REVIEW: Avenging Spider-Man #13
Or – “Deadpooool!”
There is an old saying: There are no bad characters, only bad writing. ANY character could conceivably be the next big thing, as this issue’s Rob Liefeld created Deathstroke-clone superstar can attest. But will the return of the Hypno-Hustler tear the roof of the motha$&@#a, or is it just a tragedy, with the feeling gone so you can’t go on? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Previously, in Avenging Spider-Man: A strange series of nightmares plagued Peter Parker, preying on his insecurities, and (for some reason) guest-starring the maniac known as Deadpool. As things got weirder, it became clear that someone was toying with Spidey’s mind, and Deadpool assisted the web-head in trying to make his way free of the multiple-layers of deception. Sadly, that last layer of deception was the worst, as Deadpool was working for one of Spider-Man’s legion of old enemies, and had used Spider-Man to bust him out of jail. The name of this nefarious criminal mastermind? THE HYPNO-HUSTLER!
JIVE TALKIN’, YOU’RE TELLING ME LIES!
This issue is a love-letter to the 1970s, and especially to 70s Spider-Man, as Hypno-Hustler reveals that he’s been in stir ever since Spidey stuffed him in there back in the day (although, the day wasn’t quite as far back as it might seem, thanks to the magic of Marvel Time) and that his roommate in prison is the not-an-alien-after-all madman known as The Tinkerer! This story takes place before the recent Deadpool #50, as well, which is important since the D-man’s motivation for betraying Spider-Man is shown to be his wish to die, something that Hypno-Hustler has promised to help him with. To that end, Deadpool actually takes a few pot-shots at the spectacular one, and reveals that he has rigged a transmitter to Spider-Man’s mask, which is what allowed him to manipulate the Web-slinger’s mind last time. There are a couple of interesting moments during their confrontations, as Hustler plants the suggestion that everyone in the prison is Spider-Man’s worst enemy, causing him to hallucinate the Green Goblin, Morlun and Kraven before transforming everyone in the prison into the image of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. I have a couple of issues with this book’s continuity, as Hustler indicates that he has been in prison since forever, but has appeared in other books since his first appearance back in Spectacular Spider-Man #24, and one of the mooks in this issue is revealed to be Boomerang, who has been busy with the Thunderbolts for the last six or ten months.
LOOKIN’ FOR SOME HOT STUFF, BABY, THIS EVENING!
Deadpool gets his own betrayal back soon enough, though, as Hypno sends him out to kill Spider-Man using his hypnotic goggles (updated and powered up by the Tinkerer) causing our heroes to clash one again, but their conflict feels rushed (it’s literally a page and a half long.) Spider-Man seemingly frees Deadpool from mental control, only to get surprised again (you’d think he’d stop trusting the loon after a while) and we’re treated to the shocking scene of Deadpool carrying Spider-Man skewered on a sword into Hypno-Hustler’s cell! Of course, now that Spider-Man is dead, there’s no reason to worry about what’s happening in Amazing #700, and Stephen can free up a few bucks each month…
…you don’t believe me? Fine, I’ll tell the truth. Spider-Man does have a sword through his heart, but the end of the book is clever in how it deals with that fact, and even leaves both Deadpool and Spidey in a place that’s funny and in-character as we fade to black.
THE BOTTOM LINE: TURNIN’ THIS MOTHER OUT!
This issue is a weird experience for me, in that I kind of love the ideas of a disco super-villain returning in 2012, but minor issues with the continuity throw my enjoyment. The art is a hoot, though, with the imaginary villains looking truly amazing in their onslaught against Mr. Parker, and some lovely dialogue throughout the conflict. There’s a ‘Ryan Reynolds’ joke, too, and a couple of swerves that are pretty satisfying, leaving the issue as a positive (if hard to temporally conceptualize) reading experience. Avenging Spider-Man #13 isn’t really much for continuity, either Deadpool’s or Spider-Man’s, but it’s still an entertaining bit of comic book storytelling, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I rather worry that Marvel Now! will kill whatever momentum and/or fun this book has going for it, but for now, it’s a pretty cool little read…
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!