Symbiote Spider-Man #4 Review

Writer: Peter David

Penciler: Greg Land

Inker: Jay Leisten

Colorist: Frank D’Armata

Letters: VC’s Joe Sabina

Release Date: July 10th, 2019

Cover Price: $3.99USD

What happens when you cross a sentient, organic, symbiotic, shape shifting, strength enhancing black ooze with one of the already coolest looking Spidey Villains? Until this issue, I never really wanted to know! Let’s jump in and see what happens.

Before there was Knull, Carnage, planets full of symbiotes, even Eddie Brock, there was just Spider-Man. In a black suit that turned out to be a Symbiote… I’m not telling you anything you probably don’t already know, so I’ll skip ahead a little to the meat and cheese of the issue. Last time Black Cat struck a deal with Mysterio to get some of Spidey’s black oozy costume in exchange for keeping her dealings with the Kingpin quiet. Mysterio takes his sample to the Kingpins science guy to be analysed, but before you can say “formaldehyde” it busts loose, Spidey shows up (unbeknownst to him, it’s a whole long thing) punches out Mysterio and puts 2 of the Kingpins goons in the hospital. Fisk is not amused and takes matters into his own hands. As Mysterio is being interrogated, the symbiote sample bonds with Quentin, they escape and find their way to Spidey as he catches a ride on the 7 train to Flushing to meet Aunt May for pancakes. Lovely! Spidey faces off against a symbiote on the moving 7 train to Flushing to wrap it up. Believe it or not, that’s not the strangest thing a New Yorker sees daily on the Train!

Thoughts, Score, Reactions:

This story takes place in a very specific time in the Spidey timeline- the original story occurred when I was about 10 and reading the Spidey Books without a jaded sense of “they’re just comics”. All the little subplots- Black Cat and her luck powers, Peter on the outs with Aunt May, the strangeness of this alien suit all brings back a fun sense of nostalgia, and Peter David does a great job filling in the gaps the original story never had the space to tell. I can’t imagine newer readers enjoying this much, given how confusing it would be with what’s happening in the Venom title, but if you have even a cursory memory the symbiote saga from the late 80’s, check this book out!

7.5/10

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