ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Savage Spider-Man,’ Issue #1

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Savage Spider-Man #1 - But Why Tho

Savage Spider-Man #1 is written by Joe Kelly, penciled by Geraldo Sandoval, inked by Sandoval & Victor Nava, colored by Chris Sotomayor, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Following the events of Non-Stop Spider-Man, Peter Parker has been injected with the brain-boosting drug A-Plus and deposited on a mysterious island by the cabal known as the Immaculatum. To make matters worse, the drug’s unique chemical makeup triggered a reaction with Peter’s radioactive blood, transforming him into a literal Spider-Man. And not to mention the fact that he has Baron Zemo for company.

If you couldn’t tell from the title, the entire hook of the series features Spider-Man transformed into a savage version of himself. Sandoval, Nava, and Sotomayor lean into that concept, giving Spidey a frightening makeover. His mask is ripped, revealing a set of razor-sharp teeth and clicking mandibles that open to fire blood-red webbing. And that’s not even getting into the bottom half of his body, which has become a literal spider’s body. Even the opening page perfectly sells the horror elements of the book; a boar runs for its life before Savage Spidey webs it up for a late lunch. Sandoval has illustrated horror-tinged Marvel books before, including Venom and the final issue of Non-Stop Spider-Man which set up Savage‘s storyline; this makes him perfect for the ongoing story.

Lanham, who handled lettering duties on Non-Stop Spider-Man, gets extremely creative when it comes to Savage Spidey’s speech pattern. Instead of the usual word bubbles, Lanham has Savage Spidey’s words depicted as angry red letters surrounding his head — an inversion of how he depicted Spidey’s spider-sense in Non-Stop Spider-Man. And his words are essentially the primal thoughts of an animal: “Hate,” “Kill,” and “Pain” are repeated in various forms, and usually in blood-red colors thanks to Sotomayor. It’s a far cry from the Peter Parker fans know and love, but then again that’s the point. He’s become a monster, and his way of speech should reflect that.

Kelly returns to scripting duties, and while it’s interesting to see Savage Spidey cut loose, I have to say that fans will probably need to read Non-Stop Spider-Man before jumping into this series since it had all of the set-up. I also remain uncertain about the Immaculatum. What’s their end goal with A-Plus? How did they enter into a partnership with Zemo? I hope that future issues will address this, as well as their abduction of a Marvel villain; while the concept of Peter Parker transforming into a monstrous version of Spider-Man is an interesting one, there’s only so far you can take said concept.

Savage Spider-Man #1 is mostly carried by its concept and artwork, as it continues the story threads laid down in Non-Stop Spider-Man. I highly recommend reading Non-Stop Spider-Man before picking up this book, or if you’re into horror just pick it up from the get-go and enjoy the artwork. Hopefully, future issues will continue to flesh out the story and explore the horror-themed aspects of its story.

Savage Spider-Man #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on February 2, 2022.


Savage Spider-Man #1
3.5

TL;DR

Savage Spider-Man #1 is mostly carried by its concept and artwork, as it continues the story threads laid down in Non-Stop Spider-Man. I highly recommend reading Non-Stop Spider-Man before picking up this book, or if you’re into horror just pick it up from the get-go and enjoy the artwork. Hopefully, future issues will continue to flesh out the story and explore the horror-themed aspects of its story.

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