Advantages Innovative, varying styles, fresh
Disadvantages No continuity, premium price
Most comic books work around a basic premise – good guys versus bad guys, and the good guys normally win. This formula has worked well for twenty or thirty years, but times are changing, and the comic book reading audience sometimes wants something a bit different. With established characters such as Spiderman, this has often resulted in ongoing spin-offs from the main titles that try to look at the character from different angles. Throughout Spiderman’s 30-year history, there have been countless examples of this – most of which have ultimately failed because they try to balance different styles of writing or artwork with conventional Spiderman values.Spiderman’s Tangled Web is a relatively new addition to the series of spin-offs that has captured a new spirit of magic and is, in my opinion, probably the most successful derivative from the core title that Marvel has ever managed to produce.
FORMAT AND CONTENTAs with all Marvel Comics’ titles, Spiderman’s Tangled Web may only be purchased from specialist comic dealers. The comic is published on a monthly schedule, and is printed in a luxurious format with shiny semi-hard bound covers and glossy full colour pages. As one of Marvel’s premium titles, the price is higher than the normal range – the cover price of $2.99 will translate into UK prices of between £2 and £3 according to where you shop. The title has now been running for just ten issues, and in that time has contained a number of self-contained stories, as well as 2 and 3 part serials.
THE PRINCIPAL OF TANGLED WEBThe idea behind this series is to focus on the rich and varied collection of supporting characters that have become known through the main series of Spiderman’s title. The Tangled Web concept works on the basis that so many of the good guys and bad guys that we see in the series are rather superficial, so wouldn’t it be interesting to explore these people in their own lives – and show the effect that Spiderman has on them. It’s not conventional good guy bad guy story telling – indeed, Tangled Web often suggests that some of the bad guys aren’t anywhere near as bad as you might think. We all know that the boundary between good and evil is often rather blurred – and Tangled Web widens the boundary to its limits.
THE STORIES (SO FAR)The Thousand – Issue 1, 2 and 3
Spiderman was created when a radioactive spider accidentally bit Peter Parker. Everyone knows that, right? But what everyone doesn’t know is somebody was watching the whole thing. Somebody saw the amazing changes that took place in Peter Parker – and somebody wanted a piece of the action for himself. That someone decided to irradiate a spider for himself – but when he couldn’t get the spider to bite him he took the only course of action that seemed possible – and ate the irradiated spider. Needless to say, he didn’t share the same powers that Peter Parker did – and The Thousand was born. A walking, talking, humanoid form comprised entirely of thousands and thousands of spiders. He has stalked Peter Parker for thirty years or more – and now he wants his revenge……Severance Package – Issue 4
Whenever the bad guys have a plan, it always gets foiled.
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