Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #19

A comic review article by: Ray Tate

A Cosmic Big Bad named Primordius comes a calling on the Silver Surfer and finds himself facing the Amazing Board-Riding Arachnid known as Spider-Man. Say what? J.M. DeMatteis' story is fantastic. Really, it's creative, makes intrinsic sense and energizes the little gray cells with ginchy dialogue and an upbeat outlook that used to be an anathema to anything involving the Silver Surfer.

A lot of this attitude can be attributed to the point of view character Gracie, a charming little girl who it turns out is the Surfer's number one fan.

Not the Average Reaction

Traditionally the presence of the Surfer always instilled disgust or horror from the populace, and given Gracie's explanation as to why she likes the Surfer, you really find yourself wondering why other people didn't readily follow Gracie's philosophy. The Surfer did give up everything to save the world. So why weren't the people of earth more grateful? Got me. I didn't like the Surfer because he kept whining about Zen-La and his "beloved Shalla-Bal." However, since the second Fantastic Four movie, the Surfer's become less of sniveler and more of a badass. That's the kind of Surfer we get here.

The Surfer and Spidey got caught in a genetic cuisinart inadvertently orchestrated by the Big Bad. As a result their powers switch, but that's just the beginning. Spidey, delivering snappy patter and cosmic decimation, finds himself overwhelmed. There's a reason why Galactus buffed Norin Radd into the shiny traveler, but here, the Surfer, sticks to walls and spins webs, before taking drastic and insanely entertaining measures to save his friend and lay the smackdown on Primordius.


Why can't things like this be in Big Stupid Events? Primordius is good enough to manifest on Doctor Who. So top marks to Clayton Henry. Also, a tip of the fedora to Andrew Dalhouse for his glowing, celestial shades.

DeMatteis' story alone is worth five bullets, but the backup pitting Kraven the Hunter against Spidey is the cinnamon on the snicker doodle. Pere Perez's art is extraordinarily bouncy matching the animated aims of writer Sean T. Collins.

Spidey Swanning Off

I loved the plot which transplants The World's Most Dangerous Game to the office setting and adding an innocent bystander was a stroke of genius. Now, Spidey if fighting more for her than his own life.

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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