Symbiote Spider-Man #1
By Peter David, Greg Land, Iban Coello, Jay Leisten and Frank D’Armata
Through the years, Peter Parker has had many different costumes. The original Blue and red, the armored outfit, the cosmic one, but none seem to be as popular as his black symbiote costume. This week, we’re treated to a throwback issue that takes place after the initial Secret Wars. This is a time when Peter was just getting used to the outfit and was adjusting to how it works. We take a look back at a hidden story from the past, that will surely make you change your feelings on many things, especially how you view Mysterio.
Peter David is a very good writer who is known for fleshing out characters. He’s been able to work wonders with underrated characters in X-Factor. For Symbiote Spider-Man, he chose to turn his attention to Mysterio. Quentin Beck and Mysterio have pretty much been a joke of a character for a long time. He has a cool enough power, but he was never really deemed as one of Spidey’s most dangerous foes. David shows us in this issue that Mysterio can do a lot of damage if he’s motivated enough. After a bank robbery goes wrong, David shows us the depth to Beck’s character as he freaks out. This forces Mysterio into a confrontation with Spider-Man that could turn out to be deadly. Make no mistake, Mysterio was not pulling punches in this issue and meant to kill our favorite wall crawler. David also does a good job writing the women in Peter’s life. At this point it was Felicia Hardy and Aunt May. The women come off as fun and youthful. Aunt May tells Felicia it’s ok to say she’s Peter’s lover, and that’s she’s not dead. David writes these ladies as a fun tandem, you want to see more of their chat.
The pencils in the main story are handled by Greg Land, with Iban Coello doing work on the flashback pages. Jay Leisten handles the inks, and Frank D’Armata does the colors. Greg Land’s pencils look very good here. As Mysterio materializes in a bank, he looks big and bad with nice pencils by Land and excellent inks by Jay Leisten. Land does his best work in the issue during the last fight between Mysterio and Spider-Man though. Mysterio’s helmet is cracked so we can see one of his eyes, which looks menacing. As the building catches fire, we see the flames in Peter’s eyes. This is good work by Land and Leisten. The colors by Frank D’Armata are important to the issue as well. They are not extremely vibrant or leap off the page, but they are effective as a slightly duller palette. What really works for the colors is that they are not overpowering. Spider-Man’s black suit is colored wonderfully, so is the suit on Mysterio, and the green gas he uses as he appears. All of these colors draw your attention, but nothing draws it away from the other colors on the page.
Symbiote Spider-Man #1 was a fun trip down memory lane. Peter David continues to put out great work and flesh out under utilized characters. The art is a great compliment to the story being told. Everyone involved with this issue should feel proud for putting out such a quality book.