MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN has been a long, rough and very abstract road for Peter Parker, but with this issue, he finally reaches the end of it. We obviously won't spoil if that means he ends up six feet under (he did take a bullet in the last cliffhanger and this is apparently non-canon, after all) or if he'll walk off into the sunset, but let's just say it all concludes on a rather unexpected yet much appreciated note. It's a bit abrupt, especially after all that Peter has endured, but it feels earned.
This series has been all about pushing Spider-Man to his physical and mental limit. He's been drugged and then forced to face an absolutely vicious gauntlet of villains. We all know Spider-Man has exceptional will power, but what's part of the driving force behind that? It's a message Matt Kindt makes incredibly clear, and, I won't lie, it's a really nice change of tone for the volume. Yes, this is yet another where we see a beyond exhausted Spidey face more and more villains, but the conclusion is a very welcome change of pace and the message is sure to have a bit of an impact on you.
This limited-series debuted with a legitimately psychedelic issue and it ends on one that goes completely over the top with its visuals. The amount of work that went into each of these pages must have been beyond time consuming for Marco Rudy and there's so many vivid and unique panel layouts. Val Staples takes full advantage of the complex visuals and makes sure each page has an eye-popping and distinct application of coloring. These intense visuals may not be for everyone, but for those who do enjoy this style, this is an issue they'e certain to appreciate.
Oh, and bonus points for including the always fearsome Typeface.
As impressively unique and complex as these pages may be, some of them feel too crowded and that makes it tough to really appreciate what's going on. The "more is better" approach takes away from the weight of one major physical obstacle. It's an impressive amount of detail, but it's tough to experience the energy behind that fight because there's an overwhelming amount of activity. Also, Pete fights someone who he should completely obliterate (and has), but given the fact he's severely drained and there's also a distraction, it's not a big deal.
MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN ends on a note that's still all about the crazy gauntlet of brawls, but shifts gears a bit so Kindt can deliver an important and positive message. It's a tad heavy-handed, but it's still very effective. Then there's Marco Rudy who goes above and beyond with the visuals in this one. If you thought the previous issues were trippy, just wait until you set your eyes on this one.