Thus far Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man has delivered on the the fun and strong character work this franchise is known for. Through this series Tom Taylor strengthen the Spider-Man Family line of comic books at Marvel. The last issue saw Peter Parker learn about Aunt May’s cancer. That was a development that Taylor treated with great care that showed how strong Peter and Aunt May’s relationship is as the former made clear he was going to be there for the latter. Now after all that Peter is getting ready for another big phase in his life as Taylor introduces a new sidekick in the form of Spider-Bite. How will this new character shake things up for Spider-Man’s life? Let’s find out with Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Juann Cabal
Colorists: Nolan Woodard and Federico Blee
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: on the Manhattan Bridge the Doctor Octopus (in his classic green and yellow costume) has pinned Spider-Man down with debris. Spider-Bite shows up and is able to use his agility to get around Doctor Octopus’ attacks and knocks him down with a punch.
Vulture shows up and flies Doctor Octopus out of the area and into a train.
Spider-Bite helps Spider-Man lift the debris off him and they swing after Doctor Octopus and Vulture.
They eventually find the train Vulture and Doctor Octopus got on. As soon as they get inside they are also confronted by Black Cat and Kraven, who were waiting for the pair along with Vulture and Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man and Spider-Bite fight the villains until the train stops, which the villains use as an opportunity to escape into the train station.
Spider-Man and Spider-Bite quickly chase after the villains. When they make it to the train station they are confronted by Green Goblin and the entire Spider-Man Rogues Gallery who go by the name of “The Sinister Sixty.”
Spider-Man and Spider-Bite do not back down and get ready to fight. They use there teamwork to take on the entire Sinister Sixty and defeat almost all of them. Green Goblin is the last villain standing. Spider-Man and Spider-Bite immediately knock him out with a duo punch.
When questioning him on what is going on Green Goblin reveals he is not the mastermind of this plot. Stilt-Man suddenly shows up and reveals himself to be the mastermind of all this, much to Spider-Man’s confusion.
Stilt-Man escapes with a box that the other villains were protecting. Spider-Man and Spider-Bite swing after him. Spider-Bite is the first to get to Stilt-Man and is able to web up the villains legs together, causing Stilt-Man to fall.
Spider-Man meets up with Spider-Bite, who recovered the stolen box. He asks Spider-Bite if he thought Stilt-Man was his greatest villain because he is tall. Spider-Bite confirms that. Spider-Man reminds Spider-Bite he is still a nine year-old kid and is still growing. Spider-Bite hopes so.
Spider-Man asks about the box. Spider-Bite reveals it contained a Spider-Man action figure. Spider-Man and Spider-Bite have a back and forth about how they collect action figures. Spider-Bite starts coughing. Spider-Man tells Spider-Bite it is okay to take off his mask since he saved the whole world.
It is revealed that the entire adventure was a wish Spider-Man granted for a kid named Nathan along with Nathan’s family and the hospital staff. Nathan compliments his dad on being Stilt-Man. Nathan’s mom tells him that he should get some rest. Nathan yells that he does not want to go to bed. Nathan quickly apologizes, believing he ruined the day. Spider-Man tells Nathan that nothing is ruined because this was the most epic team-up ever.
Nathan’s parents ask Spider-Man if they can talk to him in private.
In another room Nathan’s parents thank Spider-Man for giving their son such a special day. Spider-Man says thanks aren’t necessary as Nathan is a great kid. He asks Nathan’s parents why Nathan didn’t want to go to bed. They say it is because Nathan is afraid he won’t wake up.
Spider-Man looks at Nathan through the window. He asks Nathan’s parents if Nathan has a warm coat. They say he does.
Spider-Man goes back into Nathan’s room. Spider-Man asks Nathan if he enjoyed being Spider-Man for the day. Nathan said he did. Spider-Man says that is good because the day isn’t over.
A little later Spider-Man is swinging through the city with Nathan in his arms. End of issue.
The Good: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 is a phenomenal example that you do not need an end of the world conflict to deliver a memorable comic book. With a strong focus on the characters involved Tom Taylor is able to develop a complete story that stands alone as a special comic book in Spider-Man’s history.
From the opening page Taylor establishes that Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 was going to be a different comic. The way Taylor wrote all of Spider-Man’s dialogue keyed us in on how the team-up with Spider-Bite was completely different. Taylor balanced out the dialogue being something he was clearly reading from a script while still being part of the natural flow of the story.
In particular, what stood out what all the back-and-forth dialogue between Spider-Man and Spider-Bite. Through their interaction Taylor gets across that this is Spider-Bite’s show. From how Spider-Bite takes on Doctor Octopus alone to his assist in the iconic Spider-Man feat of strength to the entire Sinister Sixty, it was to put over Spider-Bite as a character.
All these moments made the second half of the issue as Spider-Man and Spider-Bite reflected on their adventure together stand out even more. The discussion between them was an honest and genuine one. With how much chemistry Taylor established between the two it made Spider-Bite talking about not wanting the adventure to end just a heartbreaking scene.
It’s through understanding what was really going on that added a whole new layer to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6. Everything that Nathan, aka Spider-Bite, said had more meaning because of what was going on. You understood that this was something Nathan always dreamed of doing and why he did not want the day to end.
Throughout this Spider-Man never broke. He completely understood what was going on with Nathan and why he was fulfilling his wish. Between the chemistry he had with Nathan and how he spoke to the kid’s parents about their son, Spider-Man stayed true to who he was. This all showed the true power of who Spider-Man and the inspiration he is to others, like he is for Nathan.
This all made the final page be an incredibly touching conclusion to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6. It completely summarized how fantastic of a character Spider-Man is as he knew exactly what to do so all of Nathan’s wishes were granted. It was something he was not asked to do. Spider-Man just knew that Nathan wanted was to experience the sensation of swinging around the city like his hero.
Given what this story was all about it was great to see how a kid perceives Spider-Man’s world. Taylor did a great job making the entire issue feel like it was something out of a kid’s dream. Adding the element that Nathan saw Stilt-Man as Spider-Man’s biggest enemy because of his height is completely in line with what a kid would think. Spider-Man being caught off guard by this choice hit home what the concept of this adventure was all about.
Juann Cabal was once again amazing throughout Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6. Cabal’s artwork is absolutely stunning. You can tell he had a blast drawing all of Spider-Man’s villains in their classic costumes. He also made Spider-Bite appropriately a ball of energy as he jumped into action with a great sense of joy. The back-to-back double spread page of Spider-Man and Spider-Bite taking on the Sinister Sixty was phenomenal. Through all this Cabal hit the perfect emotional note once it just became about Spider-Man, Nathan and Nathan’s parents.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 is a masterpiece of an issue that’s must have for every comic book fans collection. Tom Taylor and Juann Cabal delivered a phenomenal issue with Spider-Man fulfilling a kid’s wish to be a superhero. The chemistry between Spider-Man and Spider-Bite was natural and made the final page of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 a memorable ending.
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