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Avenging Spider-Man #5: Review

Mar 2012
Zeb Wells, Leinil Francis Yu

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avenging Spider-Man #5 Review by (April 3, 2012)
Review: A nice attempt to explore the characters of Spidey and Cap by finding some sort of common bond between them is good so far as it goes. Aside from violating continuity (in the late 80s run by Mark Gruenwald Steve Rogers was a professional comic book artist), the tale seems to present Cap as more of a stiff than usual. Also the art does not suit the story as Leinel Yu’s realistic stylings seem more appropriate to something grittier than a tale about male bonding. Otherwise, it’s a nice attempt to get away from the standard “two guys in spandex whomping on each other” (to quote my pal Scott Benson) that the comics usually center on.

Comments: On page 1, the summary of the previous issue has been “rewritten” to make Hawkeye the sole hero and in the credits, all the names have been crossed out and “Hawkeye” written in. The very last panel has the note, “Dedicated to the memory of Joe Simon.” Issue includes a letters page.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avenging Spider-Man #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The story opens on a page from an old comic book in which young Roger Stevens goes to buy liberty bonds to aid in the war effort. However, he discovers that the local agent is selling counterfeit liberty bonds to undermine America in its struggle against the Nazi menace. But surprise! Roger utters the magic words "Rockets Red Glare!" and he is transformed into the patriotic hero Sir Spangled, the Human Tank, and with the aid of his faithful dog, Liberty Bonds, cleans up this nest of traitors….

We step back to see that this comic book page has been reprinted in the newspaper and is being read by Hawkeye to the other Avengers, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Wolverine. The team finds the comic—written and drawn by the pre-Captain America Steve Rogers—to be an embarrassment though. Peter continues to mock the book unaware that Cap has entered the room; when he comes face-to-face with the veteran hero, he hastily asks for Cap’s autograph. The comic pages are being auctioned off for charity but Cap isn’t interested, he outgrew such things when he became a hero. Instead Cap is approaching the group for a mission. While the Avengers assemble, Peter suddenly realizes the implications: Cap was a comics nerd, which means Pete and his hero have something in common….

The Avengers are undertaking a mission against the Serpent Society in the wake of the recent attempted gassing of Grand Central Station (issue #4) and, accompanied by Red Hulk, surround the villains’ hideout. Spidey’s attempts to bond with the more focused Cap over their perceived geek ties distract the Webslinger from the mission but in the end three members of the enemy organization are captured. During the clean-up, Spidey encourages Cap to meet him to toss around ideas about comic books but Cap is noncommittal….

The next evening, Pete shows Steve his new purchase: the framed comic page they were discussing earlier. Pete tries to get Steve excited about his original passion but the old soldier has outgrown such things. The two are divided between Steve’s not wanting to be a kid again and Peter’s never having stopped. Later, as Pete prepares to throw out his childhood chemistry set, Steve invites him into the kitchen to ask advice about creating a new comic book hero. "I have to say, this is all coming back to me…" "How do you know it ever left?"

Leinil Francis Yu
Gerry Alanguilan
Sunny Gho
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Penciler)
? (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Serpent Society.

> Avenging Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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