Spider-Man: Fever #1
Brendan McCarthy, writer/artist
Marvel, April 2009
21 story pages
(UPDATE: Now with fewer hideous mixed metaphors)
I went into Spider-Man: Fever with absolutely no brief with Brendan McCarthy, not even his Solo issue a few years back. All I knew is I liked the looks of the preview images floating around the Internet–I mean, I would–and wanted to see more. See more I did: McCarthy’s scribbled psychedelia, powerfully augmented by his and Steve Cook’s woozy glowy neon colors is a thing of gooey beauty. He’s even calling the style “glo-fi,” much to my delight!
Would that the surrounding comic were equally delightful, but it’s a pretty perfunctory rehash of Bronze Age rehashes of Silver Age storytelling. An avalanche of knowingly stiff dialogue, which turns out to be as numbing as the unknowing variety, crushes whatever action hasn’t already been flattened by the surprisingly inert physicality McCarthy cooks up for Steve Ditko mainstays Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. (Nice-looking Vulture, though.) There’s even some embarrassingly cringeworthy African-American dialect, for that true late-’70s feel. I’m as happy as anyone to have a Spider-Man comic featuring a mystical poetry-reciting dog-god named Pugly, but when it comes to reading the thing instead of just looking at it, turns out I oughtn’t have gone beyond those preview images for the glo-fi thrill I wanted.
(Interview link via Jog.)