Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #4 Review

Writers: Taboo & B. Earl

Art: Juan Ferreyra

Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham

Cover: Rahzzah

Price: 3.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Release Date: January 18th, 2023

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #4 Review.

The Dispatch

Can Peter Parker work in a horror story? DEADLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN is making that case. It has from the first issue. Now, after progressively introducing more horror elements over the course of the series, DEADLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #4 takes the leap into a full-on horror story.

DEADLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #4 opens the same way that the previous issue did: Crystal being told a story about Coyote. But this time it directly impact the issue, serving as a guide for Crystal to enter Peter’s dreamscape. Using those same stories that got her into this realm, the two immediately look for a way out. They escape the first dreamscape, but only succeed in entering a second. Hellish Avengers populate a twisted cityscape. Peter is forced to fight them. Finally Crystal and Peter realize that the key to their escape and victory are tied to the stone bonded to Peter’s chest.

DEADLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #4 finally ties together the various components Taboo and B. Early have been working with throughout the series. The stories about Coyote that Crystal’s grandfather told her turn out to be guides for getting in and (hopefully) out of the realm Peter has been pulled into in the quest the Demon Bear gave him. Peter’s slow loss of control that was at its highest at the end of the previous issue culminates in him losing near total control against the hellish Avengers which puts him at risk of becoming one. The project Peter and Crystal are working on in the real world is reflected in the twisted cityscape–the problems it seeks to solve may even be the reasons the cityscape is twisted the way that it is.

In short, DEADLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #4 moves the series away from being a simple horror story. To be sure, its DNA is still horror. But by combining these different elements, Taboo and B.Earl take the story to a level that embraces myth and lore to keep the horror story rooted in character.

The Art

Ferreyra started this series with mild horror elements. At certain moments Peter (as Spider-Man) already had the borderline claws for fingers. Those character-centric horror elements have exaggerated as the series has gone on. Disturbing imagery fills the issue more and more. Finally here it’s nonstop. The most impressive part of this is that Ferreyra keeps all these visuals tied to the familiar world of Spider-Man. DEADLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #4 definitely straddles a line where the issue could move whole-hog into horror and leave what we recognize as Spider-Man and Peter Parker behind. But the art stays balanced.

Coloring has also been a strength of the series and that continues here. From the start DEADLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #4 creates a contrast with the three issues prior. Each of those include at least a few pages set in the real world. They showcase the bright world of southern California. There isn’t a single panel in the real world in this issue. The darkness creates a steadily increasing discomfort that persists throughout the issue–especially once Ferreyra takes the issue into a realm of dark red.

Final Thoughts

DEADLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #4 pushes the series further into horror than it’s been and somehow it still feels like a Spider-Man comic. That is largely due to Taboo & B. Earl fully capturing Peter Parker’s voice even while placing him into progressively more disturbing situations. With this issue the series remains the freshest, most creative Spider-Man book on the shelves.


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