I have always been a fan of the What If and Elseworlds series — they are the best way to take your favorite characters down a different path, one that doesn’t affect continuity. Plus, as fans before the internet and message boards, this is the kind of stuff we would theorize and talk about. I am so glad that Marvel is keeping the legacy of What If alive in the form of an intriguing miniseries. Plus, check out that awesome new logo:
From the solicit of Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow we get the following:
WHAT IF PETER PARKER BECAME VENOM? Peter Parker once put on an alien suit that nearly destroyed his life – but what if he’d never taken it off? Ignoring every warning, Spidey embraces the dark symbiote! Haunted by terrible nightmares and exhausted by an endless barrage of bad guys, Peter can’t seem to catch a break these days. So when the Hobgoblin attacks, he finds a hero at the end of his rope…and vulnerable to new dark impulses. Spider-Man is about to change his rules – but is it truly Peter who is in charge? Creative powerhouses Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth bring you a terrifying tale of a Peter Parker possessed and on the edge!
This is a dark look at Spider-Man keeping the symbiote. Some of you may be wondering, why bother with this since it has been played out before? I mean, What If Vol. 2 #4 had the idea and told the tale, while we also have writer Peter David and artist Greg Land giving us tales of Peter Parker in the Symbiote Spider-Man series of stories, one of which just tied into King In Black. The David/Land series seems more like a “lost tales” of Peter in the symbiote suit and that What If issue was just limited to one comic — here in this four-issue series, we are going to see a deconstruction of Peter Parker. While I feel like I might know what is coming because of that old What If issue, I honestly was shocked to see what did happen…so anything is fair game!
I like the art style that Pasqual Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth bring to this issue, as it has just the right vibe: darker, and even dreamy, especially when you see the nightmares that Peter is experiencing. I thought it was great to see how Pasqual worked the webbing and the symbiote tendrils — they were very erratic and all over the place, which is great because it really does create a tell that Peter is off center. The action scenes are a perfect blend of scary situations and haunting illusions that would stress our hero out. Plus, I really just like that this is a Peter Parker who isn’t on his game and the art really shows him slipping, which amps the story nicely.
We will be treated to some guest stars and classic villains in this series, starting with this issue. Chip Zdarsky’s choice for the opener was just perfect to set the tone of going over the edge. When the hero and villain first engage with each other I thought that was the end of it, but in the second half of the story I was super surprised at how far things will go.
This is looking to be a great story of the struggle of a good man as he has to fight his own dark inner impulses, and Chip inflicts some real torture on his main characters. There is also a write up after the story from Chip that just gives you a rundown of what to expect from this new era. Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #1 is the perfect opener to this, and I really look forward to what else is coming from this new run of What If!
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