REVIEW: ‘Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 - But Why Tho

Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 is written by B. Earl and Taboo, illustrated and colored by Juan Ferreyra, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Peter Parker, aka the Amazing Spider-Man, is visiting a friend in California to help with a revolutionary new scientific breakthrough. However, strange things are happening in the Sunshine State. Every time Peter closes his eyes, he’s trapped in a nightmarish labyrinth of concrete and steel that’s populated by strange creatures. And it’s all connected to the Demon Bear, the malevolent presence that once challenged the New Mutants.

B. Earl and Taboo first made their Marvel Comics debut with the Werewolf by Night miniseries, which saw Jake Gomez taking up the mantle of the heroic lycanthrope. Here, they continue to weave Indigenous culture into a story that features Marvel’s most popular character. Both Peter’s friend Crystal Catawnee and Bird, a man he plays chess in the park with, are of Indigenous descent. And both of them are fully fleshed-out characters: Crystal is a talented scientist while Bird offers Peter some helpful advice. A great superhero story pays just as much attention to the world surrounding the hero as it does the hero himself, and both writers have that down pat.

They also get Spidey. Peter’s inner monologue has him musing about the good he can do, not just webbing up guys like the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus but in the lab as well. He’s still a wisecracker, referring to a rampaging bear as “Smokey” and “Yogi” while trying to stop said bear from eating a group of innocent teenagers. And there’s a moment where Spidey stops to take in the beauty of California during an impromptu web-slinging session. Having visited California recently, particularly San Diego, I can safely say that I get it—it’s a beautiful place once you take a break from all the bustle and hustle.

The thing that will probably draw readers to Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man is Ferreyra’s art. It’s hauntingly hypnotic, featuring buildings that twist in on themselves and a labyrinth in the middle of Los Angeles. Even Spidey himself undergoes a horrific transformation throughout the issue. His eye-pieces grow more sinister-looking and take on a yellow tint. His body elongates to inhuman proportions with his fingers growing pointy claws. And in one panel, he actually becomes a human spider—abdomen and all. It seems that Ferreyra’s goal for this book was to give the readers as many nightmares as possible.

Ferrerya also comes up with a trick to differentiate dream sequences from the real world. Most of the nightmarish imagery takes place in a world of greys and blacks, with Spidey’s red and blue suit being the only splash of color. In the real world, there’s sunlight and bright colors that one would associate with California. It’s a great way to separate both sections of the book and lends a certain visual flair to the proceedings. The one constant is Lanham’s lettering, which follows Peter as he ruminates on the events going on in his life.

Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 spins a twisted web of horror just in time for the Halloween season. Spider-Man fans should definitely pick up this book, as well as horror fans. The final page promises that the terror has only just begun for Spidey and that he’s not in his friendly neighborhood anymore.

Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1
5

TL;DR

Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 spins a twisted web of horror just in time for the Halloween season. Spider-Man fans should definitely pick up this book, as well as horror fans. The final page promises that the terror has only just begun for Spidey and that he’s not in his friendly neighborhood anymore.

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