After a loving, if slow, prologue in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #666, this issue officially kicks off ‘Spider-Island’ in earnest! Written by Dan Slott, and illustrated by Humberto Ramos, ‘Spider-Island’ follows our favorite web-slinging superhero as he is thrown into a city of total chaos. Villainous mastermind, the Jackal, has unleashed an untold number of mutated bugs into New York City! Bugs? In NYC? So what? What makes these bugs so special is that everyone they bite ends up with their own spider powers!

[Warning: spoilers below! Do not read further if you don’t want any of the spidery goodness spoiled for you. You say you’ve already read this issue? You don’t care if I tell you key plot points? Then read on, my friend. You’ve been warned.]

The story opens with Peter’s new girlfriend, Carlie, revealing to him that she has spider powers. She is so excited that she is literally climbing the walls. In her excitement, she reveals that she wants to be a superhero and that Pete should make her a set of spider-weapons so that she can be Spider-Man’s sidekick. This humorous scene is brilliantly done and sets the tone for the rest of the issue.

Next, we get a quick glimpse of the Jackal pulling together a bunch of low-life hoods who’ve been purposely targeted with the spider-bugs so that they will become spider-crooks, complete with their own Spider-Man costumes. These Spidey suits were lifted from Spider-Man’s past exploits and there are some great nods for fans of the series. I loved seeing the Scarlett Spider hoodie in action again!

When the Jackel lets his spider-powered criminal gang loose in the middle of downtown NYC, all heck breaks loose! There’s property damage galore! With Pete and Carlie still returning from the airport after dropping off Aunt May, it’s up to the Avengers and the Future Foundation to deal with the spider-commotion. Meanwhile Mayor J. Jonah Jameson has declared the spider-powers as an epidemic and places the entire city under emergency lock-down. By the time Spider-Man finally makes it to the scene, there’s so much pandamonium that his Avenger and FF pals can’tt recognize him from all the other spider-suited folks hopping around and Pete gets taken out by his own teammates.

The story, as I’ve come to expect from Dan Slott, is pure Spidey. It’s comical, action-packed, and most of all fun. Ramos’ art is a perfect fit for ‘Spider-Island’. The art style is a little cartoony at times but it is just the look that this sort of chaotic fun needs. This issue, while having some nods for long-time fans, is also a great jumping on point for new readers so, if you’ve thought of getting into Spider-Man, you could do worse than ‘Spider Island’.

If this issue is any indication, I think ‘Spider Island’ may just overtake DC Comics’ ‘Flashpoint’ as my favorite event of the Summer.

Written by DAN SLOTT
Art and Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS