Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man has been hit or miss with me up to this point. This title definitely isn’t as good a read as Peter David’s X-Factor. However, I do enjoy this title more than Amazing Spider-Man. Let’s go ahead and review Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13.
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Mike Wieringo
Inker: Mike Manley
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Flash Thompson getting all of his school kids out of the school. Flash then runs back in to try and save Ms. Arrow. We shift to the two Mysterios squaring off against each other with Spider-Man watching the two of them.
We cut to Ms. Arrow talking with the dead original Mysterio. The original Mysterio says that he is here as a part of some large cosmic scheme just like Ms. Arrow is as well. Ms. Arrow claims to not know what Mysterio is talking about.
We shift back to the two Mysterios battling each other. One Mysterio takes down the other. At that point, Spider-Man hops into the fight and battles the victorious Mysterio. Spider-Man takes down that Mysterio only to find that the other Mysterio was merely playing possum. That Mysterio forces Spider-Man to pick up a knife and orders Spider-Man to stab himself. Flash suddenly appears and grabs the knife from Spider-man and stabs Mysterio with it. Spider-Man and Flash then make a run for it.
We shift back to the undead original Mysterio talking with Ms. Arrow. The undead Mysterio says that Peter Parker cannot be allowed to leave this school. That Ms. Arrow must work to keep Peter teaching at this school. Mysterio says that his superiors want that to happen and he suspects that Ms. Arrow’s superiors want that as well. Ms. Arrow tells Mysterio that she has no superiors and has no idea what he is talking about. The undead Mysterio then disappears.
We cut to the Mysterio who was stabbed as he runs into Ms. Arrow. Mysterio attacks Ms. Arrow. Ms. Arrow suddenly has spider-fangs pop out from under her wrists just like Spider-Man. She attacks Mysterio and he responds by disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
We cut to Spider-Man and Flash making sure all the kids were all right. All the Mysterios have disappeared. Ms. Arrow thanks Flash for being so courageous and gives him a big kiss. End of issue.
The Good: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13 was an average issue. We got some nice action and a very interesting surprise ending with the revelation that Ms. Arrow must be a “spider” person who has been sent to watch over and protect Peter. On the other hand, the original Mysterio has been brought back from the dead to work for forces that evidently oppose Spider-Man. This is an unexpected plotline and I’m curious to see how David handles the development of this plotline.
This issue is nicely paced and is has plenty of action. As always, David delivers plenty of humorous dialogue. I like the interaction between Spider-Man and Flash now that Flash realizes that Peter is Spider-Man. I think Ms. Arrow has some potential to be a pretty interesting character. I dig the idea of Flash and Ms. Arrow as an item.
The Bad: I can’t say that I have really enjoyed this transformation of Spider-Man from a product of science to more of a product of magic and mysticism; however, maybe David can get me to change my mind. Whenever the story starts to jabber on about magical mystical spider-totems and spider-gods and alternate dimensions, my eyes glaze over and I start to slip into a catatonic state. That just isn’t Spider-Man.
To me, Spider-Man is the product of a scientific test gone awry. And suddenly, a nerdy kid gets incredible powers. That nerdy kid grows up to be Joe Average American who shuffles through life with the same problems we all have while being blessed with super powers from a freak accident. That is Spider-man. All this magical and mystical mumbo jumbo should be left for titles like Dr. Strange and not Spider-Man.
I’m not a fan of Mike Wieringo’s style of art. It looks rushed and sloppy. It creates a rather standard looking comic book.
Overall: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13 was all right. A solidly average comic with some good action and an interesting twist at the end. I don’t think that this title is anywhere near as good as David’s X-Factor. However, it is definitely a much better read than Amazing Spider-Man.