Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #21

A comic review article by: Ray Tate

Throughout Marvel Adventures Spider-Man you'll be treated to excellent animated artwork. It doesn't matter if the teams of Rob DiSalvo and Victor Olazaba or Matteo Lolli and Terry Pallot render the adventure. Both teams create an action filled tapestry of super hero antic.

Punching the Clock

Get Your Kicks

DiSalvo and Lolli also individualize Spidey from other heroes. They emphasize his arachnid agility and his talent for adhering to walls. Furthermore, they merge power with character. Even when not fighting the bad guys, Spidey can be seen strolling on the ceiling or instinctively crawling up a Greek column.

The first short occurs in Greece, and the change in setting offers DiSalvo the opportunity to stretch his scenery muscles. You really get the flavor of an ancient ruins. This also allows Sotomayor to play with the color palette. So, you find yourself drinking in a pinkish sunlit Grecian sky.

The art's not the reason for the low score, nor is the change in setting, despite the better story taking place in plain old Manhattan. I just couldn't accept the premise for the first.

Magneto believes the Greek Gods were actually ancient mutants, so he decides to take over his mutant homeland. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man doesn't take place in continuity proper. So, I have no problems with eliminating Magneto's Holocaust survivor background or his reform.

Tobin basically reverts Magneto back to what he was in the Jack Kirby/Stan Lee originals. He's a powerful loony with a bucket on his head. Even so, his leaping to the conclusion that the Greek gods were mutants doesn't make a lick of sense. Fortunately, Tobin includes enough humor that the tale is at least palatable.

His Madness Has Method To It

The way Spidey puts the kibosh on Magneto comes courtesy of a science nerd girl classmate. So, extra credit for the gal with the brains.

The second story surprises by being the better of the two. Ostensibly it's a fluffy little tale taking advantage of the Justin Bieber phenomenon. Spidey bumps into fans of Kylie Rogue, nice play on the other Kylie. So, feeling responsible he tries to get the star's autograph. Complications arise in the air ducts.

Will the Real Kylie Please Stand Up, Figuratively

Tobin's plot borrows the gist from “42” in Doctor Who Series Three. This is the one where Martha must answer trivia questions in order to thwart various death traps inside a spacecraft. So, she calls her mother. Spidey calls the fan to discern which thug is a flunkie of the villain d'jour and which is the real deal. It's forgivable conceit because Tobin injects quite a bit of humor into the question answer session, and it once again makes use of girlpower, albeit through trivia instead of scientific knowledge, and the ending is sweet but not enough to give you cavities.

Marvel also must be commended for the illustrations of winning green school students surrounded by Avengers. At that age, I would have thought having my likeness appear in a comic book and acknowledged by the Marvel heroes would have been awesome.



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, where he 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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