Look At That Cover
The cover of Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads #3 depicts back suit Spider-Man fighting a giant demonic T-Rex, so we’re off to a good start. The amazing, no specular how about we settle for superior cover does a great job at drawing your interest with its striking imagery and fun premise; honestly, it reminds me of scenes I’d come up with using my toys as a kid, but you’re here to hear about the comic, not the time Spider-Man fought a raptor to save Barbie.
I want to begin by paying writer Peter David a compliment by saying his Spider-Man dialogue is perfect; it’s witty, charming with just the right level of uncertainty to show the nerdy kid from Queens is still in there somewhere. There’s a segment where Spider-Man is his usual sarcastic self, and the primitive creature he’s talking to asks why he sounds positive about clearly bad things. Spider-Man has to explain what sarcasm is, and by the way it was handled, I knew we had a great writer at the helm.
We get a similar scene when Doctor Strange asks Black Cat why she always carries Spider-Man’s mask around, and she dodges the question showing even the sexy thief has insecurities about her unhealthy spider obsession.
The art by Greg Land really sells this far out story of Spider-Man being stranded in the Cross-Roads Dimension with Strange and Black Cat trying to bring him home. Along for the ride is Bruce Banner whose become host to some strange kind of stone that houses an evil creature that inhabits his body, and no, I’m not talking about The Hulk. There’s a chilling scene where a tribe of savages intend to sacrifice Bruce to their unnerving spider deity dubbed Long Legs. The way Land renders the scene of the grotesque spider shooting webbing from its thorax to bind Bruce to the table while it towers over him is effectively horrifying.
Ends With A Whimper
I was beginning to get worried about Hulk until Spider-Man and his new friends (One of which is a T-Rex) storm in to save Hulk from becoming prey to thousands of swarming spiders. Like a pizza, the book is good because it’s gooey and cheesy fun with an iconic hero. The pacing hits a problem, however, when Spider-Man, Hulk and his friends are transported from the primitive savage world into a science fiction setting. They were starting to build a compelling atmosphere with the Cross-Roads Dimension, only to just as quickly yank the reader out of it with a sudden and far less interesting location change.
“It’s black Suit Spider-Man, dinosaurs and grotesque monster doing battle; what more do you need?”
Final Score 3.5/5
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Greg Land
Publisher: Marvel Comics