Ho. Lee. Cow! I had to put this issue down for sec after those final few pages to shake off a head full of awesome before coming back to write out this review. Yes… this issue is that good! So if you don’t want anything spoiled (and there are spoilers below so beware), go grab a copy right now before you come back to join me for the rest of this Spider-Island review. Back? Still reeling from that one? Good. Let’s continue with the review…

[Warning: I told you there’d be spoilers and here they come!]

Part five of Spider-Island picks up just after ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #670 comes to a close. Anti-Venom has volunteered to give up his symbiote to save New York from the spider-infestation, the Queen is mutating everyone into spider-monsters, and Mary Jane has spider-powers! How’s that for an opening? Heck! This issue actually had to use the first two pages instead of the usual single page to get readers up to speed on all the strands that are spinning through Spider-Island.

The cover to this issue has had fanboys in a tizzy but, as this issue opens, we only get a couple of actual pages of spider-powered Mary Jane before moving on to other things. Good ol’ J. Jonah Jameson has spidered out and attacked the Spider Slayer who was supposedly the only hope of saving NYC (of course we know now that this isn’t the case). Spider-Man wraps up J. Jonah and tells people to start collecting mutated people in quarantine while he tries to find the cure back at Horizon Labs. While all this is going on, the Queen is trying to find some way to sabotage the Anti-Venom cure that Reed Richards and the Horizon scientists are concocting. In another part of the lab, we find out that Morbius, the Living Vampire is sneaking around Horizon. Why? I haven’t a clue but I suspect we’ll find out soon enough. After some failed attempts, the Queen finally succeeds in getting “Tarantula”, one of her mutated henchmen, into the lab.

Spider-Man arrives at the lab just in time to be attacked by Tarantula. Just before Tarantula gets the jump on Spider-Man, Madame Web makes an appearance to tell the Horizon Scientists that their spider-sense jammers are what’s caused her powers to stop working and possibly the reason for Spider-Man’s lost spider sense. (Well… duh! They’re called “spider-sense jammers”!) So the Horizon team gets to work on a plan that will restore Spider-Man’s senses to help him out wherever he may be. In the midst of the battle with Tarantula, it’s revealed that the mutated spider-villain is really Kaine… a clone of Peter Parker created by The Jackal. It seems that Kaine is winning against Spider-Man when, ta ta ta da!… Spider-Man’s spider-senses kick into overdrive. Kaine is defeated and the day is saved! …sort of. The ploy by the Horizon scientists to restore Spidey’s spider-sense brought it back stronger than ever. But it also enhanced Madame Web’s future sight and the Queens powers. The Queen turns on Jackal who she says has failed her yet again and Madame Web says that her telling the scientists about the spider-sense jammers have doomed them all.

Pfew! Take a breath. Got all that? What an epic ride to get through in just one issue! Writer Dan Slott crams so much spider-goodness into a single issue that it makes me glad that there’s no tax on awesomeness. Spider-Island has been sheer insanity since it began but this issue ramped things up to eleven just before the next issue’s finale. It’ll be interesting to see how Slott wraps this one up with only a single issue to go (if you don’t count the epilogue in ASM #673).

As for art… there’s not much to say that hasn’t been said so far with Spider-Island. Humberto Ramos’ cartoony lines perfectly capture the fun and chaotic romp that Slott is putting to the page. Plus, he gives us a great cheesecake cover of Mary Jane that almost makes one forget that she’s not really in the issue that much…. almost.

Final verdict: Buy! Buy! Buy!

Written by DAN SLOTT