Comics : Spider-Man: The Manga #10

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This story is part of an Arc: "Spider-Man: The Manga Fourth Arc"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

It's the Japanese Spidey! It's a black-and-white five minute read for $2.99 U.S.! It's the longest storyline yet... showcasing the best and the worst of the series in the "Mysterio/Fake Spider-Man" arc.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: The Manga #10
May 1998 : SM Title
Summary: Mysterio
Arc: Part 1 of "Spider-Man: The Manga Fourth Arc"
Editor:  Glenn Greenberg
Writer/Artist:  Ryoichi Ikegami
Retouching and Production:  Dan Nakrosis
Translation:  C.B. Cebulski, Mutsumi Masuda
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Review

Yu Komori threw his Spider-Man costume away last issue, vowing to give up the super-hero life... so who is committing heinous acts dressed as the web-slinger? The bogus wall-crawler's first act is to viciously attack film star Toshio Kayama at the Tokyo Airport (resulting in serious facial injuries to the actor) and soon the whole city is gripped in fear. Yu is initially outraged by this but then laughs it off deciding "I don't care what this imposter does", since he has quit being Spidey himself. Still, it is hard to look away as the phony webhead commits one act of mayhem after another. When his Aunt mentions that Spider-Man was a hero to young people before these recent acts, Yu is so tortured by the situation that his behavior flucuates between despair and an anguished mania. He cheers up considerably when reminded that his friend Rumi is coming to town the next day. It is a tender reunion at the train station.

In General...

The first part starts strong, though very little happens in it. What mostly recommends it is the artwork. The first appearance of the false Spider-Man, as he swings in on a web hanging from a helicopter, is quite striking. The attack on Kayama is graphic, even in black and white, with the blood effectively achieved with what looks like only a smudge of charcoal. The whole sequence comes across as cinematic; appropriate given the professions of Mysterio and his victim.

Other images stand out, as well. The double-page spread of Yu on his bedroom floor surrounded by magazines of Spider-Man seems to emphasize his anxiety. The sequence of burning cars and dreadful accidents caused by the fake Spider-Man gives an impression of speed and sudden disaster. And the double-page sequence of small, vulnerable Rumi, alone in the large, fast, noisy city of Tokyo is possibly the best image in the book.

Overall Rating...

A strong start, let's be optimistic and offer four webs.