Review: Spider-Island #1
In some ways the entirety of Secret Wars has at times read like a fan fic. Although there is a strong enough core to the overall story to hold it together, it is equally a relatively fertile ground for creators to let loose in terms of creativity. Some tie-ins have benefited from this and others have not, and in the case of Spider-Island it is very like the former. The creative team here has taken the crossover from four summers ago and repurposed it, asking some common fan fic questions like what if the Spider Queen had managed to take over the Avengers? Or what if Flash Thompson as Venom was the one fighting for the city, not Spider-Man.
The plot here focuses on Flash and his few allies – Jessica Drew, the Vision and Werewolf by Night. They are fighting a losing battle against the spread of the spider virus, and they are desperate to find something which they can do to counter it. Werewolf by Night is himself infested but only comes to the side of the heroes when her turns into a wolf at night, and he manages to give Flash the information that he might need to finally stop the spread of the virus. He launches a covert mission with the Vision, Jessica and himself, but things don’t turn out exactly as planned, though in this case neither for the heroes nor the villains.
The result is a fresh take on the crossover by recasting some of the main characters and by changing the baseline of the setting. It is a bit grittier than the original, but the reimagining works well as the reader is drawn into the story almost immediately and the pace never lets up. It is also nice to see the backup feature showing us a slightly older Spider-Girl (now Spider-Woman) from the MC2, which also sort of ties into the Secret Wars crossover. In the end this is a pretty decent tie-in to Secret Wars, proving once again that those who are willing to push the boundaries that the freedom of the crossover allows, also benefit from those risks, as they have paid off here and elsewhere for these tie-in series.
Story: Christos Gage, Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz Art: Paco Diaz and Sal Buscema
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy