With Dark Web in full swing (lame pun alert), readers are treated to a mini crossover between Marvel’s merry mutants and it’s most popular spider. Gerry Duggan and Zeb Wells are writing this little event. The X-Men side will be handled by Duggan, while Wells does the Spider-Man issues. Joining Duggan on this journey is artist/colorist Rod Reis. and letterer Cory Petit. With all that said, let’s hope the mutants are able to stop the threat from Limbo and survive the holidays in Dark Web X-Men #1.
It really feels like Gerry Duggan has found a good groove with his characters and his X-Men run. Dark Web X-Men #1 offers good voices for the cast and an entertaining story. Everything in New York is coming alive, from your post office drop box to the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Duggan’s humor is on point for this issue. There’s something funny about two jackhammers coming to life, attacking civilians, and then professing their love for one another. Duggan also seems to have the mannerisms of his cast down too. As the battle begins, Cyclops, ever the professional, takes off his visor to put his skull cap on. These little moments speak to readers and reiterate that Duggan has a firm grasp on who the characters really are. Duggan also throws us some nostalgia in this issue as there is a team up with Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar. This is a throwback to the decades old Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends show that introduced tons of little kids to Firestar and Iceman. Duggan sets us up for an exciting mini while playing on the hearts of Havok and Cyclops fans. It’s hard not to have a soft spot for Madelyn Pryor, she’s been through a lot in her existence. Duggan will look to divide fans on which side they take by making Maddie a sympathetic villain. Either way, I’m here for it.
The pencils and colors are handled by Rod Reis. His style and pencils work well for an issue like this. Reis needed this issue to be creepy to some extent since inanimate objects are coming to life and attacking people; he’s successful. Seeing mannequins with grotesque faces or jackhammers with sharp teeth is actually unsettling. pages in Limbo have a sense of humor to them as well. As Cyclops and company arrive to stop the Goblin Queen, they are greeted by Sleep Demons. The Sleep Demons have pillows attached to their heads as they fight. Reis capitalizes on the mood of moments, whether it’s humor or fear, and always delivers the appropriate panel.
The colors are also done by Reis, so there is some continuity between pencils and colors. Reis gives us gorgeous color splash backgrounds to highlight the action sequences. As Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar help stop the madness in New York, Reis lays down a vibrant yellow background to allow the heroes to leap off the page at the reader. The vibe in Limbo is a little bit different. In Limbo we get warmer reds mixed with some darker blacks. As Cyclops and Firestar use their powers, Reis makes sure to highlight the energy with bright reds or glowing yellows. Reis captures the tone and mood of this issue perfectly. Colors that pop in New York for the heroes succeeding and Darker colors in Limbo where our characters are in danger. Since Reis is on double duty of pencils and colors, the art work flows together in harmony. Another solid issue from the immensely talented Rod Reis.
The letters by Cory Petit are effective to an extent, but more sound would have enhanced the issue. As the Sleep Demons attack the X-Men, Petit does use a long trail “ZZZZZZZ” that extend to the next page. This is a great use of effects that also has great placement. Speaking of placement, Petit does a great job of where he puts his word balloons. As our heroes arrive in Limbo, Petit places a balloon next to Cyclops, Jean and Magik. The beauty of this panel is that each character has room to breathe and the page doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the dialogue. Petit is a pro with his placement. This issue is another example of his exemplary work.
Dark Web X-Men #1 is a book that is off to a promising start. If you’re a fan of Inferno, this feels like a sequel to it. Gerry Duggan has found his groove with many of these characters and writes them well. The art is a fitting style for a story line like this. If you’re looking for a book that captures one of the most memorable stories from the 80’s, Dark Web X-Men #1 is a book for you.