If you are like me and are of a certain age, then you have very fond memories of the Saturday morning cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Running from 1981 to 1983, it featured Spider-Man teaming up with Iceman and Firestar to fight crime in New York City. It was fairly silly, remembered mostly because it introduced Firestar to the world and is one of the biggest reasons I’m the geek I am today.
I loved that show. Loved it. And if you ask any fanboy over the age of 35 about it, I’m sure they have pretty fond memories of it too; which, was why I was so thrilled to hear that the newest X-Men title on the stands, Amazing X-Men, was going to feature a reunion of the Spider-Friends cast in issue #7.
Written by Kathryn Immonen, late of the sorely missed Journey into Mystery, and drawn by Paco Medina, it features Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar teaming up to return an alien baby to his parents in order to get a goat back to its rightful owners before the big game.
And yes, the issue is just as ridiculous as it sounds.
Don’t look for any grim / gritty situations in Amazing X-Men #7. Immonen plays this one up strictly for laughs and succeeds on every level. This book is a riot with Firestar playing parent to the irresponsible shenanigans of Iceman and Spider-Man. The banter is priceless, and the issue does an amazing (pardon the pun) job of capturing the spirit of the television show, while keeping the characterizations grounded in the current Marvel Universe.
I mean, how can you not like a book with the line “Don’t open that space diaper!”
Paco Medina’s artwork comes across as competent (but nothing incredible), with clear visuals and some solid line work. His Spider-Man looks a bit off, and I wish he could have used the same design of Iceman’s ice form as the show had, as I’m not a huge fan of his current look. Juan Vlasco’s inks enhance the art nicely and Rachelle Rosenberg, whose name seems to be popping up as the colorist of a lot of X-Men titles lately, does her usual bang-up job with colors that jump off the page (kind of like a Saturday morning cartoon!). The overall effect is that the art is nice, but you will ultimately remember this issue for the story more than the artwork.
As I said when I recently reviewed Nightcrawler, Marvel really needs to publish more stories like this. Comics on the whole have become a very serious place, and stories like the one in Amazing X-Men #7 help lighten the mood just enough so that you can smile while reading a comic for once.
Amazing X-Men #7 is an enjoyable, worthy heir to the memory of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. If you were a fan of the show, you should feel right at home.