Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spider Island: I love New York City

Why does Sam get to dress up? Cause I already got my turn

*Tunes of the Day: 1996 Spiderman Intro*

Spider Thief, Spider Mom, does whatever a spider can...
spins a web, any size, catches birds, just like flies
Look out, here comes Spider Kid....

Last year, Marvel put out an event known as “Spider Island”. And it was incredible. In fact, the only reason it probably wasn’t even more popular was because Fear Itself was going on at the same time.

I gave a review of some of the issues during my very short lived Monthly Comic Corner, but here's an update from anyone who doesn’t want to wade through all the reviews to find them:

Two of Spiderman’s old villains, The Jackal and the Spider-Queen, created a virus that would give all of those infected with it, spider powers. They spread the virus throughout the entirety of New York, infecting almost all people with spider powers, just like Spiderman. Why? Not telling. But almost everyone ---The Avengers, that little old lady across the street, even animals (according to this book anyway.)--- got to spin some webs alongside Peter Parker. All cumulating into some incredibly great and surprising team ups. And a-LOT of spider jokes.

Now, I only read three things from Spider Island, all of which I recommend: The main story, the Venom sub-plot, and the one-shot, Spider Island: I love New York!

The comic is an anthology, giving us 4 different stories and a closer look at some of the civilians of New York during the outbreak. Their all fun little stories, each with different artist and writes. Lets take a look!


“A Sense”
Written by Greg Rucka, drawn by Max Fiumara, and Colored by Fabio D’auria

I'd make a funny tag line, but the crooks did it for me:

We enter a bank to find several spider-empowered people decided to take up a life of crime, webbing up everyone and demanding all the money they have. They also web up some of the people in the face, intending to sufficate them

One of the innocent bystanders tells them they won’t get always with this... famous last words, right?

One of the thieves webs a bus from outside and with one hand, he pulls and crashes the bus into the bank, showing off his strength, for no other reason then to be a jack ass.

Down at the vault, the thieves easily rip open the door. As they pile cash into bags, laughing, one of thieves, Bull, lurches over, feeling sick.

He tells Gordo to go outside on look out, while he burns up. The feeling gets so intense, he has to take off his mask. He asks the others if they feel the same the same. That sickening feeling, like butterflies, like ... like...

Gordo comes back, looking a little more muscular then he was before...

The leader agrees, saying that’s exactly what it feels like, and the other two agree. They feel relieved at first, not noticing the obvious elephant in the room.

Gordo suddenly holds up a gun and shoots all three dead. He rips off the costume, revealing the punisher symbol.


“A Sense” is gritty and witty... Did... not mean to rhyme that. I really loved the artwork here. I’m a big fan of art that stretches and squashes the figures to give a more dynamic feel. And the gritty look of the art give you a similar “sense” to what will happen to the thieves. 

The reveal of the Punisher caught me off guard. When I was expecting a one-shot, I wasn’t expecting such a strong cameo.


"Spider Mom"
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, drawn by Chuck BB

Jane is a very busy woman. She has to balance cooking, cleaning, groceries, work and her two kids, while her husband is on a business trip out of town. But luckily, her life is like a woman’s purse. Wait, what?

We start off with Jane, rushing to the subway, jamming her foot into the door to keep it from closing. The door opens, revealing her son, who ran ahead of her and almost got on the wrong train. Later, she’s speaking to her husband over the phone, trying not to sound TOO jealous that he’s currently in Paris without her, and doesn’t notice a few kids stealing her celery. 

Why am is the celery thing important? It's an actual plot point. Really.

After finding the celery gone, she gives up on supper and warms up some pizzas. But evening naps are interrupted when the fire alarm goes off. Jane rushes to the stove, which she had left on. She opens the tries to turn off the detector. Meanwhile, her two kids are fighting by the window over a toy.

For a split second, Jane tries to relax, with the alarm now off.

And then her daughter Edie, falls out the window.

Jane panics, staring helplessly.

Spider Powers activate! Boy, talk about your duex ex machinas.

Jane suddenly finds life much easier with spider powers. Cleaning is a breeze when she can lift the couch over her head. She can skip the subway, the elevator.

Oh, the purse metaphor? Well, Jane tells it pretty well.

And by "expand", she means "goes super hero on us an saves her kids from and obvious pedo in a spider suit". With fight skills Batman and Robin would be proud off, Jane knocks the schmuck out on his butt with the aforementioned full purse. 


The neighbourhood kids are impressed. So much that they present Jane with...

Only in comics, people.

Jane continues to adjust to life, even when her purse continues to expand... making room for spider powered kids.



Spider Mom had me laughing my head off. It’s silly but it’s fun. I hear “mom stories” all the time, and this pretty much covers everything. And with myself being a woman with a gigantic purse, I can vouch for the metaphor. Some of the dialogue from the kids was just too cute, as they react to their new situation.

The artwork is cute, going more for the children's book look, but still looking serious enough during more darker moments. (Edie falling out the widow, the appearance of Spider-creep, etc).


“Charlotte's webs”
Written by Joe Caramagna, Drawn by Max Fiumara and colored by Fabio D’auria

There are three constants in the marvel universe:

1) Everyone comes back to life except uncle Ben, 2) Mutant problems are Mutant problems and 3...

Children kick ass. Literally.

