Thursday, May 5, 2016

Review - Weavers #1 (@boomstudios)

"Whatever you were...whatever agenda you take my advice and you forget it right now."

Spider-man parlayed a youthful vigor and mature burden of guilt into a career of crime-fighting when bitten by the radioactive spider. Not everyone feels as compelled to do good in such situations though. Take Weavers #1 from BOOM! Studios for instance. The issue is written by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Dylan Burnett, colored by Triona Farrell and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Sid, a young man with nothing going for himself, becomes an unlikely new addition to The Weavers, a brutal, East Coast crime family whose members are bound to loyalty thanks to the supernatural spider inside each one of them, granting them powerful—and often grotesque—abilities. Once he realizes what he’s capable of, Sid sets out to pursue his own secret agenda, counter to the group’s objectives. But he doesn’t have much time—the longer the spider is inside him, the more loyal he becomes to the Weavers…

Criminal family stories certainly aren't few and far between, but Weavers #1 is different in that it offers a slightly different take on the notion. Spurrier's take is a bit more supernatural and it adds a new meaning to the concept of loyalty. The plot moves largely along this line, with Spurrier emphasizing the inherent, forced mistrust that comes with a criminal organization such as the Weavers. The dialogue feels appropriate for the tone of the book in that characters speak with a certain harshness to them that's befitting of a rough and tumble life. Spurrier definitely establishes Weavers #1 as a set-up issue, but he does so in a way that doesn't just hand-feed all the information to the reader.

A story about mobsters infused with spider-powers works better when the art works and Burnett definitely makes it work. His characters are very angular and sharp, reflecting the looks of spiders. In many panels, Burnett shies away from offering more intricate detail when it comes to facial expressions and bodies, but the style sort of adds to the overall tone of the book. Burnett doesn't shy away from environs that feel seedy, with much of the issue taking place in back alleys and less than reputable clubs. The colors by Farrell reinforce this atmosphere (and spiders in general) as much of the color palette resides in the reds and blacks of the famed black widow spider.

Weavers #1 is a pretty solid take on a relatively familiar concept. Sid is a reluctant new recruit coming to grips with his newfound abilities and reconciling them with the power structure of the Weavers. Spurrier does enough in the first issue to get the reader's interest piqued without going overboard while at the same time offering up some pretty compelling imagination. The artwork by Burnett is dark and moody, underscoring the notion that spiders are typically the stuff of nightmares for most. Weavers #1 is the type of book where you have to root for the bad guy because in a world of black and red there are plenty shades of gray.

Weavers #1 is in stores now.


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