It’s a great time to be a Spidey fan! Spider-Island is in full effect. NYC is a battleground and it’s full-on chaos as this issue opens. A horde of mutated spiders, unleashed by criminal mastermind The Jackal, is giving random people spider powers. As you’d expect, not everyone has Peter Parker’s hard-earned sense of responsibility with the powers. At the end of last issue, Spider-Man showed up to help curb the commotion only to be mistaken for one of the rioting spider-folks and beaten down by his own friends in the FF and Avengers.

Writer Dan Slott and artist Humberto Ramos are obviously having great fun with the Spider-Island storyline. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Slott was writing some of the best Spidey stuff in years before Spider-Island started. Now he’s pulled an Emeril and “BAM!” kicked it up a notch!

[Warning: spider-spoilers below]

This issue we get some great scenes as Peter, inspired by his now spider-powered girlfriend Carlie’s crime fighting efforts, begins to show why he’s the real deal spider-hero.  He rallies the “real New Yorkers” who have spider-powers to help stop the spider-rioters. In the midst of the riots, Peter reveals that he is one of the citizens with newly found spider-powers (natch!) and teams up with Carlie for a good time web-slinging free of the constraints of his Spider-Man identity. It’s a lot of fun to watch Peter with his spider-girlfriend sidekick who actually seems like she may be more adept at the superhero gig than he is.

As the issue rolls, the real villains begin to show. The Jackal injects another one of his spider-soldiers with a batch of his mutated spiders. We last saw one of these spider-filled piñata soldiers when the new Venom captured one back in ‘Venom’ #6. Speaking of our symbiotic pal, this issue closes with an appearance by both Venom and Anti-Venom. Anti-Venom, with his power-canceling ability, believes himself to be the cure for the spreading spider-disease but the mystic Madame Web cryptically reveals to the reader that Spider-Island is the end of one of these two. I sure as heck hope that it’s Anti-Venom because I’m really digging Flash Thompson as the military super-soldier Venom.

Be back in two weeks as Spider-Island continues!

Written by DAN SLOTT