No Excuses, Honey, You're A Smart Guy
Spider-Island remains the best event I’ve ever read (admittedly I’ve read very few) because of how ridiculous and over the top it is. Even at its most dramatic, I find myself unable to worry or get too serious about it. I think that’s why Deadly Hands of Kung Fu didn’t work for me. Too self-serious! Thankfully the book is with me on this. Serious may come later on in the arc, but it’s just so chock full of jokes and fun that you can’t help but smile along as you read.
Like many Spider-Books before and many in the future, this is a funny book. Dan Slott recognizes the inherent silliness and you hardly go a page or two without a joke, funny or not. For every good Carlie quip toward an increasingly compromised Peter you have a random, not-that-obscure-but-obscure-to-the-target-audience Three’s Company reference. Comment if you’ve even heard of Three’s Company or could name drop Mr. Furley. I just guessed and I was right. I’m too young for that joke at 25 and this book is ostensibly targeted to teens.
I do like Humberto Ramos’ art in this arc because of how whimsical it’s made the whole thing seem, but it gets unacceptably sloppy at times. The proportions when Peter and Carlie arrive at The Shocker’s location are hideously out of whack. Ramos has panels like that and then he has excellent action panels like when Peter deploys the Way of the Spider.
Dan Slott’s writing is less egregiously wordy than usual and, aside from a few clumsy lines, (“Name’s Luke Cage. I’m with the Avengers” stands out as my least favorite) it’s one of his less over-written issues. We’ve still got tons of writing, but Spider-Man books have always been a little wordy because the character is a little wordy. Slott would be better served to remember that he can use pictures to show stuff in a comic book and tone down his dialog. What he is doing really well is writing Carlie. A forensics expert should be able to put two and two together and Peter is being transparently obvious. I hope she knows who he is by the end of this arc, otherwise all of these interactions are wasting time and filling space.
I’m loving Spider-Island for its pure fun, but, Cloak & Dagger aside, nothing in it is actively blowing me away. ASM is good, not great, but fun enough that I wouldn’t miss it.