Review: Shadowland: Spider-Man #1

Published on October 11th, 2010

For a Shadowland book Shadowland: Spider-Man has very little to do with the whole Shadowland storyline. This one-shot is a team-up of Spider-Man with Shang-Chi the Master of Kung Fu going up against Spider-Man’s enemy, Mr. Negative, and takes place simultaneously with Shadowland #3. During the good guys meeting with Izo, Spider-Man snuck out through a window. Nobody seemed to notice except for Shang-Chi who decided to go after Spider-Man to see what he was up to.

spidermanshadownlandApparently Spider-Man noticed one of Mr. Negative’s Inner-Demon soldiers so Spider-Man took it upon himself to check it out. What Spider-Man discovers is a turf battle in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen with The Hand and Mr. Negative. At first Spider-Man isn’t sure what to do, it’s just bad guys fighting bad guys. Then Shang-Chi shows up and the two heroes decide to aid The Hand because the Inner Demons are indestructible so it’s pretty obvious they’re the ones who are gonna win. If Spider-Man can stop Mr Negative at least he keeps one bag guy from becoming more powerful and they can deal with The Hand later.

So Spider-Man and Shang-Chi head into the fight, Mr. Negative confronts Spider-Man but when it is pointed out that Negative can’t use his powers on Spider-Man again he goes after Shang-Chi. If you don’t know anything about Mr. Negative (I don’t blame you) he has the ability to change a person’s persona, if you’re a good person a touch from him will bring out your dark side, but it can only be done once to a person. Mr. Negative grabs Shang-Chi by the throat, but his powers backfire and Shang-Chi takes them away. With Shang-Chi controlling Mr. Negative’s powers he attempts to take control of the Inner Demons and orders them to kill Mr. Negative. The demons don’t know what to do so instead Shang Chi decides he will kill Mr. Negative. Spider-Man intervenes and gets Negative away from Shang Chi, he tells the crime boss to get away and lets him escape. Spider-Man and Shang Chi go at it for the next few pages while Shang-Chi starts sounding like Daredevil does claiming that the world needs order and with the right leader complete control could be a paradise. Spider-Man stops and decides to let Shang-Chi kill him if he believes it is the right thing to do. Shang-Chi gets conrol over himself and lets go of Negative’s powers. The Inner Demons take off to beg forgiveness from Mr. Negative and Spider-Man and Shang-Chi head back to stop Daredevil’s ninja army.

While this book was a fun read it was kind of pointless. It takes place within Shadowland, but aside from a brief fight with The Hand has very little to do Shadowland. On the plus side I’m not very familiar with Shang-Chi so reading this book gave me some more information on the character. The book is written by Dan Slott who will be taking over The Amazing Spider-Man with issue #648, the guy has a good handle on Spider-Man and I’m definately looking forward to him taking over the main Spider-Man book. The art was done by Paulo Siqueira and he did a far better job than the art in the current AMS storyline. This guy is pretty good and I especially enjoyed his action sequences in this comic. While this book isn’t essential to the Shadowland storyline it was an entertaining book and it got me even more excited for Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time.

Ken Zeider
Ken@ComicImpact.com