Review: Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1
The Marvel Knights branding has gone unused for quite some time, besides a series here or there. But Marvel has decided to bring it back, and Marvel Knights Spider-Man is a good way to start the new line off.
Matt Kindt’s story is fairly straightforward. Peter Parker is poor so he takes odds and ends photography jobs to pay the rent. That’s about as classic Peter Parker as you can get. When he arrives, he is brought into a trippy dream world where random crap keeps happening to him. Right away, the series feels like a spiritual successor to Brendan McCarthy’s Spider-Man: Fever, which was also a Marvel Knights book. While the scatter-brain nature of the plot gives way to Marco Rudy’s beautiful pencils, the plot crosses the line of coherency and onto “What the hell is going on?!” It’s a very thin line to travel when making a story like this, and Kindt seems to have forgotten the line quite a while ago. It’s not a terrible thing, as it looks like that series will calm down a bit now that the main antagonist has been revealed and we have the basic idea of what Peter needs to do throughout the series.
While the plot of Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1 is a little out there, the characterization of Peter Parker is spot on. He’s quipping and talking about responsibility. While I’ve been enjoying Superior Spider-Man, Marvel Knights Spider-Man reminds me how much I miss Peter Parker in a comic book. Peter’s quips ended up being quite funny. While this is way over his head, and more of situation that Doctor Strange should be handling, he keeps a cool head and cracks a joke. Spider-Man is a character that doesn’t need his origin story retold, but Kindt works it in nicely. It doesn’t bog down the issue, and gives Rudy more material to change up styles. Kindt clearly has hold of the essence of Peter Parker.
But the biggest draw of this series is Marco Rudy’s amazing pencils. Much like Spider-Man: Fever, the pencils are trippy as all hell. Rudy fits an amazing amount into each panel without making it feel cramped. Peter Parker seems to be based on Matt Smith (Doctor Who), who fits the Peter Parker look well. Rudy’s look for Jack-O-Lantern should be brought into the main stream universe. It looks like Ultimate Mysterio shoved a pumpkin on his head. The mixture in style of pencils works seamlessly. Rudy jumps from traditional pencils, to pencils, and even 8-bit. I could care less if this book goes anywhere story wise (although I feel it will get a lot better in future issues), I would still buy this series for the artwork. Now comes the effort of trying to find a few panels of this to have framed. Val Staples colors are stroke of brilliance. The jump from plain colors to water colors is seamless.
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1 gets 3.5/5.