W.E.B. of Spider-Man is an all-ages miniseries recently wrapped up and made available in trade paperback. From creators Kevin Shinick, Alberto Alburquerque, and Rachelle Rosenberg, it’s a five-issue series that’s lighthearted and takes place outside continuity. That makes it an easy book to dive into for all readers, but can it sustain the attention of adults and kids alike?
The most entertaining aspect of this series is how it plays with Peter Parker’s secret identity. The book actually opens with a Spider-bot calling him out as Spider-Man when he’s in street clothes without his costume on. Throughout the adventure, he’s forced to pretend he’s not Spider-Man with his new W.E.B. team that consists of Lunella Lafayette aka Moon Girl, the Wakandan Onome, the boy from Iron Man 3 Harley Keener, and Squirrel Girl. W.E.B., or the Worldwide Engineering Brigade, is a team put together with the aid of Spider-Man and Iron Man.
The concept of W.E.B. is an interesting one, but in truth, the comic actually ties into the recent ride at Disneyland which heavily features the spider-bots that pop up throughout the story. This group could change the world, but the narrative sends them immediately off to resolve a virus issue. This is no simple virus, however, but a holographic representation of Spider-Man villains that are hacking the group. That said, the purpose of this group is barely explored and instead focuses on the team trying to work together.
You can tell this book is made for kids because the central resolution revolves around the W.E.B. team working together. That includes Peter Parker, who spends a good deal of energy figuring out how to get into the Spider-Man costume without the W.E.B. team figuring out he’s a superhero. As the story plays out there are some clever ways to get these characters working together, but it’s still a simpler story structure that is geared more for kids. The stakes never feel high enough and the story is about as dramatic as a Saturday morning cartoon, which is likely by design.
Art by Alburquerque is good, using a simpler layout style throughout. Highlights include the Tron-looking universe the characters get sucked into–and a killer full-page splash of an enemy falling to pieces–and Green Goblin whenever he shows up. There’s good variety in the action, like a plane sequence and plenty of fight scenes involving holograms. There’s also a killer double-page spread of the team that homages Liberty Leading the People that’s the right amounts of goofy and inspiring.
It is interesting to see how Shinick weaves together characters from the comics and movies, making an entirely different universe. I’ve never been to Disneyland so it’s possible this story exclusively lives in that universe. At face value, it’s a nice melding of different characters from different areas of the Marvel brand.
W.E.B. of Spider-Man is a good pickup for younger readers between the ages of 10 and 13. Older Marvel readers can definitely find some interesting melding of Marvel properties at work if you can get past the simple drama and low-stakes action.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!