Spider Island #4: Intelligent Design
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Paco Diaz
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
C.Artist: Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editors: Devin Lewis & Nick Lowe
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Mayday Parker, Spider-Woman in: Team Player
Storytellers: Tom Defalco & Ron Frenz
Finished Art: Sal Buscema
Colors: Andrew Crossley
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Nick Lowe
That’s the choice we have to make: Under the ruins of Avengers Mansion, Flash reorganizes his team. After a brief debate on what to do, Flash sends Stegron to the Museum of Natural History. Stegron restores life to the dinosaur fossils there and draws the Queen’s army away from her base of operations, Avengers Tower.
Flash and his team attack the tower, taking down the Queen quickly. They debate on whether or not to kill her, giving her time to evolve into a massive Spider-Monster.
Change or Die: I went into this issue wanting three things; explanations, some cool team-up action (preferably with Spidey) and some sign of a happy ending for Flash and Betty, one they never got in the 616. I got one and half of those things. We learn that Stegron’s retro ray restores dinosaurs to life, which is unsurprising. And we learned the item Peter snuck off to get last issue was his stealth suit from the Big Time story arc, so Flash can be immune to the Queen’s scream. And we got a very brief team up between Flash and Cap-Wolf as they take down the Queen with ease.
But this story went from being cleverly filled with Spider-History to having total crap logic. Peter is worried that the symbiote is altering Flash’s brain, but Flash blows him off by saying the symbiote just knew that Flash needed a clear mind and let him be. Um, what? That’s crap.
Also, giving Flash the Sonic-proof suit makes no sense because he can only walk because of the symbiote! And when she does use the scream on Flash, the symbiote is blasted away, except for his legs. And no explanation is given why, like maybe Flash was focusing the symbiote’s efforts on his legs or something. Nope, it just doesn’t affect his legs. Crap.
Also, this issue is debate central as Peter derails the events of the issue every chance he gets, to take the moral high ground. Sure, it makes sense, that Peter doesn’t want to kill anybody, but the moment Peter is questioned on anything he objects to, he pulls an immediate 180. Why is this in there then? Why is Peter in this story at all if he is just used to derail it? Total, utter, crap.
That being said, Peter and Jonah’s brief exchange is the highlight of this issue for me. And I really hope we get to see some cool Agent Venom/Dinosaur team up, either in the form of symbiosaurus or like Venom teaming up with a T-Rex, Jurassic World style.
My favorite piece of art this issue is the cover, so kudos to Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado. Facial expressions in this issue bother me more than ever, but there is still some cool monstrous artwork here and I’m hoping Paco Diaz and Frank D’Armata kill it for the boss fight next issue.
Verdict: The more times I read this issue, the more it bothered me. This story has both shown and told us Flash is an amazing soldier and leader, yet continues to tell us so, time and time again. The story is pretty derailed at this point for me, so I have my doubts on whether the creative team can stick the landing. Which sucks, because I want Agent Venom to go out on top, before his Space Knight days.
- The Cover
- Action Scenes
- Peter Parker
- Story Logic
- Facial Expressions
- Too Little Too Late Explanations
Y’know, Maybe Uncle Ben Is Right: May plays possum until Hope Pym decides to kill Scott Lang for taking up her deceased Father’s title. May springs into action, reflecting on her life while fighting the Avengers. She decides to honor not only her father’s legacy as Spider-Man but as Peter Parker as well, once she gets out of this mess. Luckily, her friends show up to help her take the fight to Enthralla, Hope, and the Avengers. The issue ends on a cliff hanger as Hope forces Cassie Lang to attack her father.
Maybe I’ve Been Overdoing The Webs Thing: As the main story gets worse, this backup gets better and better. Hope Pym comes off as extreme yet also sympathetic, driven by the loss of her parents and a grudge against the Lang family. Mayday’s epiphany is a little abrupt, but well handled none the less; her realization does mirror one Gwen went through in issue 4 of Spider-Gwen though. Still, this story kicked into high gear for its finale next issue.