Comics : A+X #4

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This review was first published on: Apr 2014.

Background...

The Avengers and X-Men had a big fight. They made up and now they're teaming up in a variety of short stories across the A+X title. Spider-Man is an Avenger and Beast is an X-Man.

In Detail...

"Planet of the Beasts"
A+X #4
Mar 2013 : SM Guest
Summary: The Beast + The Amazing Spider-Man
Editor:  Nick Lowe
Writer/Artist:  Kaare Andrews
Colorist:  Lee Loughridge
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Spider-Man and Beast realise that, as they tussled, they have travelled through time to the future. The city is in terrible decay and they are set upon by a horde of zombies! As they debate whether they are "dead" or "undead", they run away! Spidey webs onto a flagpole and swings them away from danger but the flagpole snaps and they fall towards a giant pile of the creatures! An explosion hits the zombies just before they land and their remains cushion their fall! They recover and find they have been rescued by armoured beings.

They are taken into a compound where they are to meet the Queen. The soldiers unmask to reveal that they are all blue and beastlike! They hail Beast as the "Origin Maker" and (scantily clad) Queen Talia welcome Beast into her chambers.

Spider-Man is carried away... and thrown through some curtains into a packed arena of beasts. Spidey tried to talk his way out of the situation, but when the Goliacat is released and promptly pops the head off the announcer, he knows he's in trouble!

As Spidey gets attacked and mauled, Beast is being flattered by Talia. He learns that she send for him in order to mate with her! Beast demands to know where Spider-Man is and she opens the curtain to watch the fight! She explains that Beast led the revolution against man, protected his bloodline from a pandemic virus and then turned all those dead into zombies to punish them even further! Why would he protect this one man now? Beast leaps from the balcony and, with the aid of some quick physics, puts down the Goliacat! Talia is furious with Beast and banishes him! With a tear in his eye, he explains that, although he appears a beast, he never stopped being a man...

Back home, Spidey and Beast have ice cream in the park. Spidey wonders what made Beast snap in order to destroy the planet and bring all those dead back as zombies and, as he does so, a young boy points at Beast and says, "You look funny." His mother responds: "Timmy! Leave that poor dog alone. He could have rabies..."!

In General...

Kaare Andrews creates a hilarious and outstanding ten pages here as he captures both characters instantly, slams them into an outrageous situation, throws in some action and even has a small poignant moment behind why Beast saves Spidey.

There's no messing around with panels or set up, each page is packed with story and time to perfection. There's no massive splash pages (there can't be in a story this short) but Andrews chooses to construct his pages to allow for a reveal of the Goliacat (love this name!) and to pace the story perfectly.

This is a complicated tale, with some clever ideas all meshed together. You don't even think about the motivation behind Beast actually snapping until that final panel and the expression Andrews gives Beast in that panel is utterly priceless.

His expressive art has always hooked me. He seems to have nailed his character proportions here and doesn't put a foot wrong.

Expressions, dialogue, timing and the fact Spider-Man doesn't need to be anything but comic relief all combine to make this a very, very funny depiction of Spider-Man.

Well done Mr. Andrews, you've perfectly executed a ten-page team-up.

Overall Rating...

Kaare Andrews has lots of fun here... and so do we! An intelligent and truly funny 10 pages!