Review: ‘The Spider’ #6

A new arc begins in issue #6 of The Spider from Dynamite Entertainment. Unfortunately, it doesn’t manage to quite live up to the precedent established in its first five issues. The Spider’s trademark humor is largely absent, the art is uneven, and the villain is, well, less than intimidating. That said, there are some bright spots as well; new characters are introduced into the world of “The Spider” and there’s an interesting backstory to one of them. But it’s not enough to save this disappointing issue.

WRITER: David Liss
ARTIST: Colton Worley
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: November 21st, 2012

There are a number of flaws with “The Spider” #6, but perhaps the most irksome is the art. In man instances, it’s excellent. But in many others, there’s a lot to be desired. See, the style artist Colton Worley uses is a unique style with a heavily digital aesthetic. When it works, it works well, but if it’s even slightly off it distracts from the story being told. Characters sometimes seem vacant and lifeless, taking away from the impact of the script. The action scenes also, at times, feel claustrophobic and hard to follow.

There are also a number of issues with the David Liss’ plot. One of the best aspects of “The Spider” is the wit of Richard Wentworth. Unfortunately, aside from a minor quip in the men’s bathroom, that wit is conspicuously absent in the issue. In general, what makes “The Spider” an original book is absent, with one notable exception. This issue introduces us to Jackson, a former soldier who fought in Iraq with Wentworth, and who is attempting to atone for his past sins as a soldier in serving The Spider. It’s an interesting subplot and one that will hopefully be developed in the forthcoming issues.

Wingman is The Spider’s newest foil, and commits dastardly crimes with the help of his mind-controlled pigeons. Yes, pigeons. He’s not the most intimidating villain, to say the least. His identity – revealed at the issue’s end – has some interesting implications, but it’s not enough to overcome the fact that he has the ability to get pigeons to peck people to death.

This was a misstep in an otherwise fine series, so there’s not much to be concerned about. And while this issue has plenty of faults, it sets up future issues well. I’m still hopeful for the future of this series.

2/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – George Shunick