I have mentioned before my platonic man-love for Jeff Parker and everything that he writes. Just click on his name in the 'Labels' below to see me gush like a scary stalker fanboy on two previous reviews (I can link them in this here post but I'm lazy tonight). Anyway, Jeff Parker is known as the guy who writes those fun, not in continuity stories for Marvel and probably the only writer in comics right now whose stuff I have no problems giving to my kids to read without censoring them first. He does it again here with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four: Silver Rage which collects the four issue limited series of the same name.
The plot: an alien race, the H'moj, has chosen Earth as their new home and the human population as their new host bodies. That is how these alien creatures survive and evolve -- by searching for an inhabited planet and grafting themselves onto the planet's population until they decide the planet is no longer suitable and they move on. The H'moj see their actions as a favour to the local inhabitants of each planet they colonise since they're oh, so advance and just need bodies, that's all.
So naturally the heroes beat the crap out of them. Or at least try to.
Silver Rage is a lighter version of a typical Galactus vs. FF story. The H'moj even have an alien who volunteered to be the H'moj's advance scout in return for sparing his planet but this guy doesn't soliloquise like the Silver Surfer. YAY! There's nothing like a self pitying alien on a surfboard to bore the kids to sleep.
Jeff Parker gives us what we expect from a good Spidey-Fantastic Four team up. Ben Grimm clobberin'? Check. Spider-Man and Johnny Storm interacting with each other? Check. Reed Richards trying to figure things out? Of course. Sue putting up force fields? Yup, it's all there.
And the Impossible Man pops up (heh) early on in the story but gets killed fighting the aliens. To say anything more would be spoilerish....oh, all right...it's the Impossible Man, he can't die. He doesn't turn up again until the last page but his DNA help resolve the crisis.
This is a straightforward action adventure story with aliens and guys in spandex hitting each other. It's fun and a quick read and you don't need to know anything about the characters to enjoy it. Perfect for the kids. Pencils by the late Mike Weiringo is perfect for this book. I was never a big fan of 'Ringo but that's only because I think his style is more suited to fun, breezy stories such as Silver Rage. The first time I saw his stuff was when he debuted in DC's Flash and they were putting Wally West through the meat grinder at the time. Dark, brooding stories and Weiringo's drawing style do not mix. My opinion.
Also, Doom has a cameo and the best two lines in the entire comic:
"The Four! Wretched Curs!"
He doesn't care what century he's in. Doom will always speak like he's in a Renaissance Faire.