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Marvel’s Spider-Man: City At War #4 Review

This series continues to show how ripe the PS4 universe is for further comic book storytelling.

With just three issues left, the Gamerverse continues this week in the fourth installment of City at War. In this latest issue, Doc Ock is born, Peter staves off a supervillain, and MJ must deactivate a bomb. No biggy.

So what’s it about?

Read the full preview.

Why does this matter?

As the story speeds ever closer to the finale of the PS4 video game we all know and love, Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum and Michele Bandini continue to give readers more of what we love: Peter and MJ doing their best!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Nice visual storytelling going on.
Credit: Marvel Comics

This issue is very much about Doctor Octavius and how he went from a kind man to a man desperately trying to save himself. It’s a clever reimagining of the character, combining Norman Osborn and Otto via their science and their bond in college. It’s certainly one of the bigger twists in the video game and it plays out well here. Doc Ock is on his own and via captions, Hallum helps reveal how this good man has rationalized his way into becoming a supervillain. He wants revenge, he’s angry about his body failing him, and he needs an outlet. Unfortunately for New York, that means putting civilians in harm’s way.

While that’s going on, Peter and MJ are attempting to stop Mr. Negative from releasing a chemical called Devil’s Breath on New York. The tension in the scene is rendered very well by Bandini with colors by David Curiel and letters by Travis Lanham. The angle of MJ looking down at the bomb, which sits in the foreground between MJ and the reader, helps solidify the threat before her. At the same time, Spidey is fighting for his life and trying to talk her through how to deactivate the thing. The back and forth between them is fun thanks to the casual nature of Peter Parker, but also because it shows how damn strong he is since he can fight a villain and give directions at the same time.

The art has some stellar moments in layout design too. In a double page spread Doc Ock’s arms deviate panels across two pages, revealing flashback moments between Doc Ock and Norman. The juxtaposition of Otto as a good man being abused by Norman with his mechanical arms slithering across the page adds to the threat level that’s brewing.

For such a good man he sure has some evil design ideas.
Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect, can it?

This issue didn’t hold as many surprises as previous chapters, sticking mostly to the video game plot. There’s some new dialogue, obviously, the angles are changed, and some of the stories is truncated to fit into the comic book format, but seeing more of this world via the comic has become a highlight that’s limited here.

Is it good?

This series continues to show how ripe the PS4 universe is for further comic book storytelling. Both creators are doing a great job retelling the video game story and I can’t wait to see how it evolves from here.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: City At War #4
Is it good?
This series continues to show how ripe the PS4 universe is for further comic book storytelling. Both creators are doing a great job retelling the video game story and I can’t wait to see how it evolves from here.
Good visual storytelling
Does well to truncate the Doc Ock origin in a few pages
If you've played the game this doesn't add a lot
9
Great
Comments

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