Spider-Man & Venom: Double Trouble #1 Review

by Harlan Ivester on November 06, 2019

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Gurihiru
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            I don’t think I’ve covered a book like this yet. The closest would have to be Marvel Rising, but this beats that demographic by a few years. When these kinds of books are done right, though, I love them. Children’s stories can be well executed and intelligent. Hopefully this will check both boxes?

            Well, it’s certainly not bad. I would rather Lord & Miller write it instead, however. I’m going to get my stupid nitpick out of the way: Venom uses plural pronouns. In a kids’ book that’s very light on continuity, I could understand avoiding that, but it seems really weird to still have a reference to Venom’s first appearance that will go over the heads of 99% of the readers. Anyway, this story is a simple one as you would expect, and most of this first issue is spent introducing readers to the main cast. The hijinks that compose the introductions are brisk and shallow. Kids will like them; older readers won’t care. The humor is never cringe inducing. But it won’t get a smile out of you either. Perfectly middle of the road.

            Do I even need to say that the art is fantastic? Gurihiru is primary reason I decided to give this book a shot. They bend their style to fit the tone of the book perfectly. It’s cute and delightfully expressive. I love that the colors are mostly flat and the shadows make up most of the palette’s range. I don’t actually care, but I think it’s funny that Spider-Man has such weird proportions compared to other, more normal looking people. Makes you wonder what his legs look like under the costume. Lastly, I’m glad Gurihiru doesn’t shy away from their style of paneling. I think a lot of childrens’ comics would strictly use simple layouts, and while these aren’t complex or experimental pages by any stretch of the imagination, I think the borders do make the book more unique and will make children feel more comfortable reading other comics.

            Spider-Man & Venom: Double Trouble #1 is fine. If you are a die-hard Gurihiru fan, then you obviously won’t be disappointed. I could understand someone wanting to pick this up just for the adorable art. Those hoping for a fun-for-the-whole-family script will be a little disappointed, but the youngest will have a good time. This wouldn’t be a bad place to start reading comics at all.

Our Score:


A Look Inside