Review: The Spider Annual 2013
The Spider unleashes a one-man war on the criminals of New York City but this relentless pursuit triggers unintended consequences. Already approaching his breaking point, The Spider comes under fire from an elite squad of assassins sent from a mysterious enemy. Injured and on the run, the Spider will once again learn why he’s so good at what he does regardless if the cost is a price even he can’t afford.
Today sees the release of The Spider Annual 2013. The story is written by Shannon Eric Denton with art by Igor Vitorino. Wes Hartman handles colors with Rob Steen tackling lettering. It’s that magical time of year again when a lot of comics are releasing their Annuals. Is The Spider Annual one you should pick up?
The Spider escalates his one-man war on crime in New York City when he tries to take down La Familia. He’s been up for three days straight doing nothing but running down information and putting bullets in really bad people. It’s brutal and it’s ugly, but The Spider has to do it. His body has almost reached its limit but there’s too much work to do to sleep now. After doing a little recon and seeing a new member “inducted” into La Familia, The Spider finally knows who’s at the top of the food chain. The leader of La Familia looks a lot like Danny Trejo, and he’s just as bad. When The Spider takes on the leader at an old, abandoned warehouse, things take an unexpected turn. When a group of mercenaries takes out the gang leader (who’ll we’ll call Danny Trejo for simplicity and because he really does look like him) while The Spider is trying to teach him and his gang a lesson, the fight is taken up a notch and taken below ground. Can The Spider, who is basically running on fumes, take down a group of highly trained mercenaries in a dangerous section of tunnels? What’s our heroes surprising connection to the man that hired the killers?
Denton writes an absolutely stellar issue. It’s brutal, it’s intense, and it’s non-stop action all the way through. This is a perfect annual story, but it’s an even better introduction to the character and a great starting point if you’re looking to get into The Spider. He turns things up to 11 with a Spider who is part Batman, part Shadow, and a dash of The Punisher. There are a few pulp nods that fans will get a kick out of as well. Things are action-packed, but Denton also brings in some real emotion toward the end. Vitorino’s art is top notch. The opening sequence is just phenomenal and the character work is solid. We get some highly detailed art and some movie quality choreographed fight scenes. Denton’s story is brutal, even more so Vitorino’s art. Hartman’s colors are great. The color and shading really bring out Vitorino’s art. It’s bright and colorful, but it still fits with the tone of the story.
Bottom Line: Not only is this a fantastic Annual, it’s just an all-around fantastic issue of The Spider. Whether you’ve read every issue or this is your first, you’ll like what you see. Few Annuals really impress, but this one does. 4.5/5