REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow,’ Issue #3

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Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3 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. After the events of the second issue, the Sinister Six-gathered by J. Jonah Jameson-assemble to kill Spider-Man. Little do they know that Spidey is onto them, having wrung the information from the Beetle. A vicious battle ensues, with matters made more complicated by the arrival of Eddie Brock-who now possesses Doctor Octopus’ tentacles and is hellbent on slaying the web-slinger. To make matters worse, Peter Parker is not the only person the Venom symbiote has possessed.

Continuing the horror/action trend that previous issues of Spider’s Shadow embarked upon, this issue features Spidey tracking down and brutally dealing with the members of the Sinister Six. Mysterio gets the worst of it, as under Ferry’s pen the Symbiote breaks into Mysterio’s helmet and literally floods his lungs, causing him to choke to death. The Rhino also suffers a grisly fate, with Parker literally ripping his horn and face off. These violent images, combined with the ghastly redesign of Parker’s Spider-Man suit and Hollingsworth shrouding the scene in shadows, make this feel less like a superhero comic and more of a slasher film that happens to feature a superhero as the monster.

In addition to making great use of the shadows in every scene, Hollingsworth also goes all out with his colors. An attempt by Mysterio to ensnare Parker in a trap leads to a burst of psychedelic colors, including swirls of orange and yellow. Bluish-white lightning crackles around Electro’s body. The walls of Reed Richards’ laboratory are a sterile white, compared to the reddish-pink hue of Parker’s apartment. Color often sets the mood, and the mood in this book can ease from horrifying to peaceful at the drop of a hat.

Storywise, Zdarsky makes the choice to focus most of the emotional weight on J. Jonah Jameson, and the issue is all the better for it. Too often, fans and even writers often tend to paint Jonah as nothing more than “the angry boss” due to his anti-Spider-Man editorials. Yet Zdarsky chooses to dig deeper: here he paints Jonah as having doubts about throwing in with criminals and even has Jonah call out Eddie Brock for projecting his failures onto Spider-Man. It’s a deeply human look at Jonah and I’m glad Zdarsy chose to go that route with the character. When it comes to Parker, Zdarsky shows the toll the symbiote is taking on him: he is more or less operating on autopilot while the symbiote battles for him. They may be in a symbiosis, but the audience will clearly see that this is a one-sided relationship.

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3 provides a deadly duel with the Sinister Six and an unlikely form of salvation while upping the stakes for Peter Parker and his family. The end hints that the Symbiote’s reign of terror is not yet over, and with only two issues left I can’t wait to see how the creators bring it all to a close.

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3 is available wherever comics are sold.

 

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3
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TL;DR

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3 provides a deadly duel with the Sinister Six and an unlikely form of salvation while upping the stakes for Peter Parker and his family. The end hints that the Symbiote’s reign of terror is not yet over, and with only two issues left I can’t wait to see how the creators bring it all to a close.