The Spider #6
This book continues to remain at or near the top of my reading list whenever it ships. Colton Worley continues to dazzle me with his artistic bag of tricks. He uses some very complicated page layouts/panel arrangements, and this sort of thing can often get an artist in trouble, if there's the slightest confusion about the reading sequence of the panels. Yet this is never a problem with Colton, as the careful arrangement of word balloons and their relative placement in the panels leads the reader's eye naturally in the direction that Colton wants you to go. Bravo. I also note how carefully he achieves the film noir effect in a color comic book, by careful use of muted tones, with bold color used as punctuation to highlight certain outlines and effects -- red, always (since it defines The Spider within the panel, and the panel borders), and sometimes yellow, for sound FX. Next I notice an amazing array of texture effects that he uses. The Spider wears a black hat, black gloves, black cape -- but I can tell by looking that the hat is felt, the gloves are leather, the cape silk. Again, bravo. Colton must spend a considerable amount of time photographing live models for reference, since I always feel like I'm looking at a movie -- the "actors" are all perfectly cast, and completely distinctive and unmistakeable, even the "extras". If he's doing this strictly out of his own head, without photo reference, I'm even more amazed at his ability. I know it sounds like I'm giving David Liss' script short shrift here, and I really don't mean to. It's rare today to see a really effective single-issue story, and that's exactly what issue #6 was. On the one hand, I almost find myself wishing it was a longer arc, but on the other hand, there's no sense of skimping here, no missing information or lack of detail that the story needed. A perfect done-in-one.
I agree 100%. The Spider is easily one of my favorites every month. Definitely Dynamite's best book at the moment. Miss and Worley are a great team, they clearly share a vision for Spider and both are equally great at what they do. I really hope Dynamite keeps them on the title for a good amount of time and give them time to really build and explore the character.