Amazing Spider-Man: Dark Web

Amazing Spider-Man: Dark Web
Amazing Spider-Man Dark Web review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Marvel - 978-1-302-94736-1
  • Volume No.: 4
  • Release date: 2023
  • UPC: 9781302947361
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Madelyne Prior was cloned from the X-Men’s Jean Grey and was Magik’s choice to replace her as ruler of Limbo as the Goblin Queen, a career path that tells you all you need to know about the complexities of X-Men continuity. Ben Reilly was cloned from Peter Parker, and has had a sporadic career as an ersatz Spider-Man, but is now calling himself Chasm and conveniently supplied with mystical knowhow. For the purposes of Dark Web both are resentful and see the solution to that as having demons invade New York, with Venom coerced into helping out. This is all explained in a long prologue professionally illustrated by Adam Kubert.

With Zeb Wells providing shaky foundations of that sort Dark Web faces an uphill battle for credibility from the start, and despite the best efforts of Ed McGuinness in supplying wall to wall action, it only briefly sparks into life. All the power and energy associated with McGuinness is unleashed as Spider-Man first takes on Venom, and then Chasm, but it’s not anything new for Spider-Man fans despite the demonic intrusions.

The best chapter has Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson trapped in Limbo playing out an insane version of working for the Daily Bugle, complete with nutty demonic versions of Spider-Man’s enemies. What McGuinness designs is suitably twisted, and he also comes up with a great haunted bed.

With little credibility about the events setting everything in motion, Dark Web’s status as a stinker is confirmed by the randomness of the Goblin Queen changing her mind. That’s only mentioned here, so must occur in the Dark Web graphic novel, and Wells having Spider-Man comment on the stupidity of Chasm in-story isn’t clever meta-writing, it’s insulting. Kubert and Francesco Mortarino draw an overlong conclusion teaming Spider-Man with the X-Men bringing the whole sorry saga to an end. Wells feels obliged to spotlight everyone who’s played a part elsewhere, so switches from one cameo to the next, and the only unpredictable element is the political shenanigans of the the epilogue.

Be glad it’s all over and head back to the regular Spider-Man continuity with Dead Language Part 1.