I’m guessing this limited series hit shelves when Spider-Man: Far From Home was hitting theaters to tie-in to Mysterio featuring in that movie.
Set during the time when I was really into Spider-Man comic books and written by one of my favorite authors, Peter David, Symbiote Spider-Man should be right up my alley. And yet, I can’t help but come away from it feeling that it was good, but not necessarily great.
Set in the time before Spidey knew his alien costume was a symbiote looking to bond with him for life, this five-part storyline has Spidey squaring off with Mysterio and the Kingpin. Mysterio is determined to find out as much as he can about Spidey’s alien costume and to be seen as a bigger foe of our web-slinger than maybe many (including the reader) believe he actually is.
It’s a decent enough little story arc, slipped into the main storyline of the time. I will admit that the part that intrigued me the most was Felicia Hardy and Aunt May meeting and discussing Peter at the cemetery with Uncle Ben is buried. David makes these scenes alone worth the price of admission.
But the rest with Mysterio blackmailing Black Cat to get a sample of the suit and becoming symbiote Mysterio — I could take or leave. It was intriguing but you know it’s not going to all go anywhere in the long run.
Note: Peter David’s latest New Frontier entry was published as three e-book novellas.
There were several books I was anticipating reading this summer. But I’ll have to admit that few of them packed quite the same level of “can’t wait to read it” -itis that Peter David’s return to the final frontier did.
It’s been four years since our last visit to the universe of New Frontier and the crew of the starship Excalibur. And in my mind, that’s about three years too long a wait — especially given that David left us on a pretty interesting cliffhanger.
Luckily David’s return to the series proves as much a triumph as I was hoping it would be. The first installment picks up three months after the last one ended and finds Calhoun living a hermit’s existence on his destroyed homeworld and plotting his next move. David catches the reader up quickly on what’s happening — not only with Calhoun but everyone else in the New Frontier universe before setting various new plot threads into motion.
As always with David’s Trek entries, the strengths are solid characters and a sense of humor. David takes his stories seriously but he takes the time to find the humor in the characters, universe and situations. The game of who’s fooling who into “tricking” Calhoun to take on a dangerous mission to the pocket universe is superbly done and feels absolutely like pure David.
As I sat down to start reading part one, I told myself I should take my time, savor it and relish every last second of the book. And then I found myself on the final page with David leaving us hanging for the next part and thankful it was only going to be a month’s wait for the next installment. Continue reading