REVIEW: The Spider #8

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A homicidal hypnotist has stolen nitroglycerin for nefarious explosive deeds and only Richard Wentworth, the Spider, is able to stop him! Or at least he should since it’s his building that’s in danger of getting blown sky high. More after the jump!

SpiderCoverTHE SPIDER #8
Writer: David Liss
Artist: Ivan Rodriguez
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Colorist: Vinicius Andrade
Editor: Joe Rybandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in The Spider: When her husband was kidnapped and presumed dead, Richard Wentworth and Nita van Sloan were driven to each other’s arms for comfort. However, after Wentworth, as the Spider, found and saved Stanley Kirkpatrick, Nita’s husband, from the serial killer Lazarus, things have been odd between the two.

HATER’S GONNA HATE

Richard Wentworth is once again tasked with saving the greater New York area from yet another larger-than-life lunatic. This time, it’s a homicidal hypnotist, called the Hater, who’s hell-bent on blowing up Wentworth Industries with enough nitroglycerine to level the Twin Towers. If that wasn’t enough to cripple Wentworth Industries, the Hater is going after Richard Wentworth himself by targeting Wentworth’s closest friends, including Nita van Sloan, the love of his life and ex-widowed wife of his best friend. And yes, they actually used the Twin Towers as an example of leveling. Too soon? ‘Spose that’s up to the reader.

Compared to the previous issues in this series, this is a very poor issue. The plot is slow and more in-line with the cheesy sort of pulp noir that gives the genre it’s taboo name. The previous issue had an engaging story line and stood on it’s own as a one-issue story-arc, but this one is just dragging. It’s not interesting and it’s bland, which is really unfortunate since this was one of the better Dynamite titles out there.

Also, the Hater has a very distracting name if one is familiar with slang or Internet memes.

I MISS COLTON WORLEY

This is Ivan Rodriguez’s second issue as the new illustrator and he isn’t a terrible artist. He’s actually pretty good and manages to render characters fairly well. He’s done some nice work in Vampirella and continues to do some nice work in the Spider. He’s also made some interesting stylistic choices. Some of the panel breaks are often broken up by the same webbing detail found on the Spider’s suit. It’s a nice change for the eyes from the regular panel breaks and makes it visually pretty to look at.

Problem is, after seeing Colton Worley’s art, the art for the Spider now is just average. Worley’s art was beautiful and realistic, not the typical norm for comics, and really added the little extra oomph to this series. Without that now, it just feels like every other book out there. It’s a shame, but, then again, one couldn’t expect Worley to keep up the stellar work he did on a monthly basis. It was inevitable that they’d eventually bring in someone who does good work, just not the same level.

BOTTOM LINE: SLOW PLOT, AVERAGE ARTWORK… MEH…

This issue was a disappointment. Having been spoiled with Colton Worley’s art for so long, Ivan Rodriguez’s seems bland in comparison. Not horrible, but not amazing either. With a clichéd and uninteresting plot, one hopes that this isn’t a sign of things to come. With any luck, the plot will pick up and the Spider won’t become one of those titles that vanishes into obscurity. Here’s hoping.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

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