If you loved the Spider-Man PS4 game, you’re in for a treat this week as Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum and Emilio Laiso are writing the very first new story in the Gamerverse. Now that “City at War” is over and the main story of the video game is in comic book form, an original story in that universe can be told. Hallum spoke at length about Velocity on the AiPT! Comics Podcast and from what he said, new characters and world building will be explored in this new series.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Aside from adding to the video game universe, this series will most likely bridge the first game with the inevitable sequel. What better way to stay immersed in the game than to read the comic series that’ll develop characters and story?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue picks up with an action sequence where Spidey fights Swarm. We got a hint of this villain in “City at War,” but he’s given a bit more room to breathe here. Very quickly it’s clear this is a different universe due to the character design of Swarm and the costume Spider-Man is wearing as he fights this bad guy. Hallum and Laiso do well to capture Spider-Man’s ability to mix hard hits with strategy and using his noggin. It’s one of the wackier villains and it plays well into the main threat that’s being established in later on since it’s an enemy that doesn’t immediately make logical sense.
Mary Jane gets a good deal of page time as she shadows with superstar reporter Ben Urick. She’s enamored with him due to his track record as a great journalist and it’s fun to see Mary Jane’s turn as a reporter further developing. She’s very much a main character here and she’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (maybe more so than Peter). Much like the game, it’s her investigating that helps cue Peter into a greater threat he would have otherwise missed.
The main story for Spider-Man revolves around the Velocity suit, which has an adequate reason for its development. The science element, or the trial and error of science, is worked into the plot well with this suit’s development. The fact that Peter can be totally armored–and even beaten with a crowbar–without budging is quite cool and should ramp up what kind of villain he can fight as the story pushes forward.
Artist Laiso (with color artist Rachelle Rosenberg and letters by Travis Lanham) excels at the Spider-Man scenes. The PS4 suit looks great and there’s good detail in the curves of Spider-Man’s body that make him pop. Subtle details like a ridge around the eyes add to the reality of the suit too. Mary Jane is excellently rendered–maybe even better than Peter–and she looks spot-on compared to her video game counterpart. They’re both rendered youthfully which helps remind us where they’re at in their lives.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m not a big fan of how Peter is drawn. He’s kind of basic and boring looking, and doesn’t match what he looks like in the video game. When he’s teasing MJ at one point you almost dislike him even more because of how he’s drawn.
The only other thing that threw me off was wondering whether or not this takes place after the downloadable story missions. My guess is it doesn’t–likely it picks up after Doc Ock is defeated–but some detail on how many months after those events this takes place would have been helpful.
Is it good?
A good first issue that perfectly captures everything good about the video game, from the science elements, Peter’s intelligence, and strong Mary Jane characterization to Spidey’s comical nature. If you liked the video game, you’ll love this.