The Spider #14
By David Liss, Ivan Rodriguez & Vinicius Andrade
Who would have ever thought the Spider’s most devious enemy would be the Fly? Dynamite has been doing a great job of filling that masked vigilante detective void for fans of past pulp comics, and The Spider has been one of their most notable titles.
The Fly has really lived up to his name by being incredibly annoying and resilient. He is incredibly smart and rich much like the Spider/Richard Wentworth but he has this aura of smug elitism he carries with him everywhere that is also very aggravating. Whereas the Spider has a small group of friends who help him when needed, the Fly considers everyone who works for him expendable which was very apparent by the end of this issue. Liss does an incredible job of having the Fly attack the Spider physically with his armored super-suit on one end and also financially attacking Wentworth Industries in the shadows which really puts the Spider in a corner. The pacing of this series can sometimes feel slow when you read issue-to-issue but collected it’s a much better read. It’s actually a nice build when you think of how great it’s going to feel when the Spider finally gets the Fly once they do meet.
Sometimes the art can seem inconsistent; older issues had these distinctive panels that were separated by red and black webbing like that on the Spider’s outfit but we only get one page of that this issue. The design for the Fly’s armor is practical and sleek with an early Iron Man feel, but it’s the look of the Fly outside the armor that always bugged me. The suspenders, bowtie, pierced ears and stupid glasses always put me off till I realized that it added to that aggravating feel that really makes him the Fly. The armored suit the Spider wears later on was pretty boring but we can assume that this was a prototype his father had hidden away for awhile which explains its flat look. There are two separate little skirmishes in this issue which both read quite smooth and didn’t feel disjointed like some fights can feel.
This issue was a little slow but there were a few reveals that were very intriguing, especially when Richard discovers his father’s secret buried deep underneath Wentworth Industries. There is also a passing mention of a time machine that makes me wonder how that will play later in the series. The Spider has plenty of great moments but it also has some pacing issues, though they aren’t anything intolerable. Leaving you wanting more is one thing this series has done very well, especially this issue. Dynamite has a lot of these types of books out there so sometimes it can be hard to separate from the pack, and it’s best to pick the character that intrigues you the most and follow that one. If you’ve been enjoying Green Hornet or The Shadow then you might want to consider giving The Spider a chance.