Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #3
Conclusion: The Zen of Spiders
Writer: Antony Johnston
Penciler: Sebastian Fiumara and Leandro Fernandez
Inker: John Lucas
Colorist: Dan Brown
The final issue picks up with a six-armed Shang-Chi ready to face off with Ai Apaec. Shang-Chi uses his new dexterity to his advantage, giving choice hits to Ai Apaec. Ai Apaec recovers, gets in a few hits of his own, and manages to set fire to the building that they are all in.
As Shang-Chi attempts to press his advantage, a terrible headache occurs which totally transforms Shang-Chi into a man-spider. As Shang-Chi continues fighting, Iron Fist scrambles to get the other Immortal Weapons out of their weblike prisons.
Shang-Chi uses the burning building as an offensive strike, causing Ai Apaec to fall through the floor. Following him through the floor are the Immortal Weapons. They land hit after hit on Ai Apaec, but suddenly Shang-Chi collapses. Iron Fist runs to his rescue, using his Chi to cure him. Shand-Chi struggles against the Queen of all spiders but emerges with his normal appearance and no spider-powers.
Iron Fist is weakened after exhausting his Chi and the Immortal weapons have somehow all been taken out by Ai Apaec. Without his newly-found power you would think that Shang-Chi would be down and out, but the opposite is the case. Shang-Chi feels his Kung Fu redouble and takes Ai Apaec out.
Finally, at the site of the last stand of Spider-Island, Shang-Chi talks with Madame Web, explaining how Bride of Nine Spiders was able to break out of the Queen’s control and the dreams that he was having. With the plague removed from Shang-Chi’s body he goes off to repay the debt. He, is the master of Kung Fu!
As this is the final issue in this mini, one would hope that it would be wrapped up nicely with a powerful ending. It does not disappoint.
This is a strong issue, not only with the writing but also with the characters involved. Shang-Chi seems to face attack after attack, not only with the obvious Ai Apaec, but also with the transformations that Shang-Chi is undergoing. He is able to overcome all these obstacles with shear strength and force of will, along with some deep philosophy. The two-page splash was great in showing the struggle and then victory of Shang-Chi.
I love seeing the Immortal Weapons, and especially Iron Fist. It shows the strength of the friendship that they all share and the power that that friendship brings. Iron Fist and his love for Shang-Chi bring Shang-Chi back from the brink of darkness. The series begins with the power of friendship and ends with the power of friendship; a well-done ring composition.
The main problem that I have with this issue is the fact that five Immortal Weapons were unable to bring down Ai Apaec when left alone for a few moments. This was obviously a set-up positioning Shang-Chi to take the main antagonist down, but when the Weapons were doing so well before, it just does not make sense.
The art, as with the previous two issues, does a great job with the action and emotional scenes. There are some moments where panels are somewhat crowded and confusing, but these are few and far between.
Madame Web’s speech to Shang-Chi at the end of the issue imbues the reader with hope; hope for the future and hope for Shang-Chi. Could Shang-Chi get his own series? Only time will tell.
RATING: 4.0 out of 5 Webheads