Devil’s Reign: Spider-Man #1 is a one-shot tie-in to the current Devil’s Reign event published by Marvel Comics. Written by Anthony Piper, art by Zé Carlos, color by Erick Arciniega, and letters by Joe Caramagna.
Taking on Taskmaster and Whiplash of the Thunderbolts at the Daily Bugle, Spider-Man took a beating and ended up arrested. He was rescued by Thing and Human Torch. But straight after being dropped off, he is attacked by a mysterious figure. He is now being hunted by someone else. This is the Rose, the son of the Kingpin.
The issue takes place straight after the escape attempt from the police precinct. This is a clever tactic by Piper as it not only reminds us of what has just happened but also is a funny moment. Literally seconds after he has been saved, Spider-Man is captured again. A constant state of momentum prevents our hero from ever being safe. The location frequently changes as other members of his supporting cast search for him. Even in the brief moments where he gets a chance to rest, he is not the only person in potential danger. There are many elements within Devil’s Reign: Spider-Man #1 that will require further knowledge of the greater mythos of the character’s current series. The action is exhilarating, with multiple fights taking place in the extended issue.
This is a one-shot, so the story is finished by the end of the comic. There is a feeling of satisfaction on the final page.
There is a feeling of a classic Spider-Man story within this tie-in, particularly how he functions in these big events. From the very beginning, before in fact, Ben is badly injured. He’s been attacked by super-villains and tortured in a police station. And that is not the only damage he will pick up. Perhaps the defining trait of whether a character is a good Spider-Man is whether they can keep picking themselves up even if they can barely stand. Reilly’s explanation of the “Spider-Man” demonstrates that he is the perfect fit to wear the mask.
The art is fantastic. The first part of the issue demonstrates the continuation of the story. Carlos draws Spider-Man in a battered and scruffy costume, further ramifications of his battle with the Thunderbolts. But perhaps the notion that he is badly hurt could be shown through more depictions of injuries. Excessive gore does not necessarily fit the art style, but bruises and cuts add detail. By the second half of this issue, he is given a new suit, and Carlos can then show off their interpretation of the fantastic design. Rose looks suave and immaculate in his suit. The artist brilliantly hints at a much large frame hidden underneath the fine clothing, the insinuation of size masked by how many layers he wears. The battles the two have are big in scale, chaotic, and have a very 90s element to the big energy blasts fired.
The colors are stunning. The comic is generally very dark, with the brightest part of the page usually the characters. Arciniega makes both the purple of the Rose and Spider-Man’s red rich without looking too bright in the dim lighting. The vibrancy of the tones increases when a powerful energy weapon is fired, or there is electrocution, brilliantly standing out.
The lettering is consistently easy to read. The SFX is energetic and adds to the art without being overly distracting.
Devil’s Reign: Spider-Man #1 is a fun breath of fresh air to what has been a very dark event so far. It still contains threatening moments for our hero, but the tone of the dialogue and the cartoonish art lighten the mood whilst reading it. It expertly merges the two respective stories involved by using Ben Reilly’s supporting cast against Devil’s Reigns circumstances. But interestingly, it travels down a completely unique direction that other tie-ins haven’t done yet.
Devil’s Reign: Spider-Man #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Devil's Reign: Spider-Man #1
Devil’s Reign: Spider-Man #1 is a fun breath of fresh air to what has been a very dark event so far. It still contains threatening moments for our hero, but the tone of the dialogue and the cartoonish art lighten the mood whilst reading it.