Writer Dan Slott and artist Humberto Ramos continue to knock it out of the park with this week’s entry into Spider-Island! This issue is an action-packed thrill ride in which we get to see Venom battling Spider-King, an infected Mayor, Reed Richards’ unorthodox spider-cure, and the reveal of the mastermind behind the entire Spider-Island infestation… and it’s not who you expect!
As I’ve said in my past reviews for this series, Ramos’ artwork is a perfect match for Spidey. It gives the tale a fun flexible feel. However, I noticed this issue that said flexibility of Ramos’ pencil-work actually ebbs and flows with the action on the page. When Spider-Man or any of the million other spider-powered New Yorkers are in action, the art gets a lot more curves and cartoonish. Yet, when it needs to be harsh, Ramos tightens up his lines and gives it an almost John Romita Jr. vibe.
[Warning: you may be infected with spoilers below this point.]
The issue opens in the Jackal’s warehouse as Peter and his, now super-powered, girlfriend Carlie are being jumped by Jackal’s henchmen. After realizing that the henchmen also have spider-powers (who doesn’t at this point?), Peter does something that puts Carlie on the road to possibly discovering his real identity as Spider-Man. Meanwhile, in the Catskills, Venom is still dealing with the transformed Captain America, now calling himself Spider-King. (For more on that battle, check out my reviews for Venom comics elsewhere on this site.) Back at Horizon Labs, a team of scientists are hard at work trying to find a cure for the spider-infection which has now become airborne. The Future Foundation’s Reed Richards comes to the conclusion that, since the spider-virus doesn’t seem to affect super-humans, the logical solution would be to give everyone super-powers. Before a decision can be made, things go from bad to worse. First, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson discovers that he is infected. Then one of the scientists reveals that the virus has a “stage two”. Back at downtown, Anti-Venom is attacking spider-citizens and taking away their powers. Madame Web collapses under the strain on the life-web caused by all the spider-people swinging, climbing, and jumping around. Peter faces off against a six-armed Shocker before discovering what “stage two” of the virus means. On the final pages, we discover that Jackal is merely a pawn in the Spider-Island saga and that the true architect is actually… the Queen.
What a ride Spider-Island has been so far and it looks like it’s only getting better from here! As a long-time Spider-fan, I am indebted to Dan Slott for making the web-head fun to read again! Join me in a couple of weeks as I follow Spider-Island with my reviews of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #670 and ‘Venom’ #7.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1
Written by DAN SLOTT
Art and Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS