It is the third and final issue of the Dark Kingdom story arc. So, what will we see as the story wraps up? Will Mr. Negative get his long sought after revenge? Will Lian’s plot to kill Spider-Man with his Spider-Mobile work? If it does work, do we still have to finish the Amazing Grace story line? Will there be new type of web cartridge featured (perhaps Slither Webs?)? Will this issue break the story arc out of the C grade it’s been stuck in?
There is only one way to find out, folks. Keep reading!
The Devil in the Details
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Matteo Buffagni
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petite
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Editor: Nick Lowe
Published: Feb. 17, 2016
The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test
After Dr. Wu has successfully created an antidote to Shade and Mr. Negative’s touch, Spider-Man and the local Shanghai PD lay their trap. Peter shows up to deliver a humanitarian award to Shen Quinghao. There is a flashy media attention getting press conference set up to get the award up to Quinghao, who happens to be on the 100th floor of a Parker Industries building via Spider-Mobile. Lian drives him and Mr. Negative provides running commentary as he watches in anticipation of Parker slipping the “near lethal” dose of Shade to Quinghao. When nothing happens, Mr. Negative grabs some henchmen and has Cloak teleport them to the ceremony.
It becomes a full fledged shoot out and Mr. Negative realizes that he has been played. Peter ducks out and returns as Spider-Man very smartly cures Cloak first to take out Mr. Negative’s escape route and despite Quinghao getting hit with an accidental shot, all seems to go well. Cloak is taking care of Dagger, the police have Mr. Negative surrounded, and Spider-Man takes a moment to congratulate everyone on a job well done.
That’s when Lian attacks. Remember she made a deal with Zodiac to kill Spider-Man in order to save her mother who is dying of cancer. Instead of re-programming the Spider-Mobile (a la “My Killer, My Car”), she is driving the vehicle herself. A brief fight ensues and thanks to Cloak and Dagger they all end up on the ground floor in one piece. Mr. Negative slips out in the confusion, Cloak and Dagger swear vengeance, Spider-Man forgives Lian, and all is well.
All in all, this was a satisfactory story to read. The story was not too decompressed. While this story certainly could have been told in two issues, it also could have been stretched to four and I’m glad it wasn’t.
The jokes were mostly well timed. I particularly liked the one in the above panel and this one to the left.
Spider-Man doesn’t come off as a total loser who bumbles his way through until some side character saves the day. No web diaper. No unzipped fly.
There is one particular panel where Spider-Man is hanging on the side of the building and he shoots a web (a regular web at that!) to catch the Spider-Mobile which is tipping backward. Since his hand is on a window, the glass doesn’t hold and it shatters. I know that his spider sense should have warned him, but there is enough precedent that the sense doesn’t always warn properly or he tends to ignore it, especially when he is distracted.
I don’t even mind too much that Cloak and Dagger come to the aid at the end since this has been very much their story all along. It makes sense that after Spidey saved them they would help him out in return. Plus it provides Mr. Negative a chance to slip away to fight again another day.
To add to our list of new Spider-Man weaponry, we can add homing tracers that home in on existing tracers and perform some function (in this case administering antidote).
Cartridge #3 – acid webbing
Cartridge #6 – micro-coiled z-metal
Cartridge #7 – quick drying wet cement webbing
Cartridge #8 – expanding web foam
Buffagni’s faces are getting much better. Plus check out the cover. The spider appears to be glowing blue instead of green. I’m sure it is nothing, but I think it looks much better than the green glow.
Nothing, really. It is more of what just didn’t work for me.
I’m not a Mr. Negative fan. I don’t hate him, it is just that he inspires me about as much as the Lizard. I find myself not really caring a whole lot about his feud with Quinghao. Cloak and Dagger’s transformation was interesting, but not enough to float the three issues.
I liked the side of the building fight against the Spider-Mobile with the long panels. I never felt that Spider-Man was in danger during it. In fact, I never felt that Spidey was in danger the entire comic.
I didn’t like Spidey explaining the Admiral Akbar joke. I think everyone who would understand teh explanation understood the joke.
I said that Cloak and Dagger’s end rescue was to be expected. However, it comes after way too many saves from other characters in the past several comics.
How does Dagger’s suit cut THAT low? If she had been in the Deadpool movie wearing that outfit, it may have tipped the rating to NC-17.
In the end, I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I liked it a lot better before I had to sit down and think about why I liked it. I think it is because it didn’t stink.
I’ve got nothing pertaining tot he story. However, I will award extra credit to whoever tells me why we have VC’s in front of our letterers’ names. I was going to look it up, but Carolina is playing Dook right now and in this part of the country, that huge.
Scorpio’s back. Oh wait, I should have used an exclamation point.
I am really digging this cover art.