Comics

Marvel Action: Spider-Man #10 – Review

There’s a definite Venom movie vibe here in issue ten of Marvel Action: Spider-Man, as the iconic Spider-Man villain is introduced to this new continuity.

When a mysterious new, black clad Spider-Man begins to appear around New York, attacking criminals and leaving destruction in his wake, Peter begins to suspect that Miles might be behind things. Miles wears a black suit, and the new Spider-Man appears to have web-shooters too, so it must be Miles behind things, right?

If that seems to be something of a big leap in logic you’re not alone in thinking that, as Miles is understandably upset that Peter would begin to suspect him of going around the city assaulting people. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see much of how this new wrinkle in the team’s relationship affects Miles as he’s not actually around for a great deal, having stormed off when Peter makes his suspicions known.

It’s something of a shame that the team is still having interpersonal conflict, especially after they seemed to put things to bed following their run in with Black Cat, but I’m hopeful that this won’t become a major issue between the three of them and that things can be resolved fairly soon. Perhaps this will even become something of a catalyst for Miles to finally come up with a name for himself that isn’t Spider-Man 2, wanting to break away from Peter’s shadow somewhat after this argument.

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Before the team are able to track down the person responsible for these attacks they come across one of his victims, the Lizard. This is actually a really nice conclusion to the hanging thread left in the first story arc, where the Lizard managed to escape the heroes and was still out in the world. The heroes come across an unconscious Lizard, administer a serum to change him back into Kurt Connors, and hand him over to the police. Delilah Dawson didn’t have to include this call-back to the earlier story, but it is a great moment that makes the story feel like part of a bigger whole and a connected narrative, rather than standalone adventures.

Following the capture of the Lizard, Gwen does some investigating and discovers that all of the stories about the black clad Spider-Man come from the same source, a disgraced journalist called Eddie Brock. Deciding to go and talk to Eddie to find out what he knows she gets drawn to a local bodega, where Vemon is attacking a man who tried to rob the place.

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This is where it begins to feel like Dawson has taken some inspiration from the recent Venom movie. This is Eddie’s local bodega, and he doesn’t like that a criminal has come into it and tried to hurt the owner, so he and Venom are taking matters into their own hands. I don’t know if this choice was Dawson’s, or if it was direction from above, but I kind of like it. The Venom movie was pretty good, and the character has straddled the line between villain and anti-hero so often in the comics over the decades that having him follow a similar anti-hero route here feels like a good choice. Saying that, even if he is something of a hero, there is conflict between him and Gwen in this issue, so it’s not clear how hero this anti-hero is going to be just yet.

Issue ten doesn’t just introduce a new villain in Venom, it also sees a change in artist from Fico Ossio to Davide Tinto. This isn’t the first change in artist on the title, but it’s the first one that really stood out to me. The other artists on the book have seemed to work with a very similar style that makes them flow into each other nicely; here, however, things feel a little different. This may also be down to the colourist, Valentina Pinto. Despite being different to what has gone before it still fits the tone of the book nicely, and looks very, very beautiful throughout. A great start to a new story arc featuring one of Spidey’s most iconic villains.

Marvel Action: Spider-Man #10 is out now from IDW Publishing.

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