The Spider #6
The Spider is the best comic you aren’t reading.
Ok, that might seem hyperbolic, but it’s true. It certainly doesn’t rival Dynamite’s other main cape titles in sales or notoriety, but the writing and art on The Spider is unmatched.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Who the hell is ‘The Spider’?” Well, it’s not some cheap rip-off of Spider-Man. In fact, The Spider was created in the early 1930’s as a rip-off of The Shadow. In those days, before the Golden Age of super hero comics, pulp heroes were the rage. Radio and movie serials starring mysterious, masked crusaders were a huge hit. It was these heroes who would go on to inspire the more well-known characters such as Batman. But these pulp heroes didn’t necessarily have the same moral hang-ups and weren’t limited by any Comics Authority approval.
The Spider’s alter ego, billionaire playboy Richard Wentworth, got his first taste of action fighting in Iraq. While not too much detail has been given, it is clear that something knocked a screw loose in him. This guy isn’t himself anymore, and the new him is ruthless. There’s no fancy array of non-lethal weapons on his belt, he doesn’t leave criminals tied-up neatly on the courthouse steps – The Spider wastes fools with twin .45 automatics and leaves his mark on their foreheads so there’s no mistaking it was him.
Writer David Liss isn’t a name comic readers know, and that’s because he’s new to the craft. He’s been an author of thriller’s since 2000, but The Spider is his first foray into comics. Yet he does it so well you would never know. His dialogue is realistic and peppered with just the right amount of humor. He knows how to pace a story and doesn’t weigh things down with too much exposition. Creative partner and artist Colton Worley is no slouch either, filling the pages with some of the most stunning art I’ve seen all year. His ultra-realistic style and use of creative layouts make the action really pop. He continues to prove himself as one of the greatest comic artists currently working.
This latest issue opens with a brief look into Wentworth’s time in Iraq, introduces a new addition to the stable of characters, and wraps up the short Wingman arc that began in issue 7. There’s no major revelations, no cliffhangers, and none are needed. The strength of Liss and Worley’s abilities draws you into the pulpy, nourish world of The Spider for yet another issue and leaves the reader both satisfied and wanting more. Here’s hoping Dynamite locks these two into a lengthy deal and really give them room to continue building this world.