Writer: Joe Kelly
Art: Gerardo Sandoval, Victor Nava, Chris Sotomayor, VC’s Travis Lanham, Nick Bradshaw, and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: Feb 2nd, 2022
A secret organization named Immaculatum developed a drug called A-Plus, which very briefly would enhance the taker’s performance. However, after some time, A-Plus would eventually revert the taker to their original form… but worse. They’d lose even more intellect than before almost as if it was siphoned away. However, immediately before this issue began, SPIDER-MAN was injected with this very serum causing it to mix with his mutated spider DNA and transforming him into the SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN. Let’s swing into SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN #1 by Joe Kelly and Gerardo Sandoval as they continue their non-stop action right where they left off!
Joe Kelly is back Spider-Fans with an all-new series that directly follows his NON-STOP SPIDER-MAN run placing one SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN loose on the Isle of the Damned. However, this island doesn’t just have a SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN gone wild, it also has Baron Zemo and dozens of Frankensteined, Zombie-like creatures on the hunt.
Nevertheless, even with all this non-stop action, it’s hard for readers to decipher who the real villain is as well as who to route for. Of course, we have Spider-Bias. Yet, this still won’t stop readers from seeing the true monster Peter has become thanks to Gerardo Sandoval’s fabulous renderings.
Spider-Fans should also be forewarned before entering SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN #1. This is a literal continuation of NON-STOP SPIDER-MAN in every way, including the high-octane action, scope of the narrative, tone, and story. So, if you haven’t read NON-STOP SPIDER-MAN #1-5,
I recommend picking up the trade first before diving in. Nevertheless, Kelly continues his relentless style to the nth degree. So much so actually that the SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN “dialogue” gets extremely confusing as the story unfolds. Moreover, Sandoval’s illustrations get a bit too chaotic making a few panels extremely hard to follow.
Furthermore, Kelly and Sandoval’s SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN #1 is an extremely quick read. Now, as much as this doesn’t seem like a downfall, oftentimes when a story is over and down with too quickly, I feel financially cheated. Moreover, I spiral back to the confusing dialogue between Zemo and SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN.
To any fan hopping on board solely by an intriguing cover, they’ll swing into this issue wildly confused between the SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN dialogue, the zombified creature with no names, and Baron Zemo just easily going along with a mutated SPIDER-MAN like it’s a normal Tuesday afternoon. My point: there are a lot of assumptions as the issue kicks off that even the intro title page paragraph can’t iron out.
SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN #1 will hopefully get the limelight it deserves unlike its NON-STOP SPIDER-MAN “prequel” which was hindered by COVID-19 delays and eventual cancellation. Alas, SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN #1 picks right up immediately after the cliffhanger of NON-STOP SPIDER-MAN #5 and doesn’t skip a beat. Still, I just can’t shake this feeling that fans are going to be drawn to this issue solely due to the outstanding cover and the reminiscent episodes of SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES where Peter’s mutation got extremely aggressive and turned him into an actual spider. And this story has nothing to do with that.
My point is that fans looking at merely the cover or the animated series will be extremely disappointed in the first installment. Furthermore, some of the dialogue for this reviewer was already confusing, let alone a new reader who didn’t know any of the backstories from NON-STOP SPIDER-MAN. Granted, with all the above said, the issue is fast and super fun. Sandoval’s SAVAGE SPIDER-MAN is certainly a reminder of the animated series version and at times extremely monstrous and creepy. I’m excited to see where this series goes yet once again need to remind everyone to do their homework before jumping in. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!