The main idea behind the Tangled Web series is that the stories focus on life from the supervillians' point of view. So what this means is that Spider-man only appears in a few frames of the comic. If you're expecting to see a lot of Spider-man, then perhaps this isn't the book to get. There are five stories in this book. The first one, "I Was a Teenage Frogman", tells the story of the son of a minor villain, Leapfrog. The son is embarrassed by his father since his father was such a weak villain. People at school constantly bully him for it as well. Throughout the story, the son is looking for respect. This story was the least interesting of the five, and the artwork was not so good either. The second story, "Double Shots", depicts a bar where villains can hang out and share the stories of their tangles with Spider-man. The story centers around the Vulture, Kraven's son, and a mystery villain who's face is obscured. Once this mystery villain is revealed, the difference between major villains and the two-bit players who inhabit the bar is made clear. The third story, "The Last Shoot", focuses on Crusher Hogan, the wrester who went up against Spider-man in the ring when Spider-man first got his powers. This story is quite good. It sets up Crusher as a good man who takes a serious gamble in order to save the failing wrestling federation he is fighting in. Since we know the outcome of the fight, which isn't depicted, the story takes on a tragic twist. How were we supposed to know that by cheering for Spider-man in this fight, we were dooming a good man? The fourth story, "The Collaborator", is drawn and written by Paul Pope. I'm a big fan of Pope's work, so this story was the reason I bought this volume. Pope doesn't disappoint. The focus of the story is the daughter of one of Spider-man's villains. She happens to be a giant Spider-man fan, and is unaware that her father leads a life of crime. What will happen? Read and find out. The writing and artwork of this story is fabulous and must been read and seen. The last story, Heartbreaker", focuses on Tombstone. Tombstone is captured and sent to a high security prison. Once inside, he must find a way to get out. One man stands in his way though, Kangaroo. This story is full of twists and turns, and the artwork is pretty good too.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 15 years ago
Spider-Man volume 2 features a three part story by Bruce Jones and Lee Weeks, a one issue story written and illustrated by Kaare Andrews and a story written and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke. Bruce Jones (Hulk, Scarecrow Year One) is a very good writer. He really knows how to blend a moody niorish story into a superhero world. Lee Weeks (who drew the Hulk for Peter David's return, after Bruce Jones left) is also very good with moody settings. Without giving too much away, there's a cab driver who has some sort of connection to Spider-Man. This cabby has a problem in his brain which may be operable though it's risky, but he can't afford it anyway. He's seperated from his wife, and his son also seems to be ill. So this cabby sets up a theft and gets the crooks to help him by promising them Spider-Man, and he just might be able to make good on that deal. The story wasn't bad, though it was a bit confusing. Jones bounces around in time, and we don't see what the cabby's connection to Spider-Man is until the very end. Whatever illness his son suffers from goes unnamed. And, to be honest, I don't think this story needed three issues, because nothing much happens in the first two, and it could easily have been compacted and been just as effective. Kaare Andrews is a man of many talents. The work of his that I've seen most often have been his digital paintings which have graced the covers of Spider-Man and the Hulk (during Bruce Jones' run . . . this is getting weird). His story here is also done digitally. There are two brothers. The younger one is watching an "Insect-Man" cartoon on TV. The older brother of course says that superheroes are stupid. Then Spider-Man comes crashing through their wall. A fight between Spider-Man and Electro ensues in their living room. Needless to say, by the end of the fight the older brother is thinking superheroes are pretty cool. It's a simple and predictable story, one we've seen before, but it's still cute. The last story is written and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke (DC: New Frontier, Catwoman). Mr. Cooke is one of the best in the business right now. This story takes place on Valentines Day, and while being distracted by worrying about his Aunt May, and bills, and his duties as Spider-Man Peter Parker has accidently agreed to dates with two women. To top it off, Spider-Man has an intense fight with the Vulture which sends him falling twenty stories into a dumpster. Unfortunately he doesn't regain consciousness in time to make his date, not that he remembers in the first place. J. Jonah Jameson is in his usual demeanor watching the fight between Spider-Man and the vulture out his window. And the Daily Bugle's intern meets a nice girl while getting coffee. There are five characters in the story who get equal face time, and at least five more characters in supporting roles, but Cookes masterful writing and art style makes each character distinguishable and the story easy to follow. And it
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