Interesting Tid-Bit: Ai Apaec, AKA Paeces, AKA Aia Ai Apaec, AKA The Decapitator, is the protector of the Moche, provider of water, food, and victory in battle. He usually appeared as a young, muscular man with large fangs wearing a Jaguar headdress, snake head earrings, and a double headed snake as a belt. He holds a blood covered Half moon shaped blade in one hand, and the severed head of his latest foe, or sacrifice, in the other.
Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #2
Part 2: The Web of Deceit
Writer: Antony Johnston
Penciler: Sebastian Fiumara and Leandro Fernandez
Inker: John Lucas
Colorist: Dan Brown
The issue opens with Shang-Chi having a spider-dream shortly before waking in his apartment with Silver Sable drinking coffee. Silver Sable critiques Shang-Chi’s living style while updating the readers as to what happened following the previous issue. It seems that Silver Sable saw Iron Fist and Bride of Nine Spiders dash off in the midst of the main fight and decided to follow them. It is then that she saw Shang-Chi get knocked unconscious and brought him home.
Shang-Chi talks about his recent dream, contemplating some of the details that appeared. Silver Sable departs and Shang-Chi finds his way towards Hamilton Heights. Once inside a derelict mansion, Shang-Chi inadvertently trips a trap, discovers that he has turned into a man-spider, then realizes that it is all the illusions of Bride of Nine Spiders. Is there something more behind the Bride of Nine Spiders and her sudden trip to the dark side?
As Shang-Chi proceeds through the mansion, he talks about a sickness that he is feeling and is thankful that only Iron Fist has been taken…orrrrr maybe not? Shang-Chi enters the main room and sees Bride of Nine Spiders taking care of several cocoons. The two begin to fight, and though Shang-Chi is able to get in a few choice hits, he is ultimately outgunned. Luckily for him, Iron Fist breaks out of his cocoon and joins Shang-Chi.
When Bride of Nine Spiders is down for the count, our two masters of Kung Fu both believe it is over…until a ghastly visage calling himself Ai Apaec comes forth talking about the Queen, food, and all sorts of evil things. Iron Fist looks like he is the underdog and will be fighting Ai Apaec alone, until Shang-Chi emerges sporting six powerful arms.
I would definitely say that this issue improved over the last issue. It kept my interest and it had a nice blend of action and dialog. In fact, it was heavy on the action, and for this type of comic, it really needed to be!
I really enjoyed the beginning of the issue and the interactions between Shang-Chi and Silver Sable. It was filled with fun banter and it furthered the story without burdening the reader with unnecessary exposition. I would be interested to see what it would be like to have those two on a team.
The scenes where Shang-Chi is fighting the illusions is certainly interesting, but seems random in the scheme of the whole issue. The only purpose it truly serves is to make Shang-Chi look deeper into the mystery of Bride of Nine Spiders. I am happy to hear the Bride may not be doing these things of her own free will though, and I hope that we find out the whole truth next issue.
I love the fight scenes in this issue, with the silhouettes, the names of the moves, and the nicely choreographed fight overall. It was great to finally see Iron Fist and Shang-Chi fight together, though I can hardly believe that it takes the two of them to take down Bride of Nine Spiders.
I do not really know what to think of Ai Apaec. I feel like it would be better to keep the cast small and get to the bottom of the mystery, rather than add yet another antagonist. He certainly is an interesting-looking villain, and he really reminds me of a Mortal Kombat boss.
Finally, I really enjoyed seeing Shang-Chi pop onto the final page with six arms. I actually loved seeing the six-armed Peter Parker in the animated series, so this was fun for me. Throughout the issue I was wondering what the point was of Shang-Chi’s constant chatter of feeling ill and in pain. At least that question was answered!
This issue certainly makes me excited for #3! Here’s hoping everything gets resolved and is just as action-packed!
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 Webheads