Writer: Tom Taylor
Art Team: Juann Cabal, Nolan Woodard, VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: January 23, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, FNSM from here on out for my fingers sake, started off it’s debut catching people up with the current status quo of Peter Parker, happening over in Amazing Spider-Man, before throwing him head first into a mystery as Peter, he now needs to solve as Spider-Man. We also got Boomerang in his, or more accurately Peter’s, underwear! So all in all it was a decent start, so I picked up issue two myself to see where this all is heading. Not to mention Tom Taylor made a video game tie-in comic, Injustice, one of DC’s best books. The guy’s earned some faith. Lets discuss what goes down here.
The issue begins with an intriguing cold open involving the Kingpin, before picking right back up with our cliffhanger from last issue, Peter being unsure what to do with the orange colored kids left hiding in his room, that actually for some reason ‘belong’ to his kidnapped neighbor. Apples are keeping everyone occupied for now, as Peter fends off his crazy old neighbor Marne, while calling in the Human Torch for relief, so he can scope out the scene and see what’s what with the guy in the 50’s suit close by. You can tell off the bat Tom Taylor is already pretty comfortable writing these characters, hitting on a couple laugh out loud moments here, while moving the stories pacing along nicely. There are a lot small but fun moments.
From there, Spider-Man gets mixed up with the spying villain down below, who resembles the gentlemen that knocked Peter out last issue. This baddie pulls the web shot onto his face right off, despite Spideys warning, yanking some skin off along with it … GROSS! This either proves these guys are stright up robots or just more than a few french fries and chicken nuggets short of a Happy Meal, or maybe crazy robots, which in the Marvel U isnt out of the realm of possibility. My vote goes for crazy robots. The ‘bad guy’ ends up bringing pieces of a building down on Spidey in order to get away. Now under a building, catching his breath under the rubble, a cop on the beat approaches Spider-Man, introducing herself, albeit in a bit of a forced way, as the wife of the family he saved last issue. She seems desperate to pay Spidey back for saving her family heroically last issue extending a helping hand.
Detective Shari, entirely to Spidey’s surprise, comes through by tracking a license plate to an address, he swings off to immediately investigate. There’s an exchange involving a business card I found to be pretty funny, serving as a means for the cop to Pay it Forward to Spidey still, while highlighting the shortcomings of this Spider-Man costume … good stuff all around.
While investigating his lead Spider-man again comes into contact with the annoying 50’s style thugs he’s encountered a couple times now. After a quick exchange between the two we get an ending, that leads to our crazy cliffhanger involving Spider-Man’s neighbor, who just cant keep bugging him and maybe a key piece to all of this? However you’ll have to plunk down the price of admission to peek that for yourself, take my word for it though, it will be a fun reveal when it gets here.
While I enjoy the art by the team of Juann Cabal and Nolan Woodard, however at times it reminds me of the most recent art on the Scarlet Spider titles art too, which I wasn’t the biggest fan of. I think it might just be a style thing I have to get used to after the slightly more cartoon style of Ottley, which I have been enjoying a ton.
Overall Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man was an improved effort over the debut issues, with Tom Taylor quickly getting the hang of the voice of his cast, and moving the pacing of the story along at a perfect pace. Most of the humor in this title also hits the mark adding some nice surprises to an already enjoyable story. FNSM is off to a good start, avoiding some common pitfalls some of these other recently rebooted series have gone through in the process, resulting in everything here making me look forward to issue three.