Writer: Tom Taylor
Art Team: Juann Cabal, Douglas Franchin, Nolan Woodard, VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: March 20, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man continues the Under York arc here in issue four, as Spider-Man tries to bring this conflict to a conclusion, stopping the citizens of the forgotten community under New York from attacking. While some of the character work done by Tom Taylor so far this series has been excellent, the story concept in general has me both at points intrigued, and well, uninterested. With that being said lets discuss this months effort and see which side of the fence I fall on this time.
The issue begins with the ‘orange kids’, Johnny has been watching over for Spidey, being reunited with their Mother, whom Spider-Man and Rumor (the old lady hero) rescued last issue from Under York. Rumor warns that the Under Yorkers might come for vengeance, so Spider-Man puts a call into his new friend on the police force as a heads up and means of back-up, just as things start going wrong. While the whole concept of Under York is interesting we still don’t know a whole lot about it, other than its been mostly forgotten by everyone, which actually is the only part that comes into play, strangely making me more okay with the whole thing. Its a combination of the twisted way my brain works sometimes, and Tom Taylor’s black magic hidden in his writing, but this issue ends up working better than the previous efforts featuring these characters.
Most of the issue is a fight between the Under Yorkers attacking New York, as Spider-Man does his best to save everyone, and anything in their path as they arrive. There is a beautifully done splash page, that is one of my favorite Spider-Man spread scenes in recent memory, it really pushes the art over the edge here to almost perfect. You find humor, heroics, and great storytelling all mixed into one scene that really shows what the comics medium is capable of, really elevating the issue as a whole and not reducing the scene to just something fun to look at.
As things wind down, Kingpin finds himself on the ‘crime scene’, the ever aware Kingpin is ultimately tricked a bit into helping subdue the Under Yorkers back to where they came from by none other than Spider-Man, with a megaphone, in another fun yet effective scene. While the art changes a bit towards the back end of things as a whole, it still does a great job contributing to the story as a whole, even showcasing the different emotions characters are going through, not just leaving it to the text in the issue to let the reader pick up whats being conveyed. In typical Tom Taylor fashion though an issue that really relies on its fun to progress the story events, closes by almost breaking your heart in two. This further proves my theory only Tom Taylor, my pets, and crazy ex-girlfriends are capable of pulling those emotions out of me as I just wanted to breakdown in tears honestly. I wont spoil it but its all done very well and keeps me invested in this series in more way than one.
Overall, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man gets right back on track this issue, closing out the Under York introductory story, in a fun and heart breaking way all in one issue. Tom Taylor does a great job of lulling you into a very positive state of mind before dropping the hammer here, really striking an emotional chord with the readers, leaving a definite impact, and making next issue a must read if you love these characters. Oh Tom Taylor you’ve done it again. Must read Spider-Man issue of the month for sure, great art, great story.