Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: Ty Templeton(p), Tom Palmer & Drew Geraci(i), Sotocolor's J. Rauch(c)
Think of all the great super-hero friendships DC lost to Crisis. Batman/Superman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman/Batman, Supergirl/Batgirl, Huntress/Power Girl. Hell, even Jimmy Olsen/Robin. Ffft! Snuffed out. Worse. Never existed.
Spider-Man/Human Torch? Bedrock. This whole series has just reminded me that all of the good stuff I miss from DC is still at Marvel. Namor/Sue Storm. Iron Man/Captain America. Black Panther/Fantastic Four. Spider-Man/Human Torch. Marvel has never wiped out their continuity, and any comics that don't fit were just comic books published by Marvel Comics, which has been established in the continuity.
Dan Slott with Ty Templeton concocts another fun little tale that moves Spidey and the Torch closer. It also counts. Slott deftly mentions Spidey's current status as an Avenger, and you really don't even need to know that. He could have just been referring to one of the many Marvel team-ups the web-slinger had. He also subtly shows Spidey's promise to MJ to bring her into his world as much as possible; an example of Straczynski when he was writing while on his medication.
Slott sets the story and the jokes in Spidey's current habitat--an auditorium in the school where he teaches. The danger is real to the students but small potatoes for the heroes if Spidey can get through the Torch's dense layer of hot fog. Never underestimate one's own stupidity. Ty Templeton in the scene shows off a stunning knowledge of anatomy and body language. The expression is artistically complicated, but he perfectly nails it in an economy of panels.
See what happens when you have a cohesive, stable universe. You get payoff stories like the one in Spider-Man/Human Torch. Pivotal, sentimental, optimistic and fun.
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