REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow,’ Issue #2

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Spider-Man Spiders Shadow #2 - But Why Tho?

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #2 is written by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Pasqual Ferry, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It is published by Marvel Comics. Following the first issue, the symbiote-enhanced Spider-Man goes on the warpath against other villains, even J. Jonah Jameson. His new crusade continues to alienate those close to him, including Mary Jane Watson and the Fantastic Four.

Zdarsky is no stranger to examining all the different ways that heroes deal with villains, as his Daredevil run has spun from the actions of Matt Murdock inadvertently killing a man. Spider’s Shadow explores similar territory, as Peter and the symbiote slowly consummate their union. This new Spider-Man is a horrifying figure; he breaks J. Jonah Jameson’s hand, warns him to stop writing anti-Spider-Man editorials, and brutally dispatches multiple criminals, including the Scorpion and Shocker. You know you’re in “What If” territory, or things have gone horribly wrong when the Sinister Six bonding together presents a ray of hope.

Zdarsky also underlines Spidey’s worsening state by showing his deteriorating bonds with the people in his life. For example, Johnny Storm, one of Spidey’s best friends in the superhero community, cannot find him. Similarly, when Mary Jane tries to talk to people, he shows little remorse for the lives he’s taken. The thing that makes Peter Parker such a great character is his connection to people—his Aunt May, MJ, even other heroes such as Johnny or Daredevil. In severing those bonds, Zdarsky is underlining just how much Peter is changing due to the symbiote.

As if to add to the “wrongness” of Spidey’s new status quo, Ferry designs a new version of Spider-Man’s black costume that lies somewhere in-between Spider-Man’s signature look and Venom. While this new look isn’t as monstrous as Venom’s base form, it still features a rather disturbing design with misshapen white eyes and markings that resemble Venom’s fangs, along with razor-sharp claws and writhing tendrils. In addition, Peter Parker looks like he’s been through hell; he is constantly clad in black and even grows a beard, with heavy bags under his eyes. Caramanga also gives Peter the same misshapen black word balloons that Venom uses, further illustrating his transformation.

The most disturbing image comes right at the very beginning of the issue, where Peter and the symbiote meet face-to-face in the dreamscape. Hollingsworth paints the page in fiery reds and orange, giving it a hellish look. The symbiote itself is a writhing mass of tentacles and soulless white eyes that eventually wraps over Peter and consumes him, hinting at the chaos to follow. I’ll give the creative team this: they don’t waste time hooking the reader from the get-go.

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #2 continues to inch Peter Parker down a dark path while showcasing how different characters within the Spider-Man mythos react to his new persona. The last page even introduces a certain character who could inject a new level of drama into the proceedings. I look forward to seeing how Spidey interacts with this character.

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #2
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TL;DR

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #2 continues to inch Peter Parker down a dark path while showcasing how different characters within the Spider-Man mythos react to his new persona. The last page even introduces a certain character who could inject a new level of drama into the proceedings. I look forward to seeing how Spidey interacts with this character.