The Spider: Scavengers of the Slaughtered Sacrifices
Boy, did I ever have my hopes up for this one!
Cool Pulp hero? Check.
One of the better scripters of the past few decades? Check.
One of the all-time great pencillers? Check.
So what went wrong? Well, if you think that the title is overly long, wait until you get a look at this script. Don McGregor’s script is absolutely terrible – he uses so many words that every other line has a redundancy that is redundant. I get the sense that Don felt that if a picture says a thousands words, then a picture and a thousand words must say a million words. It’s just too much – there isn’t much of a plot and the dialogue weighs down much of the action. At times, I felt as though I was reading a Ditko script. To be fair, I understand that McGregor was strong-armed by Argosy into placing the Spider in a modern setting. That is tough, and a 30s piece would have been much better. That being said, McGregor’s ludicrous pop culture references dates the books terribly, and the theme of the evils of censorship is handled with all of the subtlety of a Ron Popeil infomercial. The only saving grace is Colan’s artwork. It is perfect. The real treat is that we get to see his ink-free pencils in this well produced black and white book. This was a serious missed opportunity. Sometimes I wish that I was still a 4-year old and could ‘read’ comics without bother with the word balloons. It saddens me that I cannot recommend this book to anyone. Avoid with extreme prejudice.