Writer: Christos Gage
Pencils and Colors: Javier Rodriguez
Inks: Alvaro Lopez
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: JG Jones & Laura Martin
Review by Tom Barnett
The solicit for the book claims that this annual counts! Dan Slott claimed on Twitter that this story counts. They weren’t lying! This issue fits snugly, like a double helping of four color goodness, between Superior Spider-Man 21 and 22. There’s no break in the story from issue 21. And it’s well worth the money. If you don’t buy annuals because you think they’re just a cash grab, you’d be right, but you’d be missing out on a key story with this one.
Writer Christos Gage wastes no time getting this story going as we find Blackout, nemesis of Ghost Rider, is back in the opening scene. And he’s got a plan that involves Aunt May. Gage has written a fast paced book that delivers on intensity and action. He’s set up a plot that will leave ripples in the Spider-Man universe for the foreseeable future. Gage leaves us with an unsettling ending and the promise of more dire challenges to the Superior Spider-Man that even he may not be able to handle.
Artist Javier Rodriguez, best known for his color work on the Eisner award winning Daredevil book, not only delivers the goods on color art here, but also as the penciler. I was eager to see his work in this book as Rodriguez also did two fill in issues on Daredevil that looked fantastic. He doesn’t disappoint! I love his use of perspective. There’s a great scene with Spider-Man taking a Subway tunnel that is very nicely done. I also love his use of panel layout and shadows. There’s a lot of creativity going on here and that’s before I talk about his color work, which is just beautiful. His color work turns me into a drooling fool! I feel like Homer Simpson, Shiny object! Seriously, the color palette that he regularly works with is stunning and makes any book he works on better.
Not to be left out of the art equation is inker Alvaro Lopez, whom Rodriguez will be the first to say, has no small part in bringing his pencils to life. Together they have turned out a gorgeous looking book that you will find yourself opening up again and again.
This story does count and it’s a ton of fun also. Don’t walk, don’t run, freaking get on your cell and call your local comic store and tell them you’re very sorry you didn’t buy this on Wednesday and to please hold you a copy!
Art: 5.5/5 I know it’s on a scale of 1 to 5. Whatever. This rocks.
Tom is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @tphoto10.