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Review: Symbiote Spider-Man #1

Symbiote Spider-Man #1

Everyone knows that Spider-Man’s infamous black suit would someday become the wicked web-slinger called Venom – but what happened BEFORE Peter Parker discovered the black suit’s sinister secret?

Set during the original “Black Suit Saga,” this is an all-new tale that pits the wall-crawling wonder against that most mystifying of menaces…MYSTERIO!

In case you can’t get enough Spider-Man, this comic takes you back to when Peter Parker still wore the Venom symbiote (though he didn’t yet know that’s what the suit would inevitably become). I’ve read very little comics from that era featuring Spider-Man, so I was curious to see what this series had to offer readers like myself who are largely unaware of that time in Spidey’s life beyond the basics of him getting the suit and then losing the suit.

Written by Peter David, Symbiote Spider-Man #1 features Greg Land on pencils, inks by Jay Leisten and colours by Frank D’Armata. This is a comic that delights in its place in history, with the occasional editor’s note asterisk popping up to let us know where to seek information casually referenced in the comic’s pages, as well as more than a handful of jokes riffing on Spider-Man’s past (or future at this point in his life) that even readers like me are able to have a little chuckle at.

The comic visually blends a sense of the past with modern artistic sensibilities; it’s an approach that subtly lets the reader know that this isn’t NOW, but not explicitly when the comic takes place which means we won’t focus on the strange and wonderful timeline present in comic books where a man can be in his 30’s for twenty five years. There is a slightly edgier look to Peter in this issue, which fits seeing as how he is wearing the Venom suit, but there’s still enough of the Parker charm that shines through to remind you that this is still a Spider-Man comic.

If you’re looking to read a Spidey story free from the weight of continuity that also features an upcoming movie villain, you can’t go wrong with this. Symbiote Spider-Man #1 is a great diversion to your morning (or afternoon or evening), and one that’s worth reading for new or long time fans of the character.

Story: Peter David Art: Greg Land
Inks: Jay Leisten Colours: Frank D’Armata
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review.

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