Alright, Spider-Fans, this is the big finish so hang on tight, we have four, count ‘em, FOUR books to cover! To keep the size of this review manageable I’m going to go through the miniseries titles pretty fast.
SPIDER-ISLAND: SPIDER-GIRL #3 by Paul Tobin and Pepe Larraz begins with total chaos and ends with a strange new order. We jump right into the thick of things as Spider-Girl, leading The Hand, fight the wasps back in an attempt to protect the people infected with Spider-Powers as her allies, The Kingpin and Hobgoblin, prepare the final scene with a fight against the Wasp Queen.
Yeah, because Madame Web said she needed to team with her enemies, she’s working with ninjas, a nutjob and the Kingpin of Crime. Thing is, they aren’t the enemies Web was talking about! While all this chaos is happening, Spider-Girl misunderstood what ‘enemy’ Madame Web was talking about. Her true enemy is the Society Of The Wasps which means she has to team with them to stop the Spider-Plague! A very shaky truce is made and the Wasps join Spider-Girl and the others to stop the spiders from overwhelming the other heroes.
So, the flow of spiders it swayed and the day seems to be getting better as Spider-Girl, Kingpin and the Wasp Queen/Hive Mother try to decide what comes next, a decision made by Hobgoblin who cuts the Hive Mother in half, killing her! Kingpin catches him and figures killing him is a good enough solution but Spider-Girl intervenes and something very interesting happens: in the panel where Kingpin tosses Hobgoblin aside there is the ‘Spider-Sense’ symbols coming off of Hobgoblin’s head. This makes me wonder what this means for him. Will he, in his civilian identity, allow himself to be cured? I wonder this because for some reason he seems to have an immunity to the mutation part of Infestation. It’s probably nothing but wouldn’t it be interesting if Hobgoblin ended up with some of Spider-Man’s powers?
Overall, this was a highly entertaining series. From the writing to the art, it flowed smoothly and was very action packed, everything a tie-in series needs but while this ties in to the main story, you didn’t really have to read it. This is something Marvel always promises but rarely delivers on, all the miniseries and one shot for this event can stand on their own or be read with the main book, Amazing Spider-Man, OR the main story can be read without any of these add ons and it could still be fully understood. I mean, how many people who haven’t been reading Journey Into Mystery really know that the Serpent’s loss of power was because of Loki?
The next miniseries to wrap-up is SPIDER-ISLAND: CLOAK & DAGGER #3 by Nick Spencer and Emma Rios. I’ve already raved and praised the writing and art of this book and I could do that again but there isn’t anything more I can say. Spencer and Rios have made me a Cloak & Dagger fan.
The events of the previous issue have left things is a very bad way. Cloak and Dagger have had their powers revered by Mister Negative as he tries to control hid destiny some, he isn’t trying to prevent Dagger from killing him, he just wants it on his terms.
With Cloak’s darkness all Dagger can do is absorb light, it’s a hunger she can’t control and Cloak is the only one who can help her but he, in turn, needs Negative’s help.
Things take a very interesting twist as we leave our heroes in revered roles. Cloak has Dagger’s powers and Dagger has Cloak’s. Does this change Negative’s future? No, he doesn’t think to but it certainly changes things for Cloak/Dagger & Dagger/Cloak.
Also, Spencer does set up some possible future stories and brings back an entity I haven’t seen used by Marvel in a very long time: D’Spayre! All he says is “Soon. Very, very soon…” and we get glimpses of things to come!
As with Spider-Girl, this series was highly entertaining. It didn’t tie in with Spider-Island very much but if that was the excuse given to put this series out then I have no problem with it. Had it not been part of Spider-Island I would have missed out in a very well written and drawn series simply because the characters didn’t interest me. With this creative team, however, I am more likely to grab any future one shots or miniseries! Plus, I’m very curious about the things shown on the last page!
The final miniseries to surprise me is SPIDER-ISLAND: DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU #3 by Antony Johnson with art by Sebastian Fiumara and Leandro Fernandez. Just like Cloak & Dagger, this character never interested me and had this book come out without being part of Spider-Island I would have looked at the covers, all three of which are spectacular, but left it on the shelf.
I’m so glad this was part of the Spider-Island event, Shang-Chi has been in Amazing Spider-Man for a while now helping him cope with the loss of his Spider-Sense and this mini pulled him completely into Spider-Man’s world. Shang is continuing to fight to save Iron Fist and the Immortal Warriors from the spider demon Ai Apaec but succumbs to the infestation and fully mutates while fighting. Fist has a healing ability and while it takes a lot out of him he’s able to cure Shang of the mutation and the infestation allowing Shang to take out the spider demon in a fairly interesting way.
If you fight an enemy bigger than you…you need to drop something bigger on them!
The wrap up has Shang, Fist and the Immortal Warriors joining the rest of the heroes at the Last Stand of Spider-Island which makes it the last book to be tied directly into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #672 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, the Spider-Island finale!
After reading the final issues of the miniseries I was pumped and wanted to just jump into the ending. I was kind of expecting some sort of rest time but, no, Slott picks things up with Steve Rogers and Venom teaming up(!) against the Queen. The combination is able to temporarily stop her but putting Rogers’ Captain America shield through her back but all that did was allow her to become something more…and something far bigger than anything we’ve seen so far in this event: Spider-Queen! She’s big and mean and Rogers tells Venom “Round two!” Great stuff, and this team up is very fun to see!
At Horizon things are still crazy. Kaine was cured of his infestation and he and Peter quickly switch clothes so everyone see Peter and Spider-Man together which confuses Reed Richards just as Mary Jane arrives with a group of people wanting to be cured.
As Peter and Kaine both suit of to finish this thing once and for all, the heroes are shocked to see the spiders turning and leaving their fights…because they are being called to the Spider-Queen who is absolutely huge and chasing Rogers and Venom who are in a helicopter. Rogers calls everyone in the area: Red Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men and says “Everyone Assemble!”
Kaine and Spider-Man have a quick conversation with Madame Web who explains that Peter has to kill the Spider-Queen in order to stop her. Peter flat out says he’s not going to and the ‘Parker Brothers’ take off to join the fight. Peter is tossed aside and saved from going splat on a building by Mary Jane and as they both get ready to join the heroes in the final assault against the Spider-Queen, it finally dawns on Peter what Smythe was talking about when he says they already had all the Spider-Slayers they need: the Octobots of Doctor Octopus which he used in Amazing Spider-Man #600. Using Oct’s control helmet, Peter uses the octobots to collect all of the Anti-Venom cure and while situated on the Empire State Building, has them go out and cure everyone in NYC! It’s quite an accomplishment and the pure size of what his mind is doing isn’t lost on Peter.
Now we’re finally getting a break for the heroes, as the spiders are cured the Spider-Queen begins to lose power to where she can finally be killed but according to Madame Web Parker has to kill her.
Not all predictions are explained straight forward. A Parker has to kill her and Kaine is a Parker. Teaming with Ms. Marvel, Kaine slices through the Spider-Queen’s head effectively killing her.
It’s been a long time that an event hasn’t ended with me feeling let down. This ending was very satisfying for me and I’m eager to see what comes next. First thing that needs to be dealt with is all the cured people…mainly because spiders don’t wear clothes so there’s a whole lot of naked people in New York City now.
We also get a bit of a glimpse of what the Scarlet Spider teaser that Marvel put out a while back might mean.
But after the clean up…what’s next? One clue might be another recent Marvel announcement concerning one Doctor Octopus!
Final Thoughts: This was a very entertaining, very fulfilling event. Dan Slott put together something that, on the surface might sound corny but the execution made it a bigger event, and a better executed event, than Fear Itself. My hat goes off to Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos and each and every creative team who worked on the miniseries and one shots during this. Each one actually ended up playing a part in the main story but you really could have just read Amazing Spider-Man and enjoyed the story in full. Marvel should take notice of this and use it as the template for any and all events the plan from now on. This is how it’s done. Slott deserves a raise for this. I will be grabbing the trade(s) for this when they start to come out because this is a story I want my friends to read! Congratulations to everyone involved, this story was awesome and thank you for sharing it with the world!
(check out all the coverage we had for this event RIGHT HERE!)