Excessive Force And Remorseful Mysterio In Symbiote Spider-Man #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Spider-Man has cornered and beaten down Mysterio. A botched bank robbery that ended in the accidental death of a clerk led Mysterio to this position. Meanwhile, Spider-Man has been getting the hang of his new black suit and his relationship with Felicia Hardy, aka the Black Cat. However, Peter’s mind always darkens a little on the anniversary of Uncle Ben’s death, and his day may yet get far worse.

Symbiote Spider-Man #1 cover by Greg Land and Frank D'Armata
Symbiote Spider-Man #1 cover by Greg Land and Frank D’Armata

Symbiote Spider-Man #1 brings us back to the days of Spider-Man in the black suit. He’s dating the Black Cat, he just dropped out of college, and J. Jonah Jameson still rails against him constantly via the Daily Bugle.

The comic splits the point-of-view between Spider-Man and Mysterio, with Mysterio’s story driving the more immediate plot of the book.

Symbiote Spider-Man #1 does a damn good job of making Quentin Beck sympathetic in this book while showing Peter Parker committing genuinely questionable acts. Mysterio doesn’t want to really hurt anyone, and he’s considering bringing his criminal career to an end. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is behaving more aggressively and cruelly than ever before.

There are some weird details spread throughout the comic that could give the reader pause. The biggest one is the full-page spread of Spider-Man being chased by the Human Fly across the rooftops of the World Trade Center. Not only is that a less-than-tasteful way to date the events of your comic, it also puts this story at almost 20 years ago. That makes Spider-Man about 40-years old in the current comics.

Symbiote Spider-Man #1 art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D'Armata, and letterer VC's Joe Sabino
Symbiote Spider-Man #1 art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata, and letterer VC’s Joe Sabino

Greg Land and Iban Coello split the artwork in this book, with Land covering the present and Coello handling the Mysterio-based flashbacks. Land, along with inker Jay Leisten and color artist Frank D’Armata do a hell of a job with the black costume in this comic. Their work on Mysterio is excellent too. Coello is no slouch either, and his Mysterio work is also particularly good.

Symbiote Spider-Man #1 brings us back to a different era in Peter Parker’s life and does so with a smart and interesting story of bended morals and excessive force. It’s a solid read and one worthy of a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.

Symbiote Spider-Man #1 comes to us from writer Peter David, artists Greg Land and Iban Coello, inkers Jay Leisten and Coello, color artist Frank D’Armata, letterer VC’s Joe Sabino, cover artist Land with D’Armata, and variant cover artists Artgerm, Ron Lim with Israel Silva, Nick Bradshaw with John Rauch, Skottie Young, Todd McFarlane with Jesus Aburtov, and Alex Saviuk with Chris Sotomayor.

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