Comics : Actor Comics Presents

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This review was first published on: Jan 2013.

Background...

This is an 11-page full-colour original-content story starring Spider-Man. It appeared (with the approval of Marvel Comics) in the fund-raising TPB "Actor Comics Presents", an independent publication.

In Detail...

"My Hero"
Actor Comics Presents (Story 2)
SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears in an Original Story
Writer:  Ron Marz
Pencils:  Dan Jurgens
Inker:  Al Vey
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Review

This story is entitled "My Hero", and it opens with the line "I'm no hero" from Spider-Man as he swings around patrolling the city at 4am one rainy New York morning.

Spidey then spends the next six pages rounding up a quartet of armoured-car thieves. I'm not quite sure why it takes him so long, given that they have no super-powers and Spidey has the element of surprise. Lee and Ditko would have tidied that up in two panels, tops! Still, the extended telling does give us the maximum opportunity to enjoy the top-notch artwork from Jurgens, Vey and Brunner.

In-between his banter, Spider-Man provides an inner narrative explaining that he simply does what he does because "it's the right thing to do," and because it's the kind person his aunt and uncle raised him to be.

Well, yes, perhaps. But let's not forget that upon receiving his wonderful powers, Peter Parker's instinctive first action was to become a TV star. So this "it's just what I do" motif perhaps should be more like "it's just what I do... after my first option turned to poop and I got filled with guilt."

After defeating the bad guys, Spidey drops in at an all-night coffee shop to pick up a cup of hot Java (on credit, since he doesn't carry any change in his Spidey outfit). Spidey thanks the owner, Sam, calling him "my hero".

Spidey then swings off, coffee in hand. A minute later, Daredevil turns up at the same coffee shop for a late-night cup to go.

In General...

This story really is most elegantly illustrated. The pencils, inks and colors all work together perfectly on the high-grade glossy paper to offer a rich, sophisticated look that I wish was the industry standard.

Unfortunately, the "My Hero" concept just doesn't quite manage to crystallize into a consistent idea. Who is the hero? Spider-Man claims not to be a hero. Spider-Man calls Sam a "hero" for giving him a coffee on credit, but surely that's just being ironic. Spider-Man refers to the lessons his aunt and uncle taught him, but that's not really enough to suggest that they are heroes in any real sense.

So in the end, the whole "hero" concept just hangs in the air like the smell of a blocked New York sewer, without actually assembling itself into anything of meaning. Shame, really.

Overall Rating...

Gorgeous art, nice characterisation, dialogue is good, and an amusing little Daredevil cameo at the end.

Sadly, the underlying "hero" idea just floats around in the atmosphere and doesn't come to any point.

I'm still going to give it three webs, but it could have been so much more.