Marvel Team-Up #2 Review

by Charles Martin on May 01, 2019

Marvel Team-Up #2 Review
Writer: Eve L. Ewing
Artist: Joey Vazquez
Colourist: Felipe Sobreiro
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Marvel Team-Up #1 did a thorough job of leading us into a Peter Parker/Kamala Khan body-swapping shenanigan. Now #2 squares up on the premise and knocks it entirely out of the park. 

Indulge me as I share the "ex Marvel semper aliquid novi" bit that can and should go down in the history books:

This comic shows us Peter Parker paralyzed by perfidious period pain! 

Yes! And it's delivered in a tone that strikes the perfect balance between hilarity and thoughtfulness. (It is also far more tasteful than I make it sound.)

"Hilarious" and "thoughtful" are in fact the perfect watchwords for this issue. It gives plenty of attention to the chaos the body swap causes in the characters' super-powered and personal lives. 

Eve Ewing's script is particularly insightful in the latter category, exploring all of the vast differences between Peter Parker and Kamala Khan. Young vs. old, male vs. female, Pakistani vs. white - each contrast receives memorable attention. It's not just cracking jokes, either; there is a profound and moving humanity in the way these two heroes connect. Peter's reflective joy in watching a youngster simply play with spider-powers, for example, is wonderful.

But the jokes aren't at all weak. Peter utterly failing to get the hang of Embiggening at the start is also wonderful, in a gut-bustingly funny way.

"Ms. Marvel's stretchy powers, but used incompetently" is just one of the artistic challenges this premise throws at artist Joey Vazquez. He home-runs that along with all the standard necessities of visual storytelling - smooth flow, emotive expressions, dynamic action - and delivers a thoroughly beautiful comic. The visuals are handled so carefully and so skillfully that you can tell the difference between the characters (i.e. between Peter and Kamala-in-Peter and vice versa) simply through body language. That is formidable attention to detail.

Felipe Sobreiro's colours do an easy-to-overlook job of maintaining the visual flow. Besides accurately portraying a wide range of different lighting conditions, the colours provide additional texture and detail exactly where the linework needs it. To say that Mr. Sobreiro gives the issue a stylish cel-shaded cartoon look actually risks selling him short; most cartoons only wish they were coloured this well.

Is it flawless? I guess not technically, no. This issue slams the brakes hard on the larger plot of fixing the body-swap or finding out why the Jackal kidnapped the scientist who's responsible for it. But the positively magical character work we get in place of plot development is just too dang good to dismiss. Faulting this issue too hard for putting the plot on hold would be like a restaurant critic complaining that her appetizer and dessert were interrupted by a superb Michelin-star-worthy entree.

In Marvel Team-Up #2, the creators go for broke mining out the full possibilities of a Spider-Man/Ms. Marvel body swap. The results are pure, heartwarming, delightful gold. It's a particular treat for Kamala fans, but Spidey fans won't be disappointed with the thoughtful, intimate look Kamala's perspective brings to him.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
Never mind "adult man" vs. "teen girl," this issue even addresses the biggest gulf of all - NJ vs. NY: "I didn't know you guys had hot dog carts in Jersey. No offense."