Title: Spider-man Human Torch Limited Series
Artist(s): Ty Templeton
US Publisher: Marvel Comics
5 issue limited series covering the encounters between the alter egos of Peter Parker and Johnny Storm
True Story: I picked up the first of these comics in a truck stop during one of my travels. After I read it, i made a mental note to pick up the rest, and I did. Now I have them preserved like a nerdy collector, mylar bags and cardboard backs and all.
This limited series is a fine example of how a large company such as Marvel/Disney have a clear advantage dealing with intellectual properties such as these that have a long chronological history in the readers minds.
Since the 1970’s when you mentioned team-ups, besides Supes and Bats the next most clear representative could be Spidey and Flamehead.
This work that I am reviewing here, is a perfect example of great collaboration. The editors, the writers and the artists, all march at the beat of the same drum for this series.
Joe Quesada and Tom Brevoort are two amazing editors, with their ears to the ground and keeping up with trends as best as they can. Weather you disagree with some of their choices or not, their mantle has been tested and they have proven themselves connoisseurs extraordinaires of the industries they work for.
That shows when approving the amazing script Dan Slott has put together for the limited series.
Dan Slott is amazing recapturing the spirit of Spidey of the late 60’s and early 70’s, when he was an angst-riddled teen, who dealt with the situations life dished out by overcompensating with lots of humour.
This whole series is such a great and balanced homage to the history of spidey, and the tradition of team-ups that it became a must read in my list. And the more layers you peel, the more depth you find.
Dan Slott takes us through the most important landmarks on spidey’s life in a snappy, intelligent and entertaining way. I have no doubt that if you came to spiderman recently, you will still love the story, albeit you may not get all the references mentioned.
This is one of those devices that separates a professional writer from an amateur hack: Dan Slott gives the unexperienced reader a lot, even though he is generous enough to give us, veteran followers of the arachnid, even more, like an inside joke.
I lost track of how many times in the course of this limited series little snippets of dialog made me relive memories of long lost comics of Peter Parker. The college friendship with Norman and Flash, Gwen Stacy, Cptn Jean Wolf, the Vulture, the photographer stint, Betty Brant
and her drama, Kraven…and the marketing ploys, such as the spider0buggy (I remember buying one for a friend’s kid)the Hostess Fruitpies
, Mary Jane, the Blackcat, the spidey simbiote…. man… my fingers are hurting from typing so fast
This miniseries is a real tour de force for Dan Slott, because besides doing a great recap on all the features I mentioned above, he manages to gives us a very human dimension to Peter Parker. He exploits in a very savvy way the teen aspect of the protagonists lives, putting Johnny Storm and Peter Parker often at odds against one another, but in the ephemeral way that teens do, fighting today, becoming friends tomorrow, ribbing each other, and always dreaming that the pasture is greener on the other side.
I suspect that all these frailties of the teen years are a topic that marvel forgot, till they launched their Ultimate line and then Parker was allowed again to be made a teen.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally respect the evolution of Marvel and their Spiderman character, making him join the workforce, and even getting married and having problems with the spouse etc…
And although most writers at Marvel didn’t know how to take advantage of Peter’s married life, (the ongoing joke among fan circles was that none of the writers must’ve been married a day in their lives) we forgave the publisher, and continued reading the adventures of the webslinger.
The art is competent, and lives up to the quality of the script. Ty Templeton and Tom Palmer captures the mannerisms and the posturing of the teens with aplomb and mastery.
But I will recommend this comic primarily for the amazing well written story, and the character depictions that Dan Slott did. It’s a good return to the Spiderman of Ditko and Stan Lee, even if it is for a limited time.
So, on my critic’s review, Spider-man Human Torch Limited Series (2011) gets 8.5 stars out of 10