Although Dan Slott has been doing an admirable job on Superior Spider-Man, Chris Yost seems to be doing even better. He’s able to tap into a certain magic that Spidey-Ock has and just runs with it. Issue 17 is brilliantly hilarious as the new Fantastic Four (currently seen in the pages of FF) task Spidey-Ock with babysitting the children of the Future Foundation.
Most of Spidey-Ock’s stories are a tad on the dark side, which is fine –this is, after all, a darker Spidey. However, Chris Yost has been opting for a humorous tale, this time involving babysitting geniuses. Obviously, Octavius isn’t fond of kids, which leads to some Kindergarten Cop-style shenanigans. This angle is written well enough and is quite funny.
The Time Variance Authority shows up and attempts to eliminate the Future Foundation. The ensuing brawl is well done with some entertaining Spidey fights. After the dust settles, Spidey-Ock decides to use his words as opposed to his fists. This is a great scene because TVA appears to know that this Spidey isn’t who everybody thinks he is and it’s fun to watch Spidey-Ock scramble to prevent being exposed. Even though the majority of this issue is lighthearted, the ending takes a dark turn and the conclusion is quite odd and shocking.
Paco Medina’s pencils are great. His work here is fun and cartoony, but not annoyingly so. The only real problem is Spidey looking too childish in certain panels. Dave Curiel (colors) also deserves special mention –Spidey-Ock has a shadow surrounding him in most panels, which even though this is a goofier take on the character, helps remind you that this is a more sinister Spider-Man.
Avenging Spider-Man is wonderful with Chris Yost at the helm. He’s more than proven that he can adequately write a superhero story that has the most insane of concepts. It’s fun to see a different take on a Spidey-Ock that isn’t so serious. At this point, all three Spidey titles (Superior, Avenging and Ultimate) are worth picking up every month.