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 (although he's currently the Superior Spider-Man, taken over by Doctor Octopus) and Magneto is an X-Man (although he's kind of a bad good guy).
The Superior Spider-Man heads to Boondocks, Nevada. He makes his way down into a secret base, prepared to fight, to find Magneto surrounded by dozens of defeated and beaten AIM soldiers! Magneto fills Spider-Man in on everything he already knows: MODOK and AIM abducted a teenager and murdered his parents. He also reveals that the boy is a mutant and that MODOK wants to turn the boy into a WMD! Magneto has already memorised the base and knows what the are up against!
Level One: Acid-Spraying Chamber with AIM drones with chainsaws for arms!
Level Two: Retractable Metal-Spike Deathtrap with drones and little drones who have sharp teeth and fly using jetpacks!
Level Three: The Room Of Stench with drones and a gigantic mutated rhino with a human brain!
Level Four: Sticky Room with drones, cybernetic spheres covered with knives that are programmed with and abnormal sex drive!
Final Level: MODOK's torture chamber!
They battle through the levels with ease. As they approach, Magneto is not worried by MODOK and classifies him as a posturing super-villain, among a kind who pose and display their own insecurities through garish iconography and phallic extensions of their own evil impotence (taking the form of wings, gauntlets, clones or even foolish metal tentacles!). He even muses over a super-villains' need to repeat offend in a self-defeating pattern of self-loathing! As you can appreciate, the Superior Spider-Man takes offense at these claims and opinions!
To prove his point, MODOK emerges from his torture chamber, spouting off a typical rant/tirade! Magneto shushes him and, controlling the metal in his chair, slams him into the walls and then crushes his mechanical support system! He and Spider-Man approach the mutant boy and tell him about his newfound powers. The boy freaks out, announcing that he despises mutants and than, one day, he will return to make mutants pay! Vengeance will be his...! and with that he flies off out of the base! Spider-Man comments that a set of metal tentacles may be in his future...!
The Superior Spider-Man gets owned by Magneto and it is a joy to behold! He is out-thought, out-villained, exposed and out-gunned at each and every turn and we take great pleasure in letting Max Bemis bring him down a peg or two!
These ten pages contain laugh-out-loud comedy, creativity, style, timing and truth. That everything Magneto says is true is what makes it so nerve-touching and, coming from him, even more so! He proves himself far superior and is gloriously dismissive of AIM and MODOK that you nearly feel sorry for the team-up that Spider-Man walked into. It's excellent writing to achieve this.
Only the wonderful self-mockery and humour in the final lines about tentacles is what gives Spider-Man a win over him.
It isn't all down to Bemis's clever writing though. David Lafuente, famous for his work on Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, fires on all cylinders and proves himself to be a perfect match for the farcical elements of the AIM base and the comedic elements of the two main characters. I adore the rhino drinking tea in the computer-game style page and Magneto's hand gestures as MODOK is destroyed are perfectly delivered.
The only fault I can find is the cover, where Lafuente seems to try too hard with his Spider-Man figure and isn't quite as natural as the internal panels.
Quirky, funny, intriguing and looks great.