Grayson’s back to true form here, with terrible dialogue and sexy smooth talker Matt Murdock. It appears he’s got a cell built in to his Daredevil costume. He shows up towards the beginning, talking to the Black Widow II. I’m sure this story wasn’t Grayson’s idea—maybe someone at Marvel thought it sounded good—but it’s just a stupid plot.
Especially the way the last page suggests all these double-crosses Grayson never even hinted at earlier.
Jones basically has one job this issue. Make a fight scene compelling. He fails miserably. Some of it is his page composition, some of it is just the art.
As for Grayson’s resolution to last issue’s cliffhanger—it’s exceptionally weak. Maybe she thought she needed it to probably weigh a three issue limited series. Regardless, she ruins whatever paltry good will the previous issue earned.
Oh, and when Grayson talks gender, Widow reeks.
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Part Three: I.D.; writer, Devin Grayson; artist, J.G. Jones; colorists, Ian Hannin and Andy Troy; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editor, Nanci Dakeson; publisher, Marvel Comics.
So who shoots her (Natasha) at the end? Is that SHIELD? Why’s SHIELD shooting her?
This issue might be better written than the last. The conversation between Natasha and Matt is nowhere near as bad, though Grayson’s characterization of him as a lech seems a little off. Well, no, it seems a lot off. Grayson makes Daredevil a pig.
What’s striking is how much I hated the art this issue. Maybe I was just being nice to the first issue. Jones draws everyone’s head veiny and fat; the comic is full of hideously ugly people. He doesn’t even bring enough inks to them to make them look interesting. Thin, veiny ugly fat heads. How engaging.
Grayson has an interesting plot development, Natasha doing something unexpected, and it finally makes Black Widow interesting (while hugely problematic)
So interesting it encourages one to check out the resolution.
Shame about the fat heads.
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Part Two: Ingenue; writer, Devin Grayson; artist, J.G. Jones; colorist, Brian Haberlin; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editor, Nanci Dakeson; publisher, Marvel Comics.
For some reason, I was expecting more from Jones. I wasn’t expecting anything from Grayson (and, oh, did she deliver), but Jones… I thought he’d at least do a consistently good issue.
Instead, it’s like he’s alternating. One panel is good, the next isn’t. He has these terrible eyeglass lenses, which makes Matt Murdock’s cameo doubly painful (Grayson’s dialogue, which is supposed to be romantic banter between Matt and Natasha, is laughably bad). The action scenes are similar. Sometimes he does all right, other times his proportions all of a sudden change. The issue has some well-paced fight scenes, but it ends with this drawn out sequence of Natasha escaping in a truck. Jones turns a page of action into four or five. All wordless too.
Grayson can’t even make it compelling when Natasha runs afoul of her replacement.
I don’t know why, but I thought it’d be better.
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Part One: Uninvited; writer, Devin Grayson; artist, J.G. Jones; colorist, Dave Kemp; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editor, Nanci Dakeson; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Parker plays fast and loose with the logic for the conclusion. Not for the flashbacks–which is careful not to overlap the previous Gorilla-Man origin–but for the modern stuff. It ends on a strange note, showing Ken to maybe be Parker’s strongest Agent of Atlas. He’s able to make profound statements and tell crude jokes and have it work.
The looseness is to get the story done quickly. The pacing is good, but Parker could have used another issue. The flashback material is compelling and begs for more attention. Some questions frustratingly go unanswered–even in the modern part, a side effect of the loose logic.
There’s a lot of brief action too. Caracuzzo has a great scene with Ken knocking people around with a giant log.
I can’t believe I forgot–it opens with Ken talking to a gorilla. For some reason, it’s a beautiful, quiet scene.
Parker does a fine job.
The Serpent and the Hawk, Part Three; writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Giancarlo Caracuzzo; colorist, Jim Charalampidis; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Nathan Cosby, Michael Horwitz and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.