Rating: 3/5 – Another Mediocre Event Tie-In.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the kick-off of the latest Spider-Man Event “Dead No More”, both in the “Clone Conspiracy” mini-series as well as in Amazing Spider-Man #19 and 20. Events in Spider-Man have been leading up to this for months as we’ve gotten glimpses of the Jackal bringing characters from Spidey’s past back to life with a catch: they have to take a pill every day or else suffer a degeneration effect and death (again). I have enjoyed the other books so much I though “Why not go All In?” and grab the Prowler mini-series as well? After reading this issue I wish I had saved my $3.99.
The Prowler is not a bad book, but it’s not particularly good either. Sean Ryan’s story basically rehashes things that I have seen in the other books with a small amount of added detail. This debut issue sets up a mystery for The Prowler to solve for The Jackal: Who has been trying to hack into The Jackal’s computer systems? Nothing particularly revelatory happens in relation to that in this issue, though maybe something will happen down the line, but if it does, I’m laying even odds that it either won’t make a lot of difference to the main story, or else will be mentioned there rendering following this minor sub-plot sort of an exercise for completists. The art by Jamal Campbell has a digital precision that may be appealing to some, but leaves me kind of flat. The lack of background detail in most scenes and over-saturated colors and bright visual effects really took me out of the storytelling. Combine this with the repetition of the title splash page later on in the story and I have to give the art on this book a thumbs down.
It’s really too bad, as I am a fan of The Prowler. The character appeared in one of the earliest Spider-Man comics I ever read (ASM #93 back in 1971) and I’ve had a soft spot for the character ever since. But he’s a character that never seems to have taken off and gotten much traction with the fans. His last solo mini-series was 22 years ago in 1994, after such a long wait I wish this title would have come across with some stronger characterization, action, and more unique insights into the Clone Conspiracy brewing over at NewU.
Dead No More is looking like it may be one of the best Spider-Man stories in the past decade or more, but this tie-in book certainly does not seem to be essential to the storytelling. Unfortunately, this is par for the course with a large number of tie-in books created to capitalize on super-hero events. I typically avoid them and wish I had held the line and skipped this one too.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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