Dan Slott & Humberto Ramos - Spider-Man: Spider Island
New Spidey adventure too frivolous to be genuinely engaging
Spider-Man has always been one of the comics world’s more light-hearted superheroes. While there have been moments of introspection and heartache, he’s always more than ready with a corny quip as he swings into battle. Spider Island continues in this tradition with a big action adventure that never takes itself too seriously as Peter Parker finds himself the first amongst equals.
Manhattan is suddenly in the grip of an outbreak of Spider-Powers as the good citizens of NYC develop web-shooters, super-strength and wall-crawling abilities. A full roster of Marvel heroes (Mr Fantastic, Captain America, Wolverine, The Thing) leap into action trying to contain then cure an epidemic that turns an entire city into fledgling superheroes/supervillians.
The problem here is that the tale features too many moments that slide from entertaining and amusing to plain silly; the villains never feel truly threatening and it all wraps up far too neatly. None of which is helped by the fluctuating art quality with the Venom chapters being particularly ugly. Still, younger Spider-Fans should love it and Dan Slott has always been honest – ‘it ain’t Shakespeare! Shut up and have fun!’ – but most adult readers will find Spider Island too frivolous to be genuinely engaging.