Arana: The Heart of the Spider #11

Story Title: Untitled
Reviewer: Paul Sebert

Writer: Fiona Avery
Artists: Jonboy Meyers
Colorist: SotoColor
Inker: Mark Irwin
Letterer: V.C.’s Rus Wooton
Editor: Nathan Paniccia
Publisher: Not Brand Echh

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

This week two books that were my among my favorites six months ago have fallen onto hard times. After a character defining run by Geoff Johns, the Flash is now struggling through a murky contrived little fill-in run by Joey Cavalieri. On the other hand Araña: The Heart of the Spider, which had a very enjoyable first arc is suffering from some seriously dubious changes on the art team.

First off we have Roger Cruz being replaced by Jonboy Meyers who also does a Animated sort of Ramos-esc art style, but alas doesn’t do it nearly as well a Cruz or as Mark Brooks did during the initial Amazing Fantasy run. Meyers’ characters look jarringly uneven and go beyond being cartoonish to being distorted in an jarring manner. At a few points in this issue I was getting flashbacks to some of Francisco Herrera’s sloppy pencils on Venom. Mark Irwin’s inks don’t help much either.

Which brings us to the coloring”¦

Damn”¦

You do NOT replace Udon with Sotocolor.

Really you don’t do that”¦

I mean for crying out loud there’s so much orange in this book I’m wondering if I’m supposed to go digging for a pair of Valiant Vision glasses.

You remember Valiant Vision right? That so-called full color 3D gimmick where everything was an eye-ball scorching shade of Orange, Pink, or Green? That’s what the coloring on this issue looks like.

As for the writing the plot delves with Anya confronting a gangster name Jade (pronounce “Ha-Dey”) who may have killed her mother. However unbeknownst to her or even Jade’s own allies this bad guy’s got some seriously creepy powers. What he alas doesn’t really have is much of a personality. He’s thus far he’s come across as one of those bad guy’s who’s all mystery and no substance.

On the bright side, while this isn’t on par with her best work Fiona Avery still has talent for snappy dialog, and we do get some nice character development regarding Amun, one of the better new villains to come about this year.

Anyway this book isn’t listed in January’s previews”¦ but similar under-selling books have managed to compensate for weak direct market performances through digest sales. So if you’re an Araña-aficionado now’s a good time to buy the digests. Just make sure they’re of the first two arcs.