Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #15
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Taking Wing (A “Spider-Man Unmasked” Crossover)
Hiding from the law, Peter Parker surfaces to face an estranged ex-girlfriend with a tell-all book about the webslinger.
Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Scot Eaton
Inks: John Dell
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Scot Eaton
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It’s not surprising that a lot of the ancillary storylines coming out of the unmasking of Spider-Man are, in many ways, more interesting and in-character than the core Civil War storyline. Herein lies a perfect example. With Peter Parker’s identity public knowledge, it’s very easy to believe someone in his personal life would try to take advantage of that to cash in, and the long-absent ex-girlfriend Deb Whitman is the perfect choice for this. As she goes on a book signing for Two-Faced, her Peter Parker tell-all book, the government sets up the Vulture to crash the party and bring in the now-rogue Spider-Man. Peter, meanwhile, is planning to check out the signing – and he isn’t the only one.
This story works on pretty much every level. Deb Whitman was always a frail enough character that seeing her take this sort of action, feeling herself a “victim,” is a perfect angle for her return. Peter’s interest is logical, and seeing the reaction of Flash Thompson (who Peter David has finally made interesting again as a supporting character) is a particularly good facet of the story. There’s also a bizarre little interlude with flash’s new girlfriend that portends some future stories. David’s usual wit is in full force, although a Steven Colbert joke comes out of the blue and really yanks the reader out of the story.
Scot Eaton and John Dell do just fine of the artwork. Peter’s “disguise” in this issue looks just like Peter Parker in a disguise rather than as a wholly different character as so many other artists do. The fight scenes work well, and the whole thing wraps up in a dandy little cliffhanger.
A strong issue that keeps this series headed in the right direction.