What a unique holiday. I had every intention of coming to the site and adding further thoughts about the Spider Island story but life interfered. My wife’s grandmother passed away so we’ve been getting everything together to get her to her relatives for the final family gathering in her grandmother’s honor where she’s at now. Along with the usual holiday shenanigans at work, I’ve been busy. So now I am back and here to offer my thoughts on Spider Island: Deadly Foes #1.
This is kind of a side story featuring two villains we’ve been introduced to in the story, The Jackal and the Hobgoblin. While its goal was to add a little back story to the main villains of the story in question, I have to question the logic in this because the end result is you as the reader end up hating the villains, not because you loathe their actions as bad guys but because you are so damn annoyed with them.
We start off with The Jackal. I had a bad feeling of the character from the first moment we met him and my suspicions were proven correct here. The Jackal is just a whiny character. We get a back story explaining how he was a master scientist that was able to clone characters we’ve all known and loved. He takes one of those clones, which was a Peter Parker clone that most folks thought was dead, and raises it back to life only to be confronted by a clone of Gwen Stacy. At this point we have The Jackal turn into a fourteen year old girl when he yells at Clone Gwen “You ain’t the boss of me!”
Would Darth Vader have ever said that? Hell, would Count Dooku have said that? How are we supposed to take this guy seriously as a villain if he’s saying crap like this? A villain has to be someone we could imagine actually pulling off the carnage we read upon the pages. When the villain is being presented as a little child who pouts and holds his breath because he doesn’t get his way, you can’t take the guy seriously. It makes you question whether the good guys are actually as competent as they’re supposed to be if they couldn’t bring down idiots like this. At least at the very end we get a tease of a mystery woman giving The Jackal a secret potion or something that will factor into the story later.
The second part of the story has to do with Phil Urich, The Hobgoblin. This is a creepy story. Not creepy in a good way, the kind of creepy that ultimately makes you want to see the bad guy kick this guy’s keister around the city.
It revolves around a girl he’s interested in. She is currently seeing someone else and Mr. Phil is quite jealous. So in a love story that rivals Anakin and Padme’s in terms of sheer amazement as to how the hell a woman would not see through the nonsense this guy is putting her through, we see Phil become The Hobgoblin in an attempt to take out Norah’s boyfriend. She’s a reporter looking to get a scoop to stick one to Betty Brant for beating her to the Spider Island story. Phil looks to take out Norah’s boyfriend simply because she called him to assist her with the story. Once Phil arrives, he discovers that the boyfriend has spider powers too and ends up throwing a car on him. He then bolts, leaving Norah by herself. Then Phil comes back as himself and he and Norah end up kissing.
Phil is a stalking bastard. He’d been sending drones to keep an eye on what she was doing which was how he knew she was out covering the story. I get that these actions are supposed to show him as a bad guy but man, I felt like I needed a shower more than anything after reading this. This wasn’t a good showing for a guy we want to root against, this was a showing of a guy who we needed to call the police on. Seeing Phil and Norah end the comic kissing just doesn’t feel right.
The artwork was all right. Nothing to write home about by any means but it wasn’t as sloppy as the previous issue in the Spider Island story. The only real issue I had was the lack of passion. It was a paint by numbers type of presentation which got the job done but wasn’t anything memorable. This was a case where the story did more to turn me off from the art than anything else.
This wasn’t a good entry in the Spider Island story. It was simply not needed. It took a character that I didn’t really like to begin with in The Jackal and made me hate him more. This issue was more of a side story than anything else so if you skip over this story when you’re reading the Spider Island story you are not missing much. When it comes to bad guys, I think of pro wrestling. The best bad guys are ones that you want to pay good money for to see them get their asses kicked. These two characters do not fall under that category.