Comics : 100th Anniversary Special: Spider-Man #1

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This story is part of an Arc: "Great Power"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 / Part 8

This review was first published on: Jul 2014.

Background...

Previously (in this unseen, unproduced arc) Spider-Man has had enough of the techno-symbiote suit and tried to destroy it. Eddie Brock came along and battled him for it until he was finally convinced that it was too powerful. Suddenly, Spider-Man and Eddie were knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant. They woke up in the office of The Kingpin where Eddie was promptly shot dead!

In Detail...

100th Anniversary Special: Spider-Man #1
Sep 2014 : SM Title
Arc: Part 8 of "Great Power"
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Senior Editor:  Nick Lowe
Editor:  Jake Thomas
Writer:  Sean Ryan
Artist:  In-Hyuk Lee
Lettering:  VC's Clayton Cowles
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Review

Peter Parker screams at Kingpin in fury over the death of Eddie Brock! Kingpin explains that he had to eliminate the competitions so that he alone could control the techno-symbiote suit that, it turns out, he has funded! The suit bonds to Kingpin and he stands a great, venomous hulk! He punches Peter out of the window! Peter crashes into the building opposite, sliding down a huge screen of Mary Jane advertising a fragrance. He manages to hold on but the screen births a digital version of the symbiote who electrocutes Peter, sending him crashing to the street! Peter begs for directions off a passing driver but is too late! Kingpin-Venom leaps down in front of him and electronically turns all the nearby electric cars into bombs! He is plugged into everything electrical and can control it all! He punches Peter again, sending him skidding down the street! Peter picks himself up and works out his location by the road signs. He tears North! Kingpin-Venom sends a car hurtling towards him and he just manages to leap onto a building before it crashes below him! He scales the building but is chased by a helicopter on the roof! Again, the helicopter crashes towards him and he is forced to throw himself off the roof from the explosion! He lands in water in Central Park! He tears into the park, gather some wood and builds a fire! Kingpin-Venom approaches and Peter, clutching a flaming branch, stands face-to-face with him! They scream and Peter launches himself at him! He manages to stab him in the shoulder with the burning branch, expelling the techno-symbiote long enough for him to drag Kingpin free! The symbiote burns in the flames...

Peter returns to his empty home, reflecting on Aunt May's recent death and his struggle with the power that the techno-symbiote gave him. He realises something that May taught him: nothing is unfixable... He begins to repair his Spider-Man costume...

In General...

When I first read this I wondered what planet the creative team were on.

Then I read it again and realised that I was reading the final part of an arc and that it actually should be full of action and drama (as this "anniversary celebration" tries to be) and felt better.

Then I remembered that Peter defeated the all-powerful, incredible techno-symbiote/Kingpin with a stick that he set on fire... and then I felt a lot worse.

And that led me to the conclusion that this is mainly a poorly explained, not poorly conceived, comic. I actually appreciate the tenacity of Sean Ryan to set this one-shot up as the end of an extended arc but there needed to have been a lot more narrative set up to create involvement, intrigue and ultimately understanding of what the techno-symbiote can do and how it is so easily defeated. I mean, seriously, a stick that he set on fire?!?

In-Hyuk Lee's art has dramatically improved since Scarlet Spider #20 but there is a lot of mis-timed panels and the flow of the comic is not great. This proves a vital flaw when the dialogue is so sparse; the execution of story visually is there for all to critique. Whilst his work may appeal to some, I prefer Clayton Crain's addition of weirdness and roughness in this painted/CG style to this overly polished finish.

Overall Rating...

One web for the creative balls of it and one web for the art.