A villain with an Egyptian motif, a guy kinda dressed like a spider, and a raging case of the zombies could make for interesting reading.. then again, maybe not. Dynamite Entertainment’s The Spider #4 made its debut this week, and Major Spoilers took a peek inside.
Previously in The Spider: Having been kicked off the investigation, Richard Wentworth is set on confronting Anput as The Spider. Unfortunately, it seems more and more people are figuring out Wentworth and The Spider are one and the same, and when Anput threatens everyone near and dear to him, Wentworth’s plans take a different path – right down to the baseball field where the toxin has been released, turning the fans into rabid zombies.
A LAUGHING MATTER
Wentworth does what he can to help those at the baseball field, and though he’s able to save more than a dozen people, some cops, like Joe Hilt, continue try to bring the vigilante down. Though Wentworth is able to evade custody, Hilt’s continued squabble with the Chief of Police over the matter does come to a head, and it’s pretty easy to see who is being paid off by Anput to get The Spider out of her way. Wentworth helps persuade Nita to leave town, and confronts his father once again claiming his father’s company is somehow helping to create the mind altering gas. Things come to a dramatic conclusion when Wentworth, with the help of his friends, tracks Anput to her hideout, only to be given a taste of the zombie drug.
For the most part, a large portion of this issue feels like a rehash of the issue before. We’ve already seen Wentworth and Hilt exchange words, we’ve seen Wentworth confront his father, and we’ve seen Wentworth continuing to pine away over the love of his life. For a fourth in what looks to be a six issue arc, I can deal with some wheel spinning. This issue does have a cliffhanger moment that encourages the reader to come back for more, which is nice. We already know the villain’s motives, so what we really need at this point is a resolution on how the hero defeats the bad guys. With these things in mind there really aren’t that many problems with the issue.
However, the one thing that stood out more than anything I noticed in previous issues was David Liss’s attempt at injecting humor into the story. It seems every panel has one pun, off comment, or comment made by the hero that seemed out of character. Like I said, I don’t remember this being so in your face before, so this was a real put off and seemed really out of character for Wentworth and his alter-ego The Spider. Though the moments were worth a chuckle here and there, these dialogue moments seemed more appropriate for that other Spider-Guy than a noir crime fighting hero.
BORDERING ON 3D
Compared to the last issue, Colton Worley has really stepped up his game. There are moments when it looks like we are looking at a fully 3D rendered model that has been adjusted in Adobe Photoshop – and that isn’t a bad thing. Panels look stunning (especially on an iPad), and the use of shallow depth of field, and moments that give the illusion of a rack focus from one panel to the next bring the issue together. As I mentioned in the last review, this art is unlike most of what we are seeing from Dynamite Entertainment; I really like how it was used in this issue, and want to see more.
BOTTOM LINE: TENTATIVE BUY
I’ve liked The Spider to this point, but the out of character humor really threw me this time out. On the other hand, Mr. Worley’s art really jumps off the digital page and blew me away. The story does move the plot forward, and the art is pleasing to the eyes, so I’m giving this issue a Tentative Buy. Had this issue not fallen to the mid-arc doldrums, it might have flowed a bit better. Still, The Spider #4 is entertaining enough to earn 3.5 out of 5 Stars.