While the heroes are busy in central park, (battling evil spider-men) two amateur robbers, Melinda and Eddie, wearing vintage Black Cat and Dr. Octopus masks, have broken in to a home and tied up a wife and husband. Melinda (aka: Eddies nagging wife) bickers about what they should do next. They suddenly hear a sound.

They head to investigate, while the husband tries to undo the ropes.

The two robbers slink into the hallway and we see exactly who they’re dealing with.

A little girl. With super powers. In the Marvel Universe.

They are so doomed.

The little girl, Charlotte, easily takes away their gun, and leas the thieves on a wild goose chase through the house, while pulling off some incredible stunts at the same time. Huh. She's really good for a newbie. I wonder why...

Heh. Subtle.

Dumb and Dumber continues through the house, seeing the hallway is now filled with nets of spider webs. Wifey figures out that this isn’t Spiderman, this is an amateur thief with new spider powers, looking to make a score, just like they are--- Powers corrupt.

At that moment, Charlotte makes a return, giving Eddie and Melinda another beating.

Tell me your not grinning?

Meanwhile, the parents are finally free! Charlottes father runs to the living room... and finds the two dimwits webbed up by their ankles.

Charlotte finally comes out of hiding. She heard what Melinda said about powers corrupting people, and asks if that was why she’s not allowed to use her powers. She tried to be careful and not hurt the thieves, but is worried she’s going to turn evil. Her father comforts her and tells her that she won’t turn evil because she knows “that with great power comes great responsibility”

Say it with me now:


The moment is ruined by Melinda, freaking out that a child did this to them. And Eddie promptly tells her to shut up.


"Charlotte's Web" is my favourite of the four. I’ve always loved the Marvel stories involving children (Young avengers, Runaways, X-23, Childhood’s End), because Marvel has this tendency to make children seem even more bad-ass then their adult counterparts. And here is no different. Unlike Spiderman, who would pause to make a few jokes, Charlotte has only one thought in mind “Stop the as quickly and painfully as possible” and it shows. Even Kevin from Home Alone wasn’t this quick on his feet.

The art is much like “A Sense” with the dynamic angles and stretch and squash characters. 

But unlike “a sense”, Charlotte's web is much less gritty, and uses expressions as well as body language to convey the story. There is a lot of subtlety to Charlottes face, as she literally bounces off the walls.


9 lives
Written b Skottie Young, Drawn by Dave Guertin and Greg Baldwin of Creature Box

Venom Pigeon. I repeat:Venom. Pigeon. Why is this not a mini series?

A little white cat is taking a little “stroll” today. Stealing a fish form a sweet old lady, exploring alleyways... walking up a lamppost...

As you can tell, this ain’t no ordinary alley cat. This is Spider Cat. And he’s about to get a visitor:


The two battle it out, Spider Cat yells a few jokes, claws the birds’ face, but is once again thrown back. The two continue to fight, Venom Pigeon slowly knocking off each one of Spider Cat’s lives, as a group of rats look on.

Finally, the battle is over, with one life to spare. Spider Cat tries to relax. And then finds himself surrounded by hundreds of Venom Pigeons. As the venom army swoops down, we hear:

Turns out, it was all just a video game, played by three spider powered friends, who are adjusting pretty well to their new powers.

Heh. He said doodie.

While they discuss take out plans, their pet cat rolls off the speakers of their tv and pats his way to the window... showing the audience a glimpse of his secret identity...

The comic ends with Spider Cat swinging across the city.


“9 lives”... Isn't my favorite. Yes, its a good story. Yes, I really love the art, mainly how Venom Pigeon is drawn--the fast looking brushwork and bright colors. And I love the idea these two characters. I totally want to see these two in an issue of the Pet Avengers!

However... it's just not my kind of story. I’m not big on stories that go, “OH, it was fake but it wasn’t.” I personally just find it more of an annoying story telling device then something cleaver. The story all took place in a video game, but then we find out, no, Spider Cat is real!... Meh. That, and I found the story a little too short for my taste.

However, for what it is, it’s really good. My gripes are personal and nit-picky-- nothing more.


Overall a really, really good issue. Gives you a taste of "Spider Island", so you know if you want to check out the main series or not, and gives a glimpse further into the island of spider powered new Yorkers. The stories are fun, but each offers something a little different.

Okay, that’s it for now. So, what’s next?

Well, um, I am going to be swamped with work the rest of the week, and so that I'm not rushing to get my next article done, the next post will be... uh... a Slug Trails post.... 

Aahh! Don’t hurt me! Not in the face! Not in the face! 

This Slug Trails will be a little different. I’ll be taking look at more web-comics, however instead of just posting the link and a short summary, I’m going to post a miniature, not spoiler review of each comic I look at. I love webcomic and I want to do what I can to help new people to find what they want.

 Tegan Dumpleton aka SlugLady28



Whew, it's done. Again, sorry about the late post... and for completely forgetting to tell you all sooner. And for, uh, depressing anyone when I said that the Sketch-Log doesn't take priority in my life. Don't worry, it does. I love working on this site. Unfortunately... I'm currently in a position where when something major in my work or home life comes up, it has to take precedence... 

As much as my little work Gremlin in the corner tells me otherwise. *grumbles*

Sam: "You do realize your tardiness is mostly your fault anyway right?"

YES. THANK-you, Sam for that bit of guilt. I had NO idea. Guh.

That's it for now. Seeya guys soon!

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