Spider-Man Unlimited #20

Background

Hannibal King, everyone's favorite vampire detective, was in New Orleans dispatching Deacon Frost, the vampire who first bit him. Some guy named Simon Garth had been brought back to life as a zombie, and his daughter hired King to find him for her. King has tracked Simon to New York City.

Story 'A Long Way Till Dawn'

  Spider-Man Unlimited #20
Summary: Vampire storyline, Lilith, Hannibal King
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Writer: Christopher Golden
Pencils: Joe Bennett
Inker: Joe Pimentel
Cover Art: Joe Bennett

Although I have to admit Mr. Golden writes a decent story, I also have to admit that this story doesn't belong in a Spider-Man title. At least it was safely confined to UNLIMITED, far away from the core books. Not to say this story was bad, per se, but there's a reason RISE OF THE MIDNIGHT SONS was canned.

Golden gets in several clever bits of dialogue, but most of them are spoken by Spider-Man, Peter, or Mary Jane. All of King's dialogue (and that of the local occultists) just comes off as sounding cheesy and clichéd. King himself sounds like a knockoff of Bobo Bennetti, who got the dialogue right the first time in STARMAN #29. But this isn't all Mr. Golden's fault - dialogue is only as interesting as the character who utters it, and it may not have been his idea to put these characters in the story (Blade plug, anyone?). I'm sure he could write an excellent Spider-Man story, provided he leaves out all the undead people. I, for one, would like to see him get a run on SENSATIONAL.

As for Joe Bennett, what more can be said? We all know how great he is, so I'll just mention two exceptional visuals: 1) the panel of Peter waiting in line to get into Club Jugular - this was almost worth the entire price of the issue - and 2) the full-page splash of Spider-Man after he's "pretty much lost [his] sense of humor". Bennett does a bang-up job with what he's given... and, of course, his Lilith is a total hotty.

General Comments

This was a decent issue of UNLIMITED, with a solid creative team. You could save a bit of money if you dislike stories about vampires, zombies, etc., but if you like to have complete runs of series, or if you're a big Joe Bennett fan, it's a good buy. The two parts I mentioned above are certainly worth seeing. Christopher Golden deserves a chance, too; even though he's writing second- and third-rate characters, his talent is obvious. This might explain why he's also writing the next issue, but since it will feature Frankenstein's Monster, clones, and a guest penciler, my spider-sense tells me it might not be quite as good.

Overall Rating

3.0 webs