Spider-Man Fever #1 Review

Posted by Spiderfan001 09 April 2010

From the mind of Brendan McCarthy comes Spider-Man Fever! A tale that attempts to capture the look and spirit of Steve Ditko's classic run on Doctor Strange. How does he do? Let's take a look...
The Story
In another dimension, Doctor Strange is trying to solve the mystery of Driddil's doorway when his doorbell rings.

Meanwhile in New York City, Spider-Man is attacked by the Vulture. During their fight the two of them crash into an apartment building.

Strange receives a delivery in his sanctum sanctorum; the lost journal of Albion Crawley. Unfortunately, the book was booby trapped and upon opening it Strange accidentally unleashes a webwaze energy stream that makes its way through New York City's pipelines.

Back in the apartment Spidey finishes webbing the Vulture up against a sink. A spider-demon (travelling on the webwaze) comes out the sink and temporarily mind controls the Vulture. The mind controlled Vulture frees one of his arms and sprays Spider-Man with a can of bug spray he grabbed off a shelf. This has a very negative effect on Spidey, who loses his balance and falls out the window. Disoriented, Spidey unknowingly enters the sanctum sanctorum through a window and collapses in Strange's bathtub.

Reading Crawley's journal, Strange manages to find out who he was. Crawley and his student Victor went on an expedition to another dimension in search of infinite mindpower. They were captured by spider-demons called the Arachnix. Crawley managed to escape and return home, his quest a failure. Victor was turned into a giant fly and never heard from again.

Spider-Man begins hallucinating in the bathtub until a spider-demon arrives and steals his soul. Hearing what was going on, Strange rushes in to try and save Spider-Man but is too late.

In another dimension, the spider-demon drags Spider-Man's soul back to his master, King Korozon. Korozon immediately makes plans to devour Spider-Man's soul... with custard!

Thoughts

Well that was different... but in a good way. It took me a while to warm up to McCarthy's work but after a couple of read throughs I began to appreciate what he was doing. His artwork is clearly influenced by Ditko both in the bizarre worlds he illustrates and how he draws Spider-Man and Strange. It's also so detailed that when you read it again you are bound to find something you did not notice the first time. Add to that the interesting color palette and Spider-Man Fever is certainly a fun book to look at.

Luckily it's also a fun book to read. This is a comic that does not take itself seriously. Whether it's crazy Daily Bugle headlines "Feral Cats Eat Church Lady who Fed Them!" or spider-demons who refer to their prey as "soul sushi" there's a lot of humor to be found here amidst the weirdness and horror. The plot itself is fairly simple but the way it is presented certainly is not.

There are some eye rolling moments; Spidey getting defeated by bug spray and talking dogs from another dimension are some of the lamer elements found in the story. Hopefully Spidey will not spend the rest of the series waiting for Doctor Strange to save him.

Spider-Man Fever is certainly not for everyone. Open minded Spidey fans will find a fun, bizarre and beautifully drawn story to take in. It may take a while to warm up to, but if you give Spider-Man Fever a chance and embrace its weirdness you will find an entertaining, offbeat Spider-Man story.

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