Recently on Twitter, I saw a tweet referring to Web Warriors as a “ray of sunshine every month.” I could not click “Like” fast enough, as I wholeheartedly agree. Writer Mike Costa and artist David Baldeon bring readers another fun chapter in the lives and times of a handful of favorite webslingers. Except this issue also brings some surprises from 2099!
I’m not going to spoil it, but I will tell you the 2099 (year, not quantity) surprises made me laugh. This installment is easily one of the more light-hearted adventures for the multi-dimensional webslingers. It opens with a rock concert and ends with one absurd concept from the “Spider-Verse” storyline pointing out the absurdity of another absurd concept.
And it has fun all the way through.
Costa lets the characters embrace the absurdity of the situation – a collective of Spider-Folk from various realities pooled together to thwart menaces across all reality. Yeah. Pretty heady stuff. One of two things can happen with that: it can become a chore or it can be enlightening and playful. Costa locks figurative creative arms with Baldeon, and the two of them opt for fun, inviting the readers in and running out of pages in Web Warriors #7 before they come anywhere near running out of ideas.
Baldeon has been the sparkplug of this series, crafting each character into a visual personality that accommodates what Costa writes. Even if the characters only appear in a pair or quartet of panels, Baldeon gives readers enough detail to inform the character’s complete appearance and a great deal of particular movements. This helps make Baldeon’s art playful and fun. A couple panels give readers some similar (but not cloned) characters that would take a moment or two to discern in straight black and white, but the entirety of Web Warriors #7 is filled with lively, vivacious art.
The characters bound across the pages with energy usually reserved for goofy cartoon characters in kids’ comics. Except the goofiness converts to energy, and Baldeon’s characters are charming and disarming. The artist packs in plenty of details, but never loses sight of the characters that need to be (and remain) front and center throughout the story. The artist really cuts loose on this issue, from Spider-Punk’s enlarged reaction (the zoom-in has to be the closest thing any comic can get to the fourth-wall-breaking monologs from the “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon) to Spider-Ham’s post-battle swagger.
Colorist Matt Yackey adds a tangible level of detail to the colored surfaces in Web Warriors #7. He doesn’t stop at lighting and hues, he adds depth and grit, such as in Karn’s helmet towards the climax of this issue. The red, port-covered helm is clearly metallic of some degree, but the metal is worn and eroded in spots, giving the surface rough character and selling Karn’s mystery and history more completely.
The exchange between Spider-Punk and Spider-Gwen is hilarious and entertaining, as Punk recognizes Gwen, who cautiously enters into the conversation only to be disgusted by Spider-Punk’s expletive-laced declaration. One panel showcases the collaboration between Costa, Baldeon, Wong/Magyar, Yackey, and Caramagna. Could the panel be successful without any one of the creators? Yes, the story would still be there, but the flavor and the personality present in the exchange truly relies on all of the creators to mesh.
Great interactions, like Anya discovering their foes have lasers and Gwen shouting out “Why?! Why do they have lasers?!” and journeys to other dimensions (including three different Earths in this issue!) fill each issue of Web Warriors with potential. That potential is limitless for foes and friends, as is demonstrated in the first scene of Web Warriors #7. Spider-Punk is rallying against the creative control exerted by the head of Toomestone records (think about it readers. If that doesn’t work, say it out loud), and letterer Joe Caramagna gets in on the action as well, peppering Spider-Punk’s dialog as the frontman for the Spider-Slayers with toned words that pop a bit more than simple italicized or bolded dialog choices. Spider-Punk cannot believe the audacity of Adrian Toomes to disrupt his concert, and it shows through in his actions as well as in the words of the characters.
Web Warriors #7 starts a new multi-part arc and does so with a bang and a laugh. Costa, Baldeon, and crew give readers a slice of what can happen with a concept like “Spider-Verse,” but they also allude that there are plenty more stories to be told, and plenty of characters to help tell those tales. The issue opens in one spot, but by the time readers close the back cover, they’ll have sampled “Spider-Verse” and found at least one thing to enjoy. This series continues to be unpredictable, but enjoyable, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Spider-Punk comes seeking the aid of the team in Web Warriors #7, written by Mike Costa with art by David Baldeon. He's not the only new character to appear in this issue though.