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Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #17

Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011
By: Ray Tate

Paul Tobin
Matteo Lolli, Rob DiSalvo, Terry Pallot (i), Sotocolor (c)
The Sinister Five of Six accuse Spidey of interfering with their "brilliant" scheme and knocking one of their number into the pokey. The problem is that Spidey doesn't remember recently tilting with the Vulture, but that's okay. He's more than happy to bonk plug-ugly heads.

This issue of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man is nothing more than page after page of Spidey beating the crap out of the Sinister Five that was Six: Doc Ock, Electro, Sandman, Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. If that doesn't float your boat, what the hell is wrong with you? That's gold.

The creative team are in perfect harmony for this issue of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man. Tobin infuriates the Six through Spidey's wisecracking, and the web-spinner's consistent belittling of the Six's "awesome" might. You almost feel sorry for the dopes, especially Electro who Spidey torture mercilessly and in novel ways I really didn't expect.

While Tobin sharpens Spidey's wit in the dialogue, regular artists Matteo Lolli and Rob DiSalvo orchestrate a series of arachnid acrobatics that take full advantage of Spidey's awesome powers and intellect. How does intelligence come into play for a sparring of fisticuffs? Spidey bounces around and uses his superhuman agility to sucker the villains into offing themselves.

Both stories are utterly gorgeous displays of Spidey's amazing abilities, with Matteo Lolli's being slightly, just slightly, more action-packed. Both tales also connect with each other. It's rather unusual for the villains to immediately attack Spidey after being captured, which Spidey mentions, yet that's what occurs when the Sandman and Kraven seek revenge for the humiliation. Tobin also alleviates the hows of their quick return, and there's a nice bit of depth from Spidey as he lectures Sandman while thwarting him.

So what did happen to the Sixth Man alias the Vulture? Well, it turns out that the villain's not without a heart, and though he made things difficult for Spidey with a farrago of pride saving lies, the Vulture listens to Aunt May's words. His reaction alludes all the way back to Superman vs. Spider-Man.

Spidey's villains aren't interested in world domination. They're concerned with cold hard cash. They're all bank robbers with gimmicks. Mysterio and Kraven are the only ones that have slightly higher rationales, especially in the Adventurverse, but neither desires the planet. In Superman vs. Spider-Man, Luthor's quite willing to destroy the earth. Doc Ock, not so much, so not much that he's willing to throw in with Spidey to defeat Luthor. Likewise, the Vulture's quite willing to knock over a jewelry store, but maybe he has some respect for his city.

Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.

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