Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at Web of Spider-Man #8-10, a nifty recent storyline by Fred Van Lente where Spider-Man faces off with a new villain with somewhat…familiar views.
Fred Van Lente’s recent Web of Spider-Man issues are almost sad in a weird way. You see, the series had been introduced as a sort of “support” book for Amazing Spider-Man. For an extended period, each issue would feature a lead story by Van Lente detailing the origins of whichever villain was being featured in Amazing Spider-Man that month. Van Lente did a good job, but the format wasn’t exactly ideal. And recently, they announced that they were ending Web of Spider-Man. So with about five issues left to go, they revamped the format and just gave the book to Van Lente to use the lead stories as he wished, and he responded with some really strong Spider-Man stories (stories that might as well have been in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man).
The one I’m looking at today basically boils down to “What if Spider-Man fought a super-villain version of an Objectivist?” (and I’m sure we all know a famous Spider-Man related Objectivist, now don’t we?)
It began in Web of Spider-Man #8 and ended in #10. The artwork was done by Javier Rodriguez and Nick Dragotta (splitting the 3-parter pretty evenly with Rodriguez doing the first half and Dragotta the second, with Pat Olliffe contributing a two-page flashback in the middle of the story).
Here’s the impressive introduction of the Extremist…
After he kills that guy, we later see one of his manifestos…
Spider-Man decides to draw the Extremist out by publicly making himself, as Peter Parker, look to be contemptible by starting a new website using the Spider-Man photos he never sold over the years because they made Spider-Man look bad…
A very funny plan by Van Lente.
Naturally, it does, in fact, draw out the Extremist…
But after Spider-Man “shows up” to save Parker, the Extremist decides that Spider-Man is actually not the perfect hero he thinks of him. He has gray areas, and that can not be allowed!!
He also turns his attention to J. Jonah Jameson, who is basically the perfect example of the kind of people that Objectivists HATE…
It all sets up for a very interesting conclusion (plus, Spider-Man learns more about who the Extremist actually is).
This was an extremely clever three-parter with great art (particularly when you take into account that it had two different main artists but it seemed to flow naturally between the two).
This is yet another one of the reasons I wish we could get some more Spider-Man work from Van Lente (not that Slott won’t do a very nice job solo, of course – I don’t know why, but I always fear praising Van Lente is somehow seen as a slight against Slott, so that’s why I keep pointing out that that is not my intent).
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