MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN: Volume 1 DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN
MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN: Volume 2 VENOMOUS
MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN: Volume 3 THE LAST STAND
By Mark Millar, Terry & Rachel Dodson and Frank Cho (Marvel Comic)
The Marvel Knights imprint is pretty much credited with saving “the House of Ideas” after the near disastrous financial collapse of the mid-1990’s. It’s become a watchword for edgier, more worldly-wise, almost tongue-in-cheek material aimed at an older, more discerning fan. There are one or two stinkers, but generally this has produced a better quality of story, more accessible to new and/or older readers. The three books here comprise one extended adventure, blending that real-world sensibility with the truly bizarre continuity that had grown around Marvel’s most over-exposed character.
After yet another defeat for the Green Goblin (who has known Spider-Man’s secret identity since the earliest days of the hero’s career), which has lead to that villain’s actual incarceration for a change, our hero gets a mysterious phone call that literally changes his life in an instant. The mystery caller knows all Peter Parker’s secrets, and moreover, has kidnapped his beloved Aunt May. All Parker’s loved ones are at risk and someone out there has an irresistible hold over Spider-Man. He can’t even be sure that she’s even still alive, a notion that becomes increasingly real as the weeks pass with no word.
In a protracted search through the far corners of the Marvel Universe the increasingly desperate hero encounters old friends and a veritable legion of old foes who aren’t the clowns and bozos he – and we – were used to anymore. By the end of the saga our view of the status quo is utterly changed, and the world is a much darker and cynical place.
Sharp, edgy and funny scripting is wonderfully blended with the hyper-realistic illustration of the Dodsons and Frank Cho for a harsh and vivid revitalisation of many of the web-slingers greatest foes to produce an epic romp that is ideal to jump on or jump back to the amazing world of Spider-Man. However this should always have been one volume, not three. Maybe Marvel can rectify that error with the next imprint.
© 2004, 2005 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.