Spider-Man & Venom: Double Trouble (2019-) #1
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Have you ever wanted to see Spider-man and Venom as roommates? Did you enjoy the movie “Freaky Friday”? If so then you’ll likely get a kick out of this new Marvel mini-series. Like most of Tamaki’s work, Double trouble gains its charm from dipping into the slice of life genre using super-powered characters. In this case, Spider-man and Venom.
The two have always had an interesting dynamic. Originally when Venom was introduced he was fuelled by his hatred of Spider-man. Spidey previously abandoned the Venom symbiote which caused it to resent him and seek revenge. He acted a lot like a spurned lover during his early attempts to kill the web-slinger and it was interesting. Throughout the ’90s Venom had numerous team-ups with Spidey and this aspect seemed to fade away. Venom became more like an annoying sibling to the wall-crawler and Tamaki really pushes that aspect here.
In this series, we see a Venom who’s rooming with Spider-man while trying to become a hero himself. It’s a fun, albeit unoriginal concept. We see the story from both characters’ points of view and oddly enough we partially experience it through song. At numerous points in the story, both characters sing comedic variations on the classic Spider-man theme tune. The song features heavily in this issue and some may see it as a gimmick due to that but it’s not and its use to show thoughts and emotions here is genius.
This is undoubtedly a book aimed at younger audiences however there’s plenty for adults to enjoy in here. The interactions between Spider-man and Venom are entertaining but they’re also very relatable for anyone who’s shared a home before. Admittedly you might find the story a bit too reliant on clichés. As roommates, Spidey and Venom act exactly as you’d expect and it might wear thin over the next three issues. I don’t think most younger readers will have that problem though.
The art on this issue is another high point. If you’ve seen my review of Superman smashes the klan #1 then you’ll know I’m a fan of Gurihiru. The artwork here is noticeably different from the art on Superman or Unstoppable Wasp but retains that colourful, cartoonish quality. It’s incredibly well done and reminiscent of the Spectacular Spider-man TV show which fans of the series will love. The colouring deserves a mention too. It’s vibrant, almost like a cartoon. You find a lot of muted colours used in the backgrounds throughout the book but they make the brightly coloured characters pop so well. Younger readers, in particular, will love this aspect of the book. Superman made me a fan but Spider-man & Venom has cemented Gurihiru as one of my favourite artists in modern comics.
Overall I highly recommend this book. It’s extremely accessible. If you have a little one trying to get into comics then this is a great choice. Prior knowledge won’t be necessary for you to enjoy anything. Plus, it has Venom singing! Who wouldn’t want to see that?
Spider-man & Venom: Double trouble #1
Spider-man & Venom: Double trouble #1 is a hilarious start to what I have no doubt will be a great mini-series for all ages. The portrayal of the characters might not appeal to some purists and the cliches might be a bit too much for some but it's a great book if you can get past that.