Fresh off of releasing another well known pulp action hero with the Shadow, Dynamite brings us The Spider written by David Liss and art by Colton Worley. How does it measure up? Can another gun toting hero enacting vigilante justice survive up against it’s better known predecessor? Does The Spider have enough to set it apart from the rest of Dynamite’s “comeback character” catalogue? Let’s see how issue #1 measures up!
The Spider stars Richard Wentworth, a war hero with tons of money. Wentworth uses his resources to don the mantle of The Spider in order to rid New York City of crime. Not much information is given as to what technology the Spider uses, but his outfit and weapons all have a nifty red laser web theme going on. We start with your typical opener, where the title’s hero takes out a few two-bit criminals to give the reader a little bite. The bite is small, more like a nibble, as you don’t see much more than a shadowy form of the Spider. So, not much can be guessed quite yet as to how deep his arsenal of weapons go. Wentworth plays the billionaire playboy with his fake relationships, but the story reveals a “forbidden” love interest that I’m sure will play a role down the line. My absolute favorite part comes toward the end, where the story moves quickly from typical vigilante to intriguing mystery with a horror element to it!
I enjoyed this first issue, and thought just enough was given to make me want to revisit the series. The Spider’s outfit didn’t have a lot of light shown on it, but he looked pretty cool in the shadows with what appears to be LED type lighting bringing out the outlines of the webbing on the costume. He’s had an obvious update from past interpretations, and I’d call it welcome along with his nifty looking guns. It’s important that the guns have a unique look as the Shadow also carries two pistol sized shooters as well. The Spider’s is more futuristic in appearance, and as far as I can tell puts the time period in the present. We are given small introductions to some supporting characters, but from what I can tell, the chemistry seems to be just right between each. The stand out has to be the tension Wentworth has with Detective Joe Hilt.
I think everything about this issue worked for me. I’m finding it hard to not make comparison’s to the Shadow, but I think it’s too obvious to ignore. Both the Shadow and the Spider come from that “pulp era” with the Shadow coming first in 1930 and then preceding the Spider again with last week’s new issue one. I can’t tell from this one single issue, what will set the two apart besides the era they take place. I honestly love seeing both of these characters brought back to life, I’m just hoping the creative team takes care to make this book stand out on it’s own! I’m definitely in for the first arc!
Parental Concern: Lots of dead bad guys, mild language, horror.