Symbiote Spider-Man #5 Review

Writer: Peter David

Art Team: Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata

Release Date: August 14, 2019

Cover Price: $3.99

I’ve personally thought that the setup (issues 1 – 3) for Symbiote Spider-Man had been a fun jaunt through the past of the character. I even confidently recommended it to multiple people asking about the series in general, confident it was on the right track. However last issue ran into a few hiccups, which left a lot on the plate for this series to wrap up in a satisfying way. So lets see is Peter David, Greg Land, and company deliver on something that started oh so swell.

The issue begins with Spider-Man and Mysterio resuming their fight, which began at the end of last issue atop the subway car, complete with Mysterio in his new and improved costume. Things go back and forth a bit between the two, then Black Cat eventually joins the fray to buy Spidey some time, all before its off to witness Aunt May’s growing concern because she thinks her nephew is a failure after stiffing her once again.

The setup in this issue isn’t bad here, recapping several important threads going coming into this conclusion, but it also reminds you where this issues focus will be, which leaves a lot of the threads brought up in past issues ignored (such as Kingpin’s curiosity into Mysterio/Spidey costume,  Spidey eating the head of a criminal, Black Cat’s betrayal etc). Overall a bit a of a bummer lessening the impact of the story overall, simply turning this into a beat ’em up finale, after seeming like it was setup for so much more.

Honestly there isn’t much to talk about here with the exception of the previously mentioned fight, that continues almost the entire issues length between Mysterio and Spidey, all while Black Cat joins in here and there. The train they fight on does eventually arrive to Shea Stadium, so at least we get a slightly different setting than where we started, and it continues in front of the crowd before a Mets game, so they’ll be entertained for once. Mysertio, in an uneducated attempt to get the upper hand, uses a fire blast from his gauntlets to attempt to dispose of SPidey and Black Cat, however it forces the Symbtiote off him, and back into Spidey costume for comfort, leading to his first albeit short downfall. Spidey however is overtaken by the black costume and his rage, needing Black Cat to calm him, leading to Mysterio wiggling away from their grasp, and leading to the story concluding with a silly dinosaur illusion that doesn’t even work very long, before Mysterio is brought down once again.  After the obligatory Peter showing up late to the dinner our book concludes with promises to return soon with a new story and while I would have been pumped for that announcement after issue three, now sitting here with issue five starring back at me, I’m not so sure I need that anymore.

If I had to pick an overall highlight from this series it would definitely be the art. All the characters looked fantastic, most of the fight scenes were easy to follow transitionally, and it was a book I looked forward to checking out each month because of those reasons. However the last issue suffered from a little confusion between panels, nothing that hurt the art overall much, but threw my reading experience off towards the end of the book.

Overall, what started out as a sleeper hit, that I could recommend as an easy carefree Spidey title to follow, ended up concluding in just very average fashion even going as far to feeling padded out unnecessarily in spots. For whatever reason a bunch of story threads are dropped and none of them really come to a satisfying conclusion but the art remains worth a look.  If you’ve picked up all four and need to see how this ends that would be about the only reason to continue to see this title through.

6.0/10

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