Written by: Zeb Wells
Art by: Adam Kubert
Colors by: Frank Martin
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: Adam Kubert, Alejandro Sánchez
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: December 7, 2022
Dark Web #1 kicks off an 18-issue spanning event over a year(?) in the making. Madelyne Pryor and Ben Reilly concoct a plan to take over NYC. Why? So Ben can get his memories back from Peter Parker, dishing out comeuppance to past enemies along the way, and Madelyne will take revenge on those who’ve wronged her in the past.
Is It Good?
This is fine. Dark Web #1 is fine. It’s too early to tell if this beginning warrants an 18-issue, multi-title crossover event, but it’s a serviceable start.
If you’re up to speed on the Amazing Spider-Man run (Zeb Wells’s other Marvel comic), issue #14 acts as a prelude to the events of this issue, so you may want to pick up ASM #14 first to find out how Ben Reilly formed an alliance with Madelyne Pryor in limbo and witness how Janine became Hallows Eve.
In Dark Web #1 begin executing their supernatural plan to take over NYC. Madelyne coaxes Venom down to Limbo for a partnership in exchange for helping Venom find his son. Meanwhile, Ben Reilly, aka Chasm, heads back to the Big Apple for a personal chat with Norman Osborn, aka Gold Goblin, which ends badly for Norman. Eventually, Madelyne plays a magical organ whose supernatural sounds turn inanimate objects into voracious monsters in the middle of NYC while an assortment of Marvel heroes is present to enjoy Christmas in NY.
If you’re into supernatural Spider-Man villain action, you got it. If you like inanimate objects (statues, fire hydrants, horse-drawn carriages) suddenly turning into toothy monsters and wreaking havoc in NYC, you got it. If you don’t mind a thinly-developed plot that apparently took over a year to develop(?) because any excuse for a Marvel event is a good excuse for a Marvel event, you got it.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s with the snark, Mr. Negative Reviewer?” you admonish.
Good question. A sizable event spanning multiple months across multiple titles should not kick off with a trio of villains who don’t appear to have a plan that makes sense. What’s Madelyne Pryor’s plan AFTER capturing NYC? Why does she want the city in the first place? How does capturing NYC get Ben Reilly’s memories back from Peter Parker? If Madelyne Pryor is so dangerous, and therefore banished to Limbo, why is nobody periodically checking in on her to prevent her from making the mess she’s about to make? Why does a straightforward attack by a trio of villains with a singular goal need 18 issues to tell? Oy!
Again, this first issue is fine, and Kubert’s art is excellent. To be fair, Wells may pull out a few surprises worth your time, hopefully avoiding some of the drastic mistakes from his current ASM run, so we shall see.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Dark Web #1 kicks off the supernatural event with new alliances, demonic attacks on NYC, and quickly spiraling chaos. The art is excellent, and there are a few interesting developments in this issue to hold your attention, but the villains’ plan doesn’t seem fully formed, and the collaboration between the villains doesn’t make a lot of sense.