Review: ‘The Spider’ #1

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What do you get when you cross Batman and Rorschach? If the answer isn’t obvious, reading the first 3 pages of Dynamites newest vigilante tale, The Spider, has your answer. It’s not often, as The Spider points out, that heroes in comics, tv, movies, etc, get their hands dirty, but when a highly trained military personnel decides enough is enough…well I won’t ruin the blood pumping surprise.

WRITTEN BY: David Liss
ART BY: Colton Worley
PUBLISHER: Dynamite
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: Out Now

Richard Wentworth, a self-sacrificing, former military elite, tends to dip into the booze a bit too often, but as an outlet, Mr. Wentworth has an alter ego who happens to enjoy kicking ass while completely sauced. The Spider does not play place nice. Whether the street thug is shoring up a cash register or trying to get freaky with a fine young woman, they end up with a bullet in the face. Now that’s my kinda crime fighting! The final pages take a wicked turn down Horror Street, and not a moment too soon. Based on the way this issue ended, “The Spider” looks to be another promising series from Dynamite.

As soon as I began reading, I had a distinct feeling of déjà vu, haven’t I seen this style somewhere before? Oh yeah it’s called “Watchmen”. But then again “Spider” is originally a pulp story from the 1930s, which Rorschach was based on. It’s almost as if this hard boiled style of hero has come full circle in the literary world. Dynamite is bringing back the pulp, grit, and noir to their lineup, and so far it’s been a blast. The updated New York streets make the city more alive than ever, and the pulp hero fits oddly well outside of the Depression era.

The story builds up the protagonist’s background in a flash, allowing him to dive right in to the eerie action. While the storyline has a Watchmen/pulp feel to it, the art, on the other hand, does not chime with either of those styles. Colton Worley does an excellent job blending a real world feel with the comic style. The pages are dark and shadow-heavy, yet there’s still a vibrancy to is at times such as the scene in Chinatown. The layouts themselves are product of a J.H. Williams III influence, and it’s a pleasure to see a more experimental style.

All in all, this a very healthy dose of awesome. It’s a solid first installment and shows a lot of potential for future plotlines. Pulp is back, my friends, get it while it’s hot!

- Reviewed by: GreenBasterd