Written by Eve L. Ewing
Art by Joey Vazquez
Colors by Felipe Sobreiro
Letters and Production by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Edited by Alanna Smith
Cover by Stefano Caselli & Triona Farrell
The first issue of this series notable more for its flip format, with two stories converging in one scene in the middle of the book. I really enjoyed it personally, although I felt like a lot of the effort was expended on getting the dual format right, with some of the dialogue not quite right for Parker and Khan. That said, the combination of the two characters really appealed to me; it is just a personal thing – these days I see Kamala as being the modern day equivalent of classic Parker, a teen struggling to cope with family, friends, school and life.
Who better then to partner up for a Freaky Friday style screwball adventure than Khan and Parker? I reviewed a great book by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs a few months ago called Crosswinds with a male/female body swap premise done in a gritty, noir style. This is a much more fun take though and the humor of the characters really comes to the fore in this issue.
There is a serious undercurrent though. Even though they live quite close together geographically, it is clear from this issue that they live worlds apart. Peter has to try and bluff his way as a Muslim teenager and realizes that although he had challenges at the same age with family and school, that Kamala’s challenges are different and just as tough. Meanwhile Kamala gets a dose of what its like to have to struggle with a job interview that does nothing to help Peter’s financial difficulties.
Despite this it is the fun, light side that shines throughout this issue. For that we have Joey Vazquez’s art to thank. I really love the way that Peter and Kamala look in this art style anyway (it is the best art I have seen on Khan since Ramos’ work on Champions under Waid’s run), but he really brings the comedy home on quite a few panels. The combination of Ewing’s dialogue and Vasquez’s art really made me laugh a lot (especially when Parker tries to “embiggen” in the first few pages – Kamala: “Emiggen. It’s not a magic word its just something I say” Parker, “No I get it. It’s a perfectly cromulent word. Embiggen!”). There is just a sense of pure joy about the panels where Kamala is experimenting with the Spidey powers at the end of the issue.
All in all, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this issue. Yes it is light-hearted fun, but maybe we need a little more of that sometimes. If the first issue didn’t work for you I think I would encourage you to give this another go. Ewing has shown some great comedic chops here and the art is gorgeous. I’m not sure if the tale will sustain itself for too many more issues as a concept, but as things stand this issue was great.