Darkhold: Spider-Man #1 (Review)

Dec 20, 2021

Mad Cave Studios


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Darkhold: Spider-Man #1

First of all, I have to say Darkhold Spider-Man #1’s main cover is incredible. It feels so disturbing in the most subtle ways, Spider-Man being upside down, the vibrancy of the buildings compared to the green of the background, plus the stress on his face. It’s perfect for the issue and the Darkhold horror theme.

Written by: Alex Paknadel
Art by: Dio Neves
Colors by: Jim Charalampidis
Letters by: Clayton Cowles

I first became a fan of Alex Paknadel over a year ago with the release of Giga he did with John Le, so I was excited to see what he was going to do with a Spider-Man oneshot, especially one in this Darkhold horror theme. He stated over on Twitter that he wanted to “take everything that makes Spider-Man Spider-Man and make it horror.”

Which I would say is exactly what he achieved. It’s an interesting issue, because there’s a very obvious horror on the surface, as you’re reading. Without spoiling the premise, some imagery throughout that made me squirm, I’ll say. But once I finished the issue, and saw that tweet, I realised there was a deeper and sickeningly brilliant psychological aspect. What happens when you take one of the most core aspects of the character, and take it to the extreme? You get this one-shot.

The artwork only reinforces that idea. The style is disturbingly standard. The art in Darkhold: Blade was very stylised and animated, so it felt more like a story on another world. Whereas here, it has the look and feel of a classic modern day Marvel book. That false sense of security makes it all the more unsettling. This all culminates in an ending that sent a shiver down my spine. I know how cliche that sounds, but man.

If you’ve been liking these Darkhold one-shots, this is an issue you do not want to miss out on.