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Spider-Man: Fear Itself #1

by  in Comic Reviews Comment
Spider-Man: Fear Itself #1

Spider-Man and Man-Thing. Two great characters that go great together. Or not really. I picked up this issue primarily due to the nostalgia that washes over me when I recall “Marvel Team-Up” #122. That issue featured Spider-Man trying to burst free from within Man-Thing and remains one of the most visually striking covers I’ve ever seen.

Naturally, seeing the duo on the cover of this issue, I had to give it a go. These two are such an unlikely combo. Spider-Man is a city dweller, garish in the swamp and probably more than a little soggy, while Man-Thing couldn’t possibly survive for long in the hustle and bustle of New York City. Stuart Moore tries to craft a tale that spans the two worlds and offers a connection between the two characters, but it, like the Man-Thing, is a shambling shell. Moore doesn’t build much development into the story, just a scare for Peter Parker that plays into the hands of the Man-Thing. After all, whoever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing’s touch.

Joe Suitor’s art is reminiscent of Stefano Caselli, but falls a little short. Peter Parker looks gaunt and other characters seem malnourished. The storytelling and the coloring are a bit more engaging, particularly with the use of Photoshop blur filters that provide a depth of field for much of the issue, giving it a cinematic feel. That said, Suitor seems to rely on the colors a little too much, frequently skimping on any significant background detail with the clear intent of having a blurred or gradated background affect mood as much as the story itself.

The story provides an interlude to Spider-Man’s adventures, but doesn’t rely deliver much of a payoff for any Man-Thing fans. I’d honestly rather re-read “Marvel Team-Up” #122 again. As a matter of fact, if you’re on the edge of whether or not to buy this issue, having read my review or having” target=”_blank”>peeked at the preview pages, check the back issue bins at your comic shop. If you can land “Marvel Team-Up” #122 for the same price as this issue, do it.