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Symbiote Spider-Man #1 Review

A highly entertaining issue that takes chances that make the book feel cutting edge.

Thanks to Saladin Ahmed‘s Symbiote Spider-Man solo story and its success Marvel has handed Peter David and Greg Land the reigns for a new miniseries. Out this week the untold story explores a period of Spider-Man’s life when he did not know his black costume was alive and because of its damaging effects on his body he became kind of a jerk. Get a taste of an angrier and darker Spidey here.

So what’s it about?

Read the preview.

Why does this matter?

On top of this being a highly entertaining and different time for the character (no more fun quips!) this story also utilizes a hot ticket villain these days in Mysterio. The character is made popular due to the new Spider-Man movie and how important he is in the Dead Man Logan series.

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

Mysterio does not have a great day in this story.
Credit: Marvel Comics

Greg Land positively dazzles with the art in this issue, smacking us in the face with an awesome full-page splash to open the story. In this splash, which you can see above, shows Mysterio battered and beaten and yet Spidey continues to want to beat him some more. It’s a moment where Spider-Man would usually back off and quip, but instead, he’s angry and looking to hurt Mysterio. As the story unfolds Spider-Man looks fantastic in the black costume with a lustrous and complex black design used by colorist Frank D’Armata. Inker Jay Leisten should get some credit here too as the book has a darker tone thanks to the inks. In an iconic page everyone will be talking about the art team does an exceptional job with a highly emotional location in New York City popping up.

As far as the story is concerned Peter David is doing a great job and delivering on the angrier more edgy Spider-Man. Fans of Black Cat are going to love this since she’s the main love interest, at least in this first issue, and David does a great job capturing the complexity of their relationship. This is a more adult Spider-Man to be sure and you see that in the relationship he’s got with Black Cat. David lays out all the main relationships well too scattering appearances from Jameson, Aunt May, and key players in Mysterio’s corner too. There’s even an appearance from a classic villain we haven’t seen in ages. Good stuff.

Pray to me!
Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect, can it?

The cliffhanger left me wanting more leaving us with the idea that a threat is looming, but not what it will be. Given there’s always a threat looming from Spider-Man’s robust lineup of villains this ending makes the issue practically a one-shot story.

Is it good?

A great first issue in a series I wager most fans can’t get enough of. The Symbiote suit era of Spider-Man is highly unique offering a moodier Spider-Man many can enjoy in its own right. David and Land have created a highly entertaining issue that takes chances that make the book feel cutting edge.

Symbiote Spider-Man #1
Is it good?
A great first issue in a series I wager most fans can't get enough of. The Symbiote suit era of Spider-Man is highly unique offering a moodier Spider-Man many can enjoy in its own right. David and Land have created a highly entertaining issue that takes chances that make the book feel cutting edge.
Sharp art
Black Cat hearts Spidey, woo!
Strong Aunt May scene with Black Cat
The cliffhanger could have been an ending not really setting the next chapter up
9.5
Great
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