Spider-Man, Cyclops, Magik, and Jean Grey on the cover of Dark Web.

Dark Web #1 Review

Written by: Zeb Wells

Art by: Adam Kubert

Coloring by: Frank Martin

Lettering by: VC’s Joe Carmagna

Editing by: Kaeden McGahey, Albert Banaszak

Alright, I am a known X-Men fan, so it’s not shocking that I would read anything with the merry mutants in the title. But Spider-Man? With the way people complain about the mainline Spider-Man comics, and just everything to do with that character, you would never catch me reading Spider-Man. But now with Dark Web, they’ve gone and made my most feared hero team up with the best superheroes, and… it’s too early to tell if it’ll be good.

Dark Web is weird, to say the least. I don’t like the Spider-Man status quo based on what I’ve heard about it, and with the little of it here, I feel like I don’t need to ever read it. That being said, that doesn’t mean it was bad, I’m just not interested in that kind of melodrama. The creative team has something interesting that they’re doing with the new dynamics they have going on between all of the Spider-characters. This is especially true with Ben Reilly. It’s just not a direction I can find myself getting invested in.

The Goblin Queen of it All

So far, the X-Men part of this story is only found in the villain. The team of mutants themselves barely play into this issue. It’s much more about their villain Madelyne Pryor, the Goblin Queen. She’s the main vocal point of this Dark Web. The thing that annoys me about this comic though, is how it’s regressed her. Vita Ayala’s recent run on New Mutants went to great lengths to set Madelyne on a more self-fulling path separate from the people she views as her abusers. She was supposed to be the ruler of Limbo, but now she’s screwing over the people of New York? It feels like such a regression and turns her into a hypocrite.

Think about it. She spent so much time since the start of the Krakoan era talking about she wanted to be treated like a real person by a mutant society. She thought it was unfair that she wasn’t resurrected. Sure, the reason the Quiet Council gave for not bringing her back was complete crap, but they were still right not to resurrect her when she’s constantly attacking people. Once your body count and list of crimes catch up to your enemies, you’re not a good person either. Every time one writer puts her on an interesting path, another writer comes to make her a two-dimensional villainess who deserves what’s coming to her. What’s even worse, is that it seems like they’ve done the same thing to Venom too, but to be honest I don’t care enough about Venom to complain.

But is Dark Web Bad?

Despite all those complaints about her characterization, the moment-to-moment plot is still entertaining. I was never bored while reading Dark Web, and every panel drew me in. Madelyne Pryor’s regression is disappointing, though it is momentarily entertaining. I wanted to see her point this villainess energy toward her own, personal conquest. Instead she’s involving the X-Men and Spider-Man of all people. Dark Webs is full of things I like, and pages my eyes were glued to, but it’s also full of things that just upset me.

Let the Goblin Queen rule Limbo for before giving the X-Men (and Spider-Man) a reason to take her down. Let her rule with an iron fist and six-inch heels, cowards! So overall I’m not sure what to make of this issue. If you don’t like the Spider-Man status quo, this isn’t going to change your mind. If you like the X-Men, they’re barely a factor so far. And if you liked what Vita Ayala did for Madelyne Pryor, you might be upset with this comic. At the same time, it’s entertaining. If it used different characters than the ones it’s using, I might have liked Dark Web. I can’t say for sure if that means anyone will I anyone should buy it today.

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