Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #16

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
Spidey teams up with Captain America to beat up AIM and their hired help the Grey Gargoyle. That sounds like a really great plot, doesn't it? Well, I left out the part where Spidey tries to question Cap to complete his social studies assignment. He's in high school when this meeting takes place -- Spidey, not Cap.

Then, there's the triple exposition regarding Cap's origin. One's visual. The other two are stapled into the dialogue. Just one, if any, was needed. The Grey Gargoyle is after part of the super-soldier formula. That should be enough, but instead, Dezago really belabors Cap's World War II ties.

The discussion about World War II being the "good war" might have been more appropriate in Fear Itself, but what exactly does this have to do with AIM and the Grey Gargoyle? It's just an annoying subplot that I suppose reflects the current political climate. Keep it out of my comic books, fella, unless you handle it more subtly and make it relevant to the story. Or is your point "Why can't we all just get along with terrorist beekeepers?"

The art by Lou Kang, Pat Davidson and Digital Rainbow is adequate. Kang's style is such that you're either going to love it or hate it. It's somewhat anime-based, and I'm not wild about the illustration. His Spider-Man is better portrayed than Cap since Spidey wears a full face mask. This allows you to appreciate Kang's expression of body language and reactions. Regardless, the blonde Captain America's black eyebrows, which are highlighted by his altered mask, a mirror to his movie counterpart, are mighty distracting.

Paul Tobin, please come home soon with your awesome take on the Avengers, and bring back regular artist Ronan Cliquet with you.

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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