Review: The Spider #15
Richard Wentworth has been brought low, but the Spider must still protect New York! As a terrible new wave of violence sweeps across the city, the Spider faces a terrible new enemy who will stop at nothing as he seeks his twisted revenge. But how far can the Spider go to save an innocent who may the key to this murderous spree. It’s pulp mayhem, Spider style!
Richard Wentworth is close to rock bottom after losing Wentworth Industries to the villainous Fly. Now left completely broken in more ways than one, Richard takes his fight against crime as The Spider to the streets and harder than ever before. The Spider #15 is written by David Liss with art from Ivan Rodriguez. Vinicius Andrade handles colors and Simon Bowland tackles lettering. The Spider may be in a nosedive, but does the issue soar?
A new threat has emerged. The Fly is still very much a…well, fly in the ointment for The Spider, but now The Red Hand is starting to gain momentum and is quickly becoming a very powerful gang leader. Richard Wentworth is out there hitting the streets as best he can, but with no resources or friends to help him in his crusade, things are rough. The Fly has gained control of Wentworth Industries and now Richard is left with nothing but his costume and a really bad apartment in Brooklyn. Turning to the bottle, Richard just makes his problems worse. In a drunken stupor he goes on a rampage of revenge that makes The Spider public enemy #1 again. When he has only one person left to turn to, can Richard get the help he needs? Will The Spider find himself in The Red Hand’s web of destruction?
Liss writes a mixed issue. There are some great moments of Richard hitting rock bottom and really taking his aggression out on the criminals, but some of the things he decides to do as The Spider are questionable. Two big villains that have been pivotal threats in The Spider’s life are dealt with rather quickly and anti-climatically. The series has been strong overall, but things sort of go off the rails with a few choices this time around. A scene where Nita reluctantly agrees to help Richard and then turns around and explodes at her husband for not helping Richard is a good example of some inconsistency. The new villain is also imparting knowledge he’s learned over the years with an unintentionally hilarious “my mama always says.” Rodriguez’s art gets consistently better with every issue. There are still the few odd faces or body positioning, but the character and background work is solid. Andrade’s colors give things a realistic look at times but occasionally makes the characters look too smooth and plastic.
Bottom Line: The Spider is still a solid bit of pulp goodness, but this issue leaves you scratching your head after seeing a few things. 3/5