Spider-Man is having one of his zaniest adventures ever, but make no mistake, it’s also incredibly dangerous! Peter Parker is Spider-Man no more, but a doctor might recommend reversing that quickly. In this fourth issue, things become more dire and a surprising blast from the past villain returns.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Nick Spencer is a writer I’ve grown to love in the last year. His work on Secret Empire was great and the lead up with Captain America was even better. His ability to write character drama is fantastic, making him a perfect choice for Spider-Man, and so far he’s nailed it. Ryan Ottley is an artist who has, for years, drawn in a style that belongs in a Spider-Man book. He nails it too. So here we are, two creators who belong on this title.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I never thought I’d love the Tri-Sentinel so much, but Spencer and Ottley pull that off with flying colors in this issue. I don’t want to spoil it since it’s such a fantastic double page splash by Ottley, but let’s just say Spider-Man abuses the poor evil menace. The origin of this character is so weird (Loki had something to do with it) it’s almost natural to be in a Spider-Man comic, and the culprit behind the machine is revealed here. In fact, that culprit gets a major focus with heavy dialogue-chewing scenes peppered throughout the issue. You can tell Spencer loves writing these villains since this character gets so much focus and it’s actually refreshing to see the villain ham it up on his lonesome too.
This issue also continues to show the wide divide between the life of simple Peter Parker and the life of celebrity in Spider-Man. It’s becoming clear something is up with Spider-Man, who is way too ego driven. That becomes clearer in this issue too, building on the slow boil calamity that’ll blow things up down the road.
The biggest surprise in this series so far is how well Spencer is yanking Peter Parker’s character to the forefront. The calm and concerned personality is clearly shining through and it’s helping to show how the man under the costume is a big part of the hero we all know and love. Powers and muscles aren’t everything, guys.
Ottley continues to do a great job with his pencils. He shows off his talents drawing robotics and mechanical things throughout the issue and handles the dialogue scenes as well as ever (he did draw Invincible for a time).
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue is light on the splashy action scenes and focuses much more on characters. The balance is a bit off, slowing the pace — and the asides from the villain aren’t helping things. I’m tuned into the bigger story though, and Peter’s character, so it wasn’t much of a factor in how much I enjoyed the issue, but for a primo superhero book it’s light on visual delights.
Is it good?
A good issue that further surprises and tantalizes with its character work.