All of the Spider Peoples
With the upcoming Spidermen event, it seemed like a good time to go back and experience the last big event of the franchise, Spider Island. And, while it's not by any means a bad story, it certainly has its glaring flaws and issues.
One thing that you can say for sure, though, is that this book is filled to the brim, with about 16 issues contained. That being said, some are much better than others. With Dan Slott's writing behind it, the main series certainly shines brighter than the rest of it. However, the Venom series, with 4 issues of that contained in this volume, is written poorly as a whole, and adds little to the story at hand, as most of the important bits are briefly recapped, word for word, in the event itself. There are also a few other little issues, like a Hobgoblin issue that's a lot of fun, but they don't add to much to the overall experience.
The event itself is something if a mixed bag. The biggest issue may be the villain, Jackal, who honestly isn't a very interesting or well written character to begin with; he's a poor man's Green Goblin with a DNA fetish, and contributes very little to the story itself. And, while it is interesting to see a number of characters transform and have spider-like abilities, the repetitive nature of this brings the effect down very quickly, minus one or two stronger instances. There's also a really big flaw in the plot for the first half of the series; beyond a minor instance at the start of the series, there is very little reason given as to why everyone having spider powers is innately a bad thing. And, while this is eventually cleared up, it still leaves me wanting a stronger explanation earlier in the plot. Also, as much fun as some of the side characters are, it sometimes feel like they can quickly bog down the experience. Withe the brief appearances of Venom, the New Avengers showing up a lot, Madam Web and Shang Chi, JJJ (who's as a amusing as ever), Jackal, Carlie, Mary Jane, and Mr. Fantastic, it can be a bit much, feeling like there's little focus on much of anything. There's some also pretty BS moments of "this character is ACTUALLY this other character!!! OOOOOOOOOOOH!!!" It can be rather obnoxious, and feels out of place at times. And, as far as plots go, it's pretty basic, very reminiscent of the bland Fear Itself event.
However, I cannot deny that, in the moment, I had a lot of fun with what was here, as Dan Slott's writing is undeniably good and the characters, while there are many, can be very fun. And, with all of this having been $4 on the marvel app, I'd say I got my money's worth. I'd suggest picking it up if you really like Dan Slott's work and/or want to give the Venom series a chance with a guarantee of something additional being included with it in case you don't care for it.