Comic Book Review: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3
The Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is a charming series, and equal parts everything endearing about that younger version of Peter Parker, but above all it is a series that delightfully keeps you on your toes about what comes next. Who doesn’t love s story where you expect the unexpected? As I said last month, this Peter is at that point in his life where everything is pretty much easier said than done.
Last month hit us with one heck of a twist finding out that this sweet old lady turned out to be a brutal OG hero by the name of The Rumor. I will admit that I did feel something was up just from how blue her eyes were from introductions, but there was no conclusion to draw from just an iris color. This kind of development is why I have quick invested in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. This was new, creative, and it shakes things up since the last thing you prepared for was a team-up this early. The dynamic of Spider-Man and The Rumor was exciting because Spidey is also not used to being put into a position where he has to play sidekick. She quickly took command with her presence and knowledge of this situation. It was also humorous how she explained herself for being able to piece together that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. You would think that anyone could if they looked hard enough, but it is fitting for someone with her name and approach to crime fighting.
Where this mission took both of them was interesting for everything that neither we or Spider-Man were prepared for. As they said, Spider-Man heads to a part of the Marvel Universe that you’ve never seen before. There was so much new to this world that we were stepping into, and the only person who had the answers was The Rumor. Someone who we are only just getting to know. This place they went to was probably the last place you would expect to exist on the planet. How they got there was nothing short of spectacular for the visual effect alone. There may not have been time to explore this place, but the destination was more important than anything else. It was thrilling to have an idea as to what The Rumor is capable of and what made her formidable enough to tackle this rescue. How she and Spidey put their skills together was almost flawless despite a misstep that you knew had to take one shape or form.
It might be fun to see Spider-Man out of his element, but it is always fun to see Johnny Storm in his element. From the minute Peter called him to watch over Leilani’s kids, you knew that this was not going to happen without some funny moments thrown in. His entrance was hilarious, and what came after was too considering this is a job that someone like him simply wings. The faces he makes, his reactions, all of it just puts a smile on your face.
The art team of Juann Cabal and Nolan Woodard once again knocked it out of the park. There’s is something to appreciate about the youthful exuberance they have been able to bring out in the interior art. I mean, I say youthful, but even for an old lady The Rumor moved like an action hero in motion. Her dynamic with Spidey worked visually because she has this intensity about her and that was the perfect balance to Spidey’s many attempts to create humor to combat the situation he has been thrown into. As I said above, this world they jumped into was a stunning design for the way it reflected the city above, and the page layout for the trip there was the icing on the cake. I loved the way an image of Spidey was broken and warped around a single vibrant beam to capture the head-spinning experience he was having. Now every scene with Human Torch is also a treat because there will never be a time where you look at his face and not love his series of goofy expressions. Every new look is worth it.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is really living up to the mission statement so far. This rescue for Leilani may have exploded into something big, but all the same this is the lengths that you would expect Spider-Man to go for a fellow neighbor. Not to mention, the introduction of The Rumor has been worth it. A great reminder that age does not change how badass an older hero can be.