By Dan Slott, Roman Perez, Ian Herring
The first two entries of Learning To Crawl were pretty great. It didn’t disturb continuity (too much) and managed to tell an interesting story about Peter Parker’s first weeks as Spider-Man. Now, the story is starting to drag and there doesn’t seem to be much of a point to any of this, aside from a shameless cash-in for Marvel.
It’s hard to pinpoint the specifics of why this issue fails when the other two did not. For starters, the dialogue has gone downhill in a hurry. The charm is gone and is now replaced by boring and uninspired gibberish, which Slott can occasionally be known for.
Then there’s the characterization. Staples like Peter Parker, Aunt May, and Jameson are fine. This Clayton Cole/Clash guy? Not so much. That’s a problem when he’s a massive part of the story. This kid is genuinely annoying, with nothing of value to add to the Spider-Man mythology. Come to think of it, he’s a little like a smarter Alpha. We all know how Alpha worked out, so let’s not revisit that nightmare.
Speaking of Clash, is there any point to this story at all? This is a story that could have been wrapped up in two issues. If Slott has a point to any of this nonsense, he better make it quick.
As far as the art goes, Ramon Perez is still doing a fine job of mixing silver age styles with modern sensibilities thrown in. However, the coloring is weird. Certain panels will change styles and/or hues at random. This causes Perez’s generally solid work to look sloppy.
Overall, this issue was a disappointment. The first two issues set a standard that simply couldn’t continue to be met. Perhaps the next issue will give us a reason to be excited, but for now, we’ll have to be severely underwhelmed.