This is how you end a comic book series. Not only do Mike Costa and David Baldeon tie up all of the loose ends in Web Warriors #11, but they left the door cracked open enough for an eventual return or even for any future appearance anywhere, any time. Better still, they do it all in a complete story within this issue.
The series ends as it began, with the Web Warriors – assorted Spider-Man analogs from across the Marvel multiverse – coming together to face off against the Battery, who just so happen to be a collective of Electros (say that out loud, it’s pretty fun). Of course Web Warriors #11 isn’t all slinging webs and blasts of electricity, there are some character bits, and there is a bigger threat, one that is so large and ingrained in the Spider-Man mythos that it truly doesn’t matter which universe it’s from: readers know the webheads are in for a real fight.
Costa keeps the tone of the issue light and the action brisk. He celebrates the ensemble nature of the issue and the continuity of the series, and he gives characters like Karn and Spider-Ham moments to shine. These are all hallmarks of Costa’s work on Web Warriors. It only makes sense that he employs those same choices in the final issue of the series. It’s also the heart of what made this series so darn much fun. From page to page, panel to panel, you have no idea what to expect.
Were we going to see Spider-Ham punch someone over an ill-timed bacon comment? Would there be a giant Electro robot thing fighting with Uncle Ben? Sure. Why not? Costa keeps the issue fun, despite the fact that not only are lives potentially at stake, and the Spider-People have teamed up with some questionable allies, but the multiverse itself is threatened. It’s not angsty, nor is it hideously grim and gritty. It’s fun for the sake of celebrating the multitude of creative possibilities in the medium of comic books.
Anything can happen, and, with the right artist, it can all be immersive.
The brisk action in Web Warriors #11 makes for a lot of opportunity for Baldeon to shine, whether it be in his rock-solid storytelling or his wonderfully whimsical character designs. Some of the most fun moments are the big battlefield pieces, with dozens of iterations of characters slugging it out. Baldeon has no prescribed list, but that doesn’t keep him from having fun and inviting the readers in on it all.
Baldeon’s characters are expressive – through body language and facial features – and animated, both in the cartoon-like sense as well as the lively sense. Baldeon puts just as much acting into the characters’ body language as he does facial expressions. Even better, Baldeon delivers a wide range of character physiques, height, and movement range. In short, Baldeon makes a world – no, a multiverse of difference to Web Warriors #11, just as he has done throughout the series. A quintet of inkers and a trio of colorists keep up with Baldeon throughout the issue, with minor wobbles (the giant Electro-bot varies from electric blue to voltage yellow) and letterer Joe Caramagna puts a fine sheen on everything.
If I were prone to cry about comics I love being cancelled, I’d be devastated that Web Warriors #11 is the finale. But that’s not me. The upside is that I’ve got all of the issues, I enjoyed the entire series, and there’s ample opportunity for any combination of these characters and creators to pop up again. Even better, with the tools we have at our disposal as comic fan, Web Warriors is available to as wide an audience as any comic book ever has been. So if you missed it, I’m not here to cast blame, I can only recommend you learn from your mistakes, choose your favorite method (floppy, collected, digital, or digital collected) and check this series out at the next available opportunity. You can thank me later, but be sure to thank Mike Costa and David Baldeon first. They truly brought a lot of heart and joy to this series every single issue.
Just in time for the next Spider-Man-centric event, Web Warriors #11 brings the series to a close, giving writer Mike Costa and artist David Baldeon one last chance to sling some webs with some fan-favorite characters.