Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spider-Man: The Other: Evolve or Die Hardcover Review

Spider-Man: The Other: Evolve or Die
Marvel Comics
Oversized Hardcover
288 pages
ISBN 9780785121886

Contributors: J. Michael Straczynski, Peter David, Reginald Hudlin, Mike Wieringo, Pat Lee, Mike Deodato Jr., Karl Kesel, Paul Mounts, and Joe Quesada

Reprints: Amazing Spider-Man #525-528; Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1-4; Marve Knights Spider-Man #19-22

Synopsis: Spider-Man has joined the New Avengers and moved his family into Stark Towers to keep them safe.  Life was supposed to be better, but somehow the old Parker luck has a way of turning up.  Now Peter is distracted by unsettling dreams and making stupid mistakes while in costume.

Re-enter Morlun, an enemy thought dead and returned to dog Spider-Man's heels with the intent to destroy him.  In his unfocused state will he be able to stand up to a seemingly unbeatable foe?  It gets ugly and Spider-Man must reach deep within himself to triumph, but at the cost of his humanity?  We've seen the man, but what is The Other? 

Pros: Intriguing idea by Straczynski to give Spider-Man more spider-powers and expand his origin, great cover by Quesada based on Vitruvian Man by DaVinci, includes all the variant covers by Wieringo

Cons: Three different artists with clashing styles (Wieringo/cartoon, Lee/anime, Deodato/realistic-ish), another lame villain in Tracer, Morlun character is totally wasted

Mike Tells It Straight: Straczynski's idea plays out better in theory than execution as this story has some flaws.  The artists working on the Spider-books at the time were too different and each chapter transition jars the reader with a conflicting visual style.  Morlun's character is completely thrown away after being established in a previous storyline as a major threat.  Overall I think The Other is a worthy entry to the Spider-Man mythos and finally gives Spider-Man a creepy twist (he's part spider after all).  Unfortunately, the story is more hype than substance, but it all gets retconned away after One More Day.   

TO BUY and Recommendations:

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