Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Reads You Review: SPIDER-MAN & THE X-MEN #1


WRITER: Elliot Kalan
ART: Marco Failla
COLORS: Ian Herring
LETTERS: VC's Clayton Cowles
COVER: Nick Bradshaw with Ian Herring
VARIANT COVERS: Skottie Young; Pasqual Ferry
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (February 2015)

Rated T+

Spider-Man created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko; X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

The recent death of Wolverine/Logan meant an end to the comic book series, Wolverine and the X-Men.  In its place, Marvel Comics launched Spider-Man & the X-Men.  This new series is written by Elliot Kalan, drawn by Marco Failla, colored by Ian Herring, and lettered by Clayton Cowles.

Spider-Man & the X-Men #1 opens with Spider-Man's arrival at the X-Men's Jean Grey School as a “Special Class Guidance Counselor.”  He is not exactly welcomed by the X-Men, nor is he telling the truth about why he wants to be at the school.  Spider-Man is not at the school so much to teach, as he is there, at Wolverine's behest, to find a mole at the school.  Logan did not know the mole's identity, so he didn't know for whom that mole was working.  Spider-Man tries to be at least as good as a substitute teacher, but his role is tested on his class' first field trip.

Spider-Man & the X-Men reminds me of the old NBC Saturday morning animated series, “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” (1981 to 1983).  The difference is that this comic book has more amazing mutant friends, and they aren't so friendly to Spider-Man.  I don't know why “T+” is the rating for this comic book; unless there is something shocking coming in later issues.  Spider-Man & the X-Men #1 seems like a kid's comic book, even if it might not qualify for an “all-ages” rating.

Also, Nick Bradshaw (art) and Ian Herring's (colors) cover art for Spider-Man & the X-Men #1 is fabulous.  It is a great first issue cover and perfectly suggests both the tone and story of this particular first issue.  However, the cover art made me think that Bradshaw's art would be the graphic style for the interior art, and it was not.  Series artist Marco Failla is competent, but his mange-influenced style seems like it would have been a better fit a decade ago, when Marvel was trying to do the manga thing.

Remember that short-lived New Mutants series that was launched as part of Marvel's Tsunami initiative?  Spider-Man & the X-Men is that comic book reborn – a Tsunami reboot of Wolverine and the X-Men.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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