Review – Spider-Man: Spiders Shadow #5
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Available: 11th August 2021
PART 5 OF 5
WHAT IF PETER PARKER BECAME VENOM? By choosing to keep the symbiote, Spider-Man let himself become a monster. Now, with the help of Mary Jane and the Fantastic Four, he’s managed to reclaim control. But if the symbiote can’t have Peter, then it will just have to take the rest of the Marvel Universe. The shocking finale of this bold new approach to “What If..?” stories!
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
After the explosive penultimate issue, we find Peter trapped in the Baxter Building. Venomised Reed has infected the New York Heroes that were outside and Peter is trapped in the lobby. Upstairs, Johnny Storm saves MJ after Venom admits he wants to kill her for stopping Peter from bonding with him.
Reed pursues them with the other heroes giving Peter time to find a solution in Reed’s lab. The symbiote’s hate for MJ blinds it and it focuses completely on killing MJ which means Torch must take on the might of several big hitters. Thankfully, his big sister Sue comes to the rescue and saves both him and MJ. In the lab, Peter finally comes up with a plan and calls Johnny and Sue back to the lab.
He asks the creature to rejoin him if it promises not to kill MJ and let the heroes go. Venom agrees but kills Reed to stop him from interfering. I’ll leave the last 10 pages for you to read as there are some great moments as well as a sneaky wee epilogue.
Zdarsky uses half the issue as an epic battle and the other half as a redemption arc, with Peter still suffering the guilt for his actions in the first three issues. I still think I would have preferred a lost cause arc with the heroes taking on a fully integrated Peter and Venom as they were shown as almost unstoppable.
Artwork: Pasqual Ferry & Matt Hollingsworth
Ferry, Hollingsworth and Caramagna take Zdarsky’s script and give life to Peter throughout the issue, Peter’s face and body show the toll of the mini-series and his guilt the death of so many. The other heroes are mainly almost faceless cameos and didn’t fully Venomise due to Reed creating them rather than the Carnage route. The death of Reed is a little too quick and ruthless with hardly any exposition or warning.
Overall, this has been an interesting “What If” mini-series, as I’ve said above I would have preferred an all-out evil dark Spider-Man but the usual power and responsibility elements of character bring it down back to reality. The epilogue sets up an interesting sequel.
Look out for Spider-Man: Spiders Shadow #5 at your Local Comic Shop if you liked this review
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