers have. While he is not on the same level here, his traits do come in handy at depicting some of the more out-there elements of the script on the page. The aliens, the destructions around and the poses are well-done, at least enough to show the action and chaos around in New York. The backgrounds are decent enough, as even though they aren’t the most detailed, they are able to show potently the areas and in which kind of setting everything is happening. Where he fails a bit, though, is with the many faces of its characters. Where he tries to be overly stylized only result in the faces and expressions being distorted too much, giving the characters faces that resemble caricatures of human beings.
Another area where he fails, but on a bigger level, is the colorization. There is a severe lack of diversity in the backgrounds and in his palette which hurts the whole issue, as the overuse of beige, brown and the sepia tones do give a consistent look to the whole thing, but it is not appealing nor truly exciting. It never mesh with the script and with what happens in the page, as huge action seems to warrant bigger and more effective contrasts than what is offered here.
The Conclusion: The bizarre pacing, the unappealing new character, the lack of focus and the mediocre coloring cannot really bring up some of the action and the small fun moments of this issue. This is just a good example of what readers dislike and fear about tie-ins, which gives the readers an unsatisfying read. Dropped.*
*Dropping this title after three issues might seem harsh on my part, but three mediocre issues at 3.99$ each really doesn’t seem to warrant me giving more chances to this title.