Spider-Man With The Fractured Mind Of Moon Knight In Infinity Wars: Arachknight #1

by James Ferguson

In the new mash-up world that Gamora has created by using the Infinity Stones, Peter Parker wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider. Instead, he was chosen as the Avatar of the Spider-Totem after watching his Aunt May and Uncle Ben get horrifically murdered by a goblin monster one night. This splits his mind into several distinct personalities and led him down a path to become the Arachknight.

The split personality aspect of Infinity Wars: Arachknight is what really stands out. Each one is quickly introduced when we see the character in action. All three work together to take down bad guys as there are aspects of each that helps. The scientist is more focused on knowledge, but can’t fight well, while the knight is a deadly warrior. They occasionally get into arguments in Peter’s head and letterer Joe Caramagna differentiates them with unique fonts, which is a very nice touch.
Since the Arachknight is a mix of Spider-Man and Moon Knight, there are definitely aspects of both within the costume. I got a distinct Assassin’s Creed vibe from it. When Peter suits up, he doesn’t put the costume on one leg at a time. Instead, he presses a button on his phone and everything just kind of flows out to cover him, kind of like the Flash ring. There’s a great shot of this in action from artist Ale Garza.

The action in Infinity Wars: Arachknight is a nice blend of the two characters. There’s the super agility of Spider-Man with the deadly precision of Moon Knight, which makes for a powerful one-two punch against any villain that gets in his way. It’s interesting to see how these two styles blend together on the page, allowing Arachknight to be nimble and bouncing off the walls one moment, and then quietly stalking prey the next.
While this is a unique spin on these characters, there aren’t a lot of surprises in this issue. These Infinity Wars tie-ins are an opportunity to tell a new and different story, taking from the origins of several characters and this one is more like a retelling of what’s come before with an occasional twist. For example, it’s pretty obvious from the jump who the goblin is and where this issue will end up, so the cliffhanger at the end doesn’t pack a punch.

This is a darker book than what Spider-Man fans may be used to. That lends itself to the tone of the story and the trauma that Peter is trying to deal with, even all these years later. Colorist Ruth Redmond uses the shadows and the darker hues well, creating the feel of an old monster movie, particularly towards the end of the issue when the goblin makes a return appearance. You really get the feeling that this is a literal monster that’s haunted Peter’s mind since he was a kid. Writer Dennis Hopeless handles the traumatic aspect of the story with care.
While the twists weren’t as surprising as I’d hoped, there’s enough in this debut issue of Infinity Wars: Arachknight to have me come back for more. The split personality aspect is handled well and it breaks Peter Parker into his base elements, not unlike a recent arc in Amazing Spider-Man. It’s a little funny that the emphasis is on Peter and not Moon Knight in this book, whereas every other mash-up has been a somewhat even split between the two sides.
Infinity Wars: Arachknight #1 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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