Peter Parker's impossible gauntlet continues and yes, it's every bit as trippy as ever. I'm a sucker for Spidey's rogue gallery, so writer Matt Kindt's premise is definitely an interesting one for me (even if most fights are abrupt or sell the enemy short). But let's be honest here, it's Marco Rudy's crazy visuals and page layouts which make this book something you're going to either love or hate. Luckily, it's the former for me and this chapter has quite a few creative page layouts and moments that your eyes are sure to appreciate it (if you've been digging the art, that is). It's not as consistently strong as the previous issues, but the black and white illustrations are all kinds of superb. The first look at Sergei's face is amazingly diabolical and the expression on Peter's face just fills you with empathy.
We're hit with a cliffhanger that, in most cases, could be shrugged off because you know it's not as it seems. But due to the book being non-canon, I find myself mixed on it and legitimately curious to see how Kindt will proceed in the finale. On one hand, I'm telling myself there's no way whatsoever it'll end like this for Pete. But on the other hand, it just may be the kind of book that could pull this off yet still find a way to offer some inspiration before it comes to a close. Only time shall tell, but as of right now, you can bet it has my interest.
The quality of art in this issue seems to fluctuate way more than usual. There's an abrupt amount of drastic visual shifts from panel to panel and it's especially distracting if you go from a panel you love to one you're... well, let's just say not so fond of.
Kraven's inclusion also feels like a missed opportunity. The idea behind his role is incredibly cool, but then there isn't even a decent fight with Sergei and ultimately, it feels short-lived and not nearly as epic as the other locations. Also, the chance for Kraven to poison Peter would have given Rudy way more opportunities to step up the trippy nature of this book, but unfortunately that doesn't happen.
If you've been liking this series, you'll be happy to know Kindt and Rudy basically hit us with more of the same. Spider-Man's placed in a new environment, a bunch of foes enter the picture and there's all kinds of craziness until we're hit with a cliffhanger that'll open up the next (and final!) chapter. This one isn't quite as exciting as what we've seen before, but it's still a fine amount of wacky fun and, even though it's a bit too inconsistent at times, Rudy serves up some legitimately engrossing visuals yet again. Now we just have to wait and see how it'll all end...