W.E.B. of Spider-Man #2 is a fun series that will likely please older kids and teenagers with its sprightly can-do attitude. Older collectors might not find it an essential pull, but it’s still a fun read.
W.E.B of Spider-Man #2
Alberto Jimenez Albaqurque (Artist and variant cover); Gurihiru (cover); VC’s Travis Lanaham (Letters); Rachelle Rosenberg (Color Artist and variant cover); Kevin Shinick (Writer)
June 23, 2021
W.E.B. of Spider-Man is filled with camaraderie, humor, and a lot of action. It’s cheery but has a sense of something real being at stake, the danger feeling quite genuine, which makes the series a pretty good read for kids thirteen and older.
Peter Parker and his Worldwide Engineering Brigade find themselves tangling with a hologram of The Green Goblin. The hologram disappears before he and the team can defeat it – which means their enemy now has all of W.E.B.’s classified information thanks to the data breach that allowed the hologram inside in the first place. The team splits up to search for The Green Goblin before he can abscond the scene with their info while Peter tries to keep his double identity a secret from his teammates.
Fun and action are the names of the game here, and Shinick offers both aplenty as he gives us large-scale battles and a team-building exercise of a plot that puts each character to good use. Then there’s Albaquerque’s art, which strikes the right balance between cartoony and realistic. This comic features Squirrel Girl biting through an electrical cable (Doreen prefaces her action by saying, “ Time to take a crunch out of crime!”), Lunella Lafayette unleashing her Devil Dinosaur in a Manhattan subway, and a tussle between Peter and Gobby in a tunnel with some surprisingly nasty violence. At one point, Peter collides back-first with a metal pylon and his arms and legs bend backward as the Goblin continues to glide along, bending Peter’s limbs behind him like Stretch Armstrong while his torso stays in place pressed against the pylon. All the reader can do is wince at the sight.
The action is definitely what this issue is about, and the pace is fairly breakneck without being distracting. I liked the burgeoning team-up between Harley Keener (the future Iron Lad) and Onome as they put their heads together using an idea provided to them by Peter to save the day – their technical know-how makes them stand out among their W.E.B. compatriots. Squirrel Girl brings her might, Lunella brings her speed, and Peter – well, he wisecracks while trying not to die, so it’s a typical afternoon for him.
There are a few fun layouts from Albuquerque; nothing too fancy, but there’s one particularly great bit where Peter webs himself onto the back of Gobby’s jet and finds himself carried away and over the streets of New York City. Every single member of the team notices at the same time from their location that Peter’s being carried away in a pie-chart like arrangement of images, which is quite a memorable panel. Albuquerque’s work is realistic, but it has a personality to it, a cartoony aesthetic which is pleasing to the eye, clean, and provides us with memorable interpretations of the characters (his take on Devil Dinosaur and Squirrel Girl are particularly sharp and fun). I enjoyed Rosenberg’s color work, a standout with its muted rusty city tones.
Adult readers will likely be charmed by W.E.B. of Spider-Man but likely won’t find it a necessary read. For teens, though, the series comes recommended. It’s not the best series of the year for youngsters, but it’s still a darn good one.