Comic Reviews: Marvel Knights Spider-Man and Forever Evil!
The Marvel Knights imprint returns this month, with a new line up featuring top characters written by some of the hottest new names in the industry. First out of the gate is Marvel Knights Spider-Man. Written by MIND MGMT creator Matt Kindt and drawn by Marco Rudy, the first issue of the five-part tale is a welcome change of pace from current Spidey comics, and offers a lot of really fun (and weird) excitement for readers.
Featuring Peter Parker as Spider-Man, this out of continuity tale finds web head answering a family’s ad for a professional photographer. When he arrives at the mysterious home, he finds Madame Webb, who informs him of the mystery of the Sphinx, and of the upcoming “99 challenges” he is about to face. Before he can ask any more questions, a small doll explodes, sending Parker careening down multiple floors (but allowing him to change into his Spidey duds). Once he lands, he comes across Jack O’Lantern, who takes the opportunity to blast Spidey with some poison gas. Before he can retaliate, Spider-Man is thrown for yet another loop, and attacked by Morbius and Man-Wolf, before finally stopping his descent at Frankenstein’s monster (yes, THAT Frankenstein’s monster). After another close call, Spidey finally makes it to the man he believes is behind everything: Arcade.
However, the X-Men villain isn’t the mastermind behind this drug-induced carnival of terror. In fact, he’s just working for a mysterious figure. Arcade explains to Spider-Man that he must battle his way through 99 of the worst villains he’s ever faced, and if he fails, a bomb will explode somewhere in New York City. Arcade then offers Spidey a blue pill, which Spider-Man has been told he has already taken. The scene then shifts to Spider-Man on a passenger plane, surrounded by Sandman, The Lizard, and other villains.
Marvel Knights Spider-Man is one crazy head-trip of a comic, but luckily, Matt Kindt’s script keeps it from going too off the rails. There’s a great mystery at play here, and the sudden drops that Spidey goes through really helps the book, as you never know what villain is going to arrive when. It’s also really refreshing to see Peter Parker back as Spider-Man in this modern age of Superior Spider-Man. Kindt writes an excellent Parker, hopefully he’ll be able to play around with the character in continuity when he finally makes his return to comics.
Adding to the trippiness of the story, Marco Rudy’s artwork is like watching an acid trip through a black light filter. There’s a lot of crazy images and facial work in this issue, but it really works within the confines of the story. In a lot of ways it reminds me of the Spider-Man/Doctor Strange miniseries “Fever” that appeared in the previous incarnation of the Marvel Knights imprint. Rudy’s art is extremely solid in the moments where Spidey isn’t tripping balls at the beginning of the issue, and his Peter Parker looks very much like the current live action Spidey, Andrew Garfield.
If the rest of the Marvel Knights line is anything like Marvel Knights Spider-Man, then we’re in for a really big treat. If you’re tired of Otto Spidey ruining Peter’s life in Superior Spider-Man, or of waiting for Peter to make his eventual return, you should definitely pick this book up. Both Kindt and Rudy have done a fantastic job, and it looks to be like one hell of a ride.
Forever Evil got a little overshadowed by last month’s Villains Month, but the second issue is here to remind us that this story is still going strong. After taking over the DC Universe last month, the Secret Society is starting to plan their next moves. They’ve taken over the planet, defeated the Justice League, and only needed two members to make quick work of the Teen Titans. Of course, it’s not all peachy in villain land, as Owl Man and Superwoman are already planning to turn on Ultraman, and Lex Luthor is starting to assemble his own crew to take on the Society, starting with his imperfect clone of Superman!
Geoff Johns’ script is a lot of fun, and features a lot of very cool moments. From the quick shots of a villain-controlled Gotham City to the reveal of Luthor’s secret weapon “B-Zero”, there’s a lot to love in this issue. Watching the evil Justice League counterparts interact with one another is very interesting, even though I wish they focused a little more on characters like Living Laser and Deathstorm. The few panels we see of how Living Laser’s “power ring” works is extremely interesting and morbid as well, and I hope to see more of it in the future.
David Finch continues to impress not only with his ability to stay on schedule, but also with the fact that there is little to no dip in the quality of his art from the first issue. In fact, I would say that this issue improves on the first. Finch gives a lot of attention to the battle between the Teen Titans and the Society’s Johnny Quick (the “evil Flash”), and even does a fantastic job illustrating the quiet moments amongst the Society. The final moments of the issue are awesome, and would not have the impact they have if anyone other than Finch drew it.
After last month, I was a little worried that Forever Evil would be forgotten amongst the leftover lenticular covers and excessive one-shots. However, I was surprised to find that many of the one shots that referenced the events in FE are in turn referenced here as well. DC is building up a very cool event with Forever Evil, and I’m very excited to see what happens next.
Posted on October 2, 2013, in Comic book reviews and tagged Comic reviews, DC Comics, Forever Evil, Marvel Knights 2013, Marvel Knights Spider-man, Matt Kindt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.