Back to normal for Peter Parker, as Spider-Man faces off against the Scorpion, and Peter Parker tries to team-up with Flash Thompson. Written by Robbie Thompson (no relation) and drawn by Nathan Stockman, Spidey #11 is colored by Jim Campbell and lettered by Travis Lanham. The issue spends time balancing both Spider-Man and Peter Parker quite nicely, but also reminds readers of the larger picture and the grander Marvel Universe.
Stockman is equally adept drawing Peter, Gwen Stacy, and Flash walking to class as he is presenting the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Doctor Strange taking on Galactus. Stockman’s characters are heavily stylized, and his storytelling is strong, which makes Spidey #11 a solid visual presentation. Stockman (and Thompson) bring Spidey a little closer in tone and style to the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, giving Spider-Man some fourth-wall dialog and adding some more visual humor in, like Galactus tossing the Thing into his mouth like a piece of popcorn. Stockman pushes the page structure and storytelling a bit, at one point transforming the segments of Scorpion’s tale into rounded panels. These serve as a smart cross between flashback and thought bubble, while also breaking up the trapezoidal and rectangular march of panels.
Combining Stockman’s quirky art with Thompson’s smart, compact story, makes Spidey #11 a fine adventure to share with other readers. Thompson makes the Scorpion fight fill most of the issue without being excessive or flowery. The fact that it does span the pages of Spidey #11 vexes the wallcrawler a bit, especially as it precludes him from joining in the “ultimate team-up” across town. A terse Scorpion minimizes battle banter, so Thompson fills caption boxes for readers, narrating Peter Parker’s emotions and frustrations.
Thompson uses a portion of Spidey #11 to illustrate Spider-Man’s attempts at community outreach, or, as Spidey might call it, “doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do,” but the recipients of his help are gruff and under-appreciative, much like Flash Thompson immediately following the math test Parker tutored Thompson for. Writer Robbie Thompson packs all of the aspects of Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s life into one issue, but presents it in a manner that gives readers space to comfortably digest the tale.
Completing the visual presentation of Spidey #11, colorist Jim Campbell uses all of the bold, saturated colors readers might expect from a story featuring Spider-Man, Scorpion, and Galactus. Campbell provides a few assists on backgrounds for Stockman, emphasizing the collaborative nature of Spidey #11. Lanham’s lettering is concise and sharp, clearing the art nicely while also punctuating the tale. The aforementioned tail-segment panels have caption boxes in close proximity, but unobtrusive, again emphasizing that the creative team on Spidey #11 understands what teamwork is all about.
Spidey #11 ends with an upbeat for Peter Parker, which, in Spider-Man terms is equivalent to the most breathtaking of cliffhangers. The ol’ Parker luck isn’t going to let something good happen without dropping the other shoe, is it? On that note, Thompson, Stockman, Campbell, and Lanham close out Spidey #11, giving readers another strong read. The story stands nicely by itself, but placed in context with the series to date, it’s clear there’s more yet to come.