Friday, April 24, 2009

BACKTRACK: Reviewing Web Of Spider-Man #13 by DW

'Oh really Spider-Man? Look at yourself, you're so blasted smug. Either you were always the menace I said you were, or I've managed to convince you that you're a menace... And frankly masked man, I didn't think I was that good a writer.'

An often over-looked run in both the career of writer Peter David, and the adventures of everyone's favourite wall-crawler, are the early issues of Web Of Spider-Man. Issue 13 while unlucky for some, provides a stand-alone story where David creates a suspenseful issue after one simple spider-act divides the public as to the wall-crawlers intentions, delivering some thought provoking statemets on how the 'real world' media can manipulate the slant of their stories at whim and even in the name of believability.

Yes 'Point of View' offers no fist fights with robotic armed adversaries, or alien outfits bent on revenge. With half the city believing the new black costumed 'friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man' is now a public menace after intentionally hospitalising an innocent man, Peter Parkers opponent is simply negative public opinion on a scale he's rarely encountered.

As this point of view becomes fuelled by the cities various media, Pete becomes attacked by the public everywhere he goes. Left down, enraged and inconsolable he heads for a confrontation with longtime detractor and newspaper publisher J.Jonah Jameson, in turn actually becoming the menace the public believe him to be. While investigative reporter Ben Urich starts digging behind the hype to uncover the truth of the accident, the resulting skirmish between Spider-Man and ol' J.J.J will effect how both they (and the readers) see each other forever.

Mike Harris's pencils create a 'tv documentary' feel for the art, which perfectly suits a story tailored to explore one of the constant themes of SpiderMan: the cost of been a hero. Amazingly in such an emotionally charged tale Peter David still manages to drop in laugh-out-loud moments of classic spidey-humour, in an issue well worth backtracking for.

8/10 - DW

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