REVIEW CORNER: What If? Spider-Man: Back In Black # 1

What If? Spider-Man: Back In Black # 1
Writer: Steven Grant
Artist: Gus Vasquez
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit
Cover Date: February 2009
With the conclusion to the first season of Marvel’s What If? getting close, I’ll look at one of the many “What If?” specials that came out during the mid to late 2000s following the cancellation of the second volume in 1998. This week, I’ll look at “What If? Spider-Man: Back In Black”
In the reality that we knew, Peter Parker revealed his secret identity to the world in the early days of the Superhuman Registration Act that, unfortunately for him was more trouble than he can handle, resulting in The Kingpin hiring a hitman to assassinate him. His Aunt May got caught in the crossfire and with her life in the balance, Peter struck a deal with Mephisto to save May and all he had to do in return is sacrifice his marriage.
In this reality, things take a very dark turn. Mary Jane is the one that gets caught in the crossfire of the assassin’s bullet; With MJ’s death, Peter Parker is set on a path of revenge. Donning his black and white costume, Spider-Man seeks out The Kingpin but he comes face-to-face with Iron Man, and everything goes off the rails.
This story is very unapologetic in terms of the scope of violence that’s on display, not to mention that this reality has a Spider-Man who’s ready to take someone’s else life when pushed to the brink of vengeance will definitely send chills up the spine of anyone reading this one-shot. The story itself is dark, gloomy, and takes pride in it so when you get the chance to read it, don’t expect a happy ending, but I can honestly say that this story could have been excellent if given more time to be properly fleshed out instead of going for overload on the violence, but if you’re a huge “What If” fan then this one-shot should satisfy you.
Well, that’s it for me. I’ll be back next week with another review, where I’ll take a look at a “What If?” issue from the first volume so be on the lookout for that. Thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.

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