Commentary by Nick “BatKnight” Young
Captain America and Spider-Man! The Sentinel of Liberty and the Web-Slinger! In addition to sharing an hour on Disney XD, and sharing the cineplex this summer, the two Marvel giants share the cover and equal page time of Avenging Spider-Man # 5.
Their team-up couldn’t be more fun….
The issue starts with Avengers members Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman reading and joking about an old cartoon drawn by a pre-Super Soldier Steve Rogers. However, Captain America has been listening and calmly confronts an embarrassed Wall-Crawler. He explains the story he created while Spider-Woman reveals that his old cartoons are being auctioned off. However, Cap wants to forget his artistic past. He assembles the crew together to track down the Serpent Society. However, this recent reveal about Cap’s past amuses Spidey, who notes that Rogers was a “nerd” and has something in common with the Web-Slinger. Upon landing at the location, Cap divides the Avengers into teams, but Spider-Man volunteers to team with Cap. Wolverine and Hawkeye scoff at Spidey’s newfound, childlike admiration for Cap.
While staking out a tent, the two heroes discuss their problems in high school. Five minutes later, the two heroes spring into action, to take down Copperhead. The others follow their respective suits. Later, Parker surprises Rogers with one of his old illustrations. Cap dismisses the gesture, asking Peter if he still plays with his first chemistry set and revealing that he doesn’t want to remember the times when he was a nothing. Later, Spidey prepares to incinerate his old chemistry set, but Cap catches up with him and asks for his help in creating a new superhero comic…
Avenging Spider-Man presents us with more light-hearted, character-driven, fun stories. In the previous issue, Spidey and Hawkeye mixed it up. Here, writer Zeb Wells writes Spider-Man as a wide-eyed, adoring child with hero worship, especially upon discovering that Captain America is a “nerd”. Not only can they relate to each other since they’re both superheroes, but they are also creative, abstract people who were previously weak and bullied. Cap is a big brother to Spidey and one of his most endearing traits emerges throughout their scenes together. Cap never loses his patience with Spidey, despite the adoring hero’s many questions and his amusing strategy of mouthing off while fighting. The talented Leinil Francis Yu (Superman: Birthright) draws a fresh-faced, wide-eyed Peter Parker. He even somewhat resembles Andrew Garfield, the actor portraying him in The Amazing Spider-Man. He also draws Cap as both sullen and stoic, but never annoyed. Visually, Cap expresses his emotions just as the artist does for him, and it works.
Not only has Avenging Spider-Man been an awesome series so far, this issue is a funny, touching tale of two heroes and two kindred spirits. It’s the perfect reminder of the similarities and special nature of these two movie star superheroes…