By Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth
It’s safe to assume that most comic readers like current continuity and the stories that unfold in them. Having said that, we also like a good alternate future story or a what if, from time to time. With Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow, we get just that.
Chip Zdarsky has become one of the premier writers Marvel has available in their Rolodex. Zdarsky gives us a Peter and Symbiote story, which works out well because symbiotes are loved by Spidey fans. Zdarsky shows us a Peter who is troubled, and this has pushed him to the edge. He’s losing people he loves and becoming increasingly frustrated. This, and the influence of the symbiote, lead to a more violent Peter. Breaking an old rivals hand or finally killing enemies are not things that Peter Parker has ever done, but Zdarsky crafts this world for us. Zdarsky also shows us the reaction that a more violent Spider-Man has on his enemies. This in turn causes them to be more extreme and quit playing around. What works best for this issue is the characterization of Peter. Readers are used to a man who holds back in everything that he does. Zdarsky gives us a story that allows us to see what happens if there was no restraint. These what if stories are always fun, but this series has been especially good so far.
The pencils this issue are handled by Pasqual Ferry with colors by Matt Hollingsworth. Ferry does a great job with this issue. His pencils are clean and smooth and seem like the perfect fit for a story like this. Ferry draws the violent panels aesthetically pleasing. Spider-Man showing up with the remains of a rival as blood drips from their severed arm is a panel worth looking at. Ferry also draws peter suited up in his symbiote to look creepy. His head seems larger and his build is more intimidating. The colors by Matt Hollingsworth work really well with the pencils. Hollingsworth’s work resembles something Phil Noto would do. The colors are not vibrant, and fit the darker mood of the story. Panels where Spider-Man is flying through a dark city stick out because his costume, although black, stands out as he swings by dark buildings. The art seems almost too perfect a fit for this series.
Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow should set the bar for what if stories. Chip Zdarsky writes something new and interesting for the wall crawler that should be engaging to all fans. The pencils and colors work very well together and should only add to the reading experience. Spider-Man: Spider’s shadow #2 is a can’t miss book.