I consider myself a patient person, but when it comes to my comic book events lately, that patience wears pretty think fairly quickly. With part five of the “Spider-Island” event, this issue gets rolling with a thick two-page "Story So Far" segment.
Ramos’ art is getting hazy and scratchy, moreso than I have ever seen it. In some parts of this issue, I had to stop reading the story, pull myself out of it and spend time trying to decipher a panel or three. Layer that over top Ramos’ extremely cartoony style, and this book begins to fall apart. There are examples of anatomy that should never be, which some readers would say of Ramos’ art anyway, but in this case, those extremes are taken further afield.
Further complicating matters, Dan Slott’s story hops all over the place, from Alphabet City to Central Park to Horizon Labs. On top of that there are nearly a half dozen other characters given significant parts in this story, including two full pages devoted solely to Mary Jane Watson’s use of her newfound spider-powers. After all, something had to be done to justify pasting MJ on the cover in her undies. Mind you, that doesn’t justify it in my book.
Slott’s been more “on” than “off” when it comes to Spider-Man stories in my book, but in this book, this story just seems to have gotten wildly off course. Spidey gets a pivotal scene in this book, but it comes almost as an afterthought to the various other plot threads spun all over the place. That pivotal scene is poorly drawn as a collection of five actions that need to be studied to determine the proper story flow.
As you can guess by now, my patience for the “Spider-Island” event is wearing thin. Between a story that is not enough about Spider-Man (with more than a few too many guest stars) and painfully slipping art, this book is in danger of exiling me from Spider-Island. Perhaps after the quarantine is lifted, we’ll return to the fun-loving book this title transformed into when Dan Slott took over. I’d be almost ecstatic if that post-quarantine tale included some clean, crisp art from Stefano Caselli. For now, I’m counting down installments until we get past this event.