X-Men/Spider-Man #2

by Timothy Callahan, Columnist/Reviewer |

Send This to a Friend

Separate multiple email address with commas.

You must state your name.

You must enter your email address.

Story by
Christos Gage
Art by
Mario Alberti
Colors by
Mario Alberti
Letters by
Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by
Mario Alberti
Marvel Comics
Cover Price
$3.99 (USD)
Release Date
Dec 10th, 2008

Sat, December 13th, 2008 at 8:05PM (PST)

Two issues in, and the "X-Men/Spider-Man" mini-series has fallen into a comfortable rhythm. Here's the formula: Spider-Man meets up with an incarnation of the X-Men, they fight some bad guys, then Mr. Sinister shows up at the end and says something ominous (mostly to himself).

That's it.

Doesn't really sound like a four-star-worthy comic does it?

But, indeed it is. Because though that formula is an inherent part of the story, and Christos Gage does a nice job telling that formulaic story, this comic is all about one thing: the stunning artwork of Mario Alberti.

I've used the phrase "best-looking comic of the week" or "best-looking comic of the season" in reviews before, if I recall correctly, but I don't think any of them were as good as what we get in "X-Men/Spider-Man" #2. Alberti's work -- which you may recognize from some "Aquaman" and "Countdown to Mystery" covers -- is absolutely gorgeous. Imagine Simone Bianchi with much stronger storytelling. Imagine Ladronn with a Kaluta influence instead of a Kirby one. Imagine wonderfully detailed, subtly-colored, dynamic artwork on every page. That's what you'll see from Alberti in this comic.

In the first issue of the series, he got a chance to draw the late 1960s Spider-Man, complete with Romita-foxy Gwen Stacy. He did a wonderful job evoking a mod, 1960s feel to showcase an early meeting between Peter Parker, the original X-Men, and Kraven the Hunter. In this issue, Alberti has to draw one of the ugliest phases of X-Men history: the "Mutant Massacre" era, with the Marauders and all. Yet Alberti makes it all look wonderful, and does the best work with Spider-Man's black costume since Charles Vess.

If this comic was nothing more than Alberti pin-ups, I'd probably still enthusiastically recommend it, but the story (as purposely formulaic as it is) is pretty good too. Each issue jumps to a different moment in the lives of these characters, and Mr. Sinister -- working behind the scenes (since the 1960s, by the looks of things, although it's obviously not meant to be 40 years ago in comic book continuity) -- is the thread that weaves each issue together. Gage does a nice job with the characterizations here. He doesn't give himself much to work with, as it's mostly just a big fight scene, but since the plot allows Alberti a chance to show his stuff, it's difficult to fault the comic for having too much action.

At $3.99, with it featuring a story that doesn't tie in to any of the Marvel event books, you might have skipped this series. I recommend that you take a look at it yourself and see what you're missing.


X-Men/Spider-Man #4
Posted Tue, March 3rd

X-Men/Spider-Man #3
Posted Sun, January 18th

X-Men/Spider-Man #1
Posted Mon, November 10th