Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Yildiray Cinar
Since the first issue ended with the shocking reveal that Aunt May had been diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been looking forward to #5. This is the issue where Peter learns of May’s condition, and I was expecting a tear-jerker. While it does technically deliver on its promise, I think I was expecting a bit more. Perhaps they’re saving the meat of this plotline for the future, or maybe even for Amazing to pick up on. Whatever the case, I felt some disappointment. Though, if I separate the book from my own expectations it certainly holds up as a very strong issue.
While May’s revelation is undoubtedly hanging over Peter’s head throughout the issue, May herself is hardly present. The book is really more about its namesake, and Peter helping out the little guy yet again. There’s nothing wrong with this in theory, as it’s pretty much been the book’s selling point until now. However, it’s a bit disappointing that this issue doesn’t have more of a focus on May.
The actual plot of the book is, in a vacuum, very well done. In fact, if you remove all previous expectations from the equation, it’s actually one of the better issues. Peter helps out a kid in need. That one sentence is enough for me, I already love it. Along the way, he employs the help of Doctor Strange, which is always a welcome pairing. The banter is strong, the characters feel genuine, and it really is a wonderful exploration of Peter’s character. Although, I did have a slight problem with how overstated Peter’s physical strength was. He’s strong, I get it, but there’s a particular sequence in which Peter pulls off something amazing that just feels a bit too easy considering what I perceive Peter’s power level to be. That said, it’s a really interesting visual, so I’ll let it slide.
This is the first issue without Juan Cabal on art, which is something that worries me before I even open the book. However, Yildiray Cinar is a more than worthy successor. His style’s not at all similar to Cabal’s, but it manages to pin down the more somber and slightly angsty tone that this story calls for. He nails the look of Spider-Man in the action scenes, with his poses always looking a bit animalistic. Though, as good as he is, not even he can make Doctor Strange’s new costume seem acceptable.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5 is only let down by sky-high expectations, which isn’t such a bad thing considering it set that bar itself. Taken as a single issue, this is both a heartwarming and heart-wrenching story that digs deep into who Peter Parker is. It’s obvious Tom Taylor loves Spider-Man for the right reasons because this book feels exactly right. Plus, in an era where Spider-Man artists are at the top of their game, Yildiray Cinar more than holds his own and delivers a beautiful book.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2019-) #5
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5 is only let down by sky-high expectations, which isn't such a bad thing considering it set that bar itself. Taken as a single issue, this is both a heartwarming and heart-wrenching story that digs deep into who Peter Parker is. It's obvious Tom Taylor loves Spider-Man for the right reasons, because this book feels exactly right. Plus, in an era where Spider-Man artists are at the top of their game, Yildiray Cinar more than holds his own and delivers a beautiful book.