Review by: nbcabaniss

What did the
community think?

Users who reviewed this comic:
Story by David Liss
Art by Colton Worley
Cover by Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Francesco Francavilla, & Ron Lesser

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.99

After the excellent Shadow issue a few weeks back, I was even more excited by Dynamite’s next offering in pulpy goodness. I wish I had better news to report, but The Spider is a dud, through and through.

Always my favorite of the old pulp heroes, the Spider set a standard that superhero comics (and really action/adventure stories in general) still follow today. The thing that set the Spider apart was the level of threat he routinely faced – power-mad supervillains who left buildings toppled in their wake, hundreds of thousands of lives lost as the Spider fought with every ounce he had to save the world… often at the expense of his own sanity.

We get none of that in this issue. When they announced David Liss as the writer of this new series, my ears perked up. Liss wrote the excellent Black Panther and Mystery Men series for Marvel last year, and seemed to be the right choice for the Spider and his alter-ego Richard Wentworth. But it feels like his heart just isn’t in this one. Characters are introduced haphazardly – I was only able to keep up with them due to my familiarity with the source material – and Liss gives us threats that were played out in the 80’s (rapists), the 90’s (sex-slavery rings) and the 00’s (zombies? I mean, really?).

All of that might be easier to swallow had the art been worth a damn, but the pages by Colton Worley are dark, muddled and generally hard to follow. It’s so dark my eyes started to hurt after the first few pages. Even worse are the layouts – the only bad thing about JH Williams III’s Batwoman is that it’s inspiring less talented artists to copy his unusual page layouts. Here we get panel breakdowns between the legs of a giant spider and other such nonsense. Making things worse, the artist seems to frame every scene from probably the least exciting angle possible. I could go on, but there’s just too much wrong here to list…

I generally have no problem with major changes to favored characters of mine. In fact, Tim Truman did a Spider series for Eclipse back in the early 90’s that was a radical departure for the character that I still loved dearly. But the changes here are not for the better; Dynamite has given us a Spider series so unremarkable, even they can’t be bothered to provide the correct synopsis for the next issue (instead it’s one from a Vampirella book).

The only thing that kept me reading to the end was the $3.99 price tag, and the knowledge that I could have easily spent that much for a meal at Taco Bell.

Story: 2 - Average
Art: 1 - Poor


  1. I dont know what book you read, because its defiantly not the Spider #1. I was blown away by this comic, the story was great, and they touched on the main characters, if you didn’t follow, read it again. The main thing was the action, and we got that in the first few pages, and then a little later, but it was also focused on setting up the next large villain, which they did perfectly. They even through in some humor, when he is killing the guys holding up the Chinese restaurant, he asks for take out, i laughed then. The art you said was dark, this man kills people in cold blood, is it supposed to be bright and happy? No, they even through in rain to add more to the effect. I thought this was great and so far my POW

    • I don’t necessarily need my comics art to be “bright and happy”, but I do like not having to squint to make out what’s going on. I meant dark as in “can’t see anything” instead of tone.

      But different strokes for different folks. I’m glad you liked it.

  2. I think exactly the opposite if you. The characters were introduced at a perfect pace, the art was gorgeous, and the action was incredible.

    This was the best issue of a comic so far this year for me.

Leave a Comment