Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13 Teaches You How To Science Five

by James Ferguson

Joined by the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man heads to Under York to overthrow a tyrannical ruler.  It’s just a bit outside of his wheelhouse, but that’s what needs to be done if he wants to avoid assassins coming after him and his neighbors.  They’ll need to rely on not just their superhuman abilities, but the power of science to get the job done.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13 deals with a revolution.  It’s clear that the man in charge of Under York is a despot willing to destroy everything if he doesn’t get his way.  As the group heads down, they discuss how far this place has fallen.  It was once a bastion of science and technology, but it was distorted when it was turned inward, pushing everyone else away.
Writer Tom Taylor balances deep concepts like this along with laugh-out-loud moments.  My personal favorite comes when Spider-Man and Reed Richards come together to work out a few ideas.  The Invisible Woman points out that they’re so in sync they’re not finishing each other’s sentences.  Instead, they’re trailing off together.  This culminates in an enthusiastic “Science Five” which I want to incorporate into my everyday life.  The reaction from the rest of the group is as hilarious as you’re probably imagining it to be.

Letterer Travis Lanham creates a nice flow with this as the dialogue from both Spider-Man and Reed weaves between each other.  You can practically hear how this sounds as they geek out.
A detriment to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13 comes in the artwork.  Four different artists contributed work to this book.  While Ken Lashley, Todd Nauck, Ig Guara, and Dike Ruan are all talented, it creates a very jarring reading experience as their styles are all different.  Some are better than others, with some great detail work one minute and then scratchy, sketch-like images the next.  I can’t give credit to a specific artist as the book doesn’t have pages attributed to each one.

Despite its underground location, Under York has a bright composition, although it’s almost too bright.  It’s more sun-drenched, like it’s faded over time.  Colorist Rachelle Rosenberg creates this harsh light that coincides with the fall from grace this city has had.  It was once glorious and hopeful and now it’s more of a dystopian landscape.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13 is about standing up for what’s right even if that means facing down an army and a maniacal ruler.  No one should be forced to live under a tyrant like this.  This story started out small on the street level and built into an all-out revolution.  It’s impressive how it’s been able to grow and evolve over the course of the series.  This layered storytelling is pretty great.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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