One of the great joys of starting to read a new serial comic strip in the middle of a storyline is the feeling of loopy disorientation you get trying to get a hold on events as they unfold at a rate of three panels a day. With some strips, the problem is that nothing at all seems to be happening, and then it just keeps on not happening (e.g., Steve Roper and Judge Parker); with others, you have lots of jarring changes in focus and incomprehensible action because about seventeen things are happening at once to people who all look alike (e.g., Gil Thorp).
Then there’s Spider-Man (or, perhaps more properly, The Amazing Spider-Man). I already know the basics about Spider-Man (he does everything a spider can, yadda yadda), and of course the superhero genre features its share of outlandish clothing, but I was definitely not prepared for that … outfit … that this “Kraven” person has on. I mean, where to start? With the textured cape, designed to look like a lion’s mane? With the cat-like eyes, strategically placed over the nipples? The chain across the front, over the washboard abs? The skintight leopard-print pants with matching arm and wrist bands? The animal-tooth studded belt?
In short, the dude is pretty fly. Despite the fact that he’s obviously dressed for supervilliany, though, this week’s Spider-Man mostly involves a rather pissy verbal exchange between Kraven and Spidey in front of the paparazzi. Presumably the ass-kicking will begin in due time.
Superhero comics are good for sound effects, too. Note the FWIPP in panel two — the extra P is for extra, um, spideryness. Also, Kraven may be some sort of bad-ass lion-themed criminal mastermind, but he still says “Sigh” aloud, Charlie Brown-style.