REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow,’ Issue #5

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Spiders Shadow #5

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #5 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 end of the fourth issue, a Symbiote-possessed Reed Richards has infected most of the heroes of the Marvel Universe with his own home-grown symbiotes. Peter Parker races against time to stop the Symbiote’s infestation, helped by Mary Jane Watson and the Human Torch-although the Symbiotes have an axe to grind with MJ and Johnny…

This issue brings the story full circle, marking the end of Peter’s rivalry with the Symbiote as well as tackling his relationship with MJ and the actions he took while possessed by the Symbiote. I can safely say that everyone ends up in a place that makes sense, thanks to Zdarsky’s scripting. Zdarsky has almost always taken a logical approach to how Spidey acts, and this makes the story more interesting. Peter Parker is a relatively smart man, and Zdarsky takes that aspect of the character to the fullest which allows him to beat the Symbiote. He also gives Peter a relatively happy ending, which is rare in Spider-Man stories-but still welcome, as most What If? stories from Marvel usually end in tragedy.

Also adding to the uplifting vibe of the ending is Ferry’s artwork, which shifts from a horror-themed story to a more traditional superhero tale as Peter fights against the symbiote. The symbiote-infested verions of the heroes are utterly terrifying; all sharp teeth and soulless white eyes, and considering some of the people they possess-including Thor and the Thing-possess immense power. Ferry also shifts between the outside of the Baxter Building, which is lit in a warm glow by Hollingsworth’s color art, and the crazy Kirby-esque designs in Reed’s lab. And Peter definitely looks like he’s been through hell, with a thick beard and shredded Spider-Man costume.

Hollingsworth’s color art helps give a visual flair to the finale, particularly where the different powers are concerned. Sue Storm’s force fields are portrayed as light blue spheres, making it easy for the reader to visualize said powers but also giving off an opaqueness that’s as close to invisibility as one gets. Johnny Storm’s flames are a bright reddish-orange, making it look as though he’s enveloped by the sun. Symbiote Reed’s face is bright red and misshapen, giving off the appearance of a burn victim, while thick black tendrils surround him. Venom’s trademark black and white color scheme also extends to the speech bubbles of the Symbiote-possessed victims, with their words displayed in jagged and misshapen letters.

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #5 serves as the perfect conclusion to Marvel’s latest alternate reality story, and proves that Chip Zdarsky is one of the better Spider-Man writers in the buisness. With What If? premiering this week on Disney+, I highly suggest giving this series a look if you’re looking to read more alternate universe versions of Marvel’s heroes. It also serves as a great horror-themed story, tapping into the innate scariness of the symbiote.

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #5 is available wherever comics are sold.

 

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #5
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TL;DR

Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #5 serves as the perfect conclusion to Marvel’s latest alternate reality story, and proves that Chip Zdarsky is one of the better Spider-Man writers in the buisness. With What If? premiering this week on Disney+, I highly suggest giving this series a look if you’re looking to read more alternate universe versions of Marvel’s heroes. It also serves as a great horror-themed story, tapping into the innate scariness of the symbiote.