The story begins with the murder of Stanley Kirkpatrick, the Police Commissioner and the Spider’s best friend. Or so everyone believes. He is actually drugged into a coma state. The grief of the moment, however, causes the Spider and Nita Kirkpatrick to make a mistake, one that may cost them dearly down the line. The Spider spends the rest of the story looking for the killer. The story ends with the Spider and Nita discussing what they did. Nita is willing to talk about it, but the Spider decides to push her away.
What works is the length of the story. It tells a complicated and fairly dense story in 22 pages. The writer knows enough to keep the story moving and to not dwell on events too long. I am a new reader to this series and I’m impressed enough to go back and pick up the first 6 issues at some point. Although there are hints of a larger storyline that may need going back and learning it, it did not get in the way of the story itself.
The biggest strength is also the story’s weakness. The story feels like it’s set in a depression era universe. The cars are period, so are the clothing and the attitudes of the people. No one pulls out a cell phone and calls anyone. If they talk to one another, it is mostly in person and over a rotary phone. However, there are plenty of anachronisms in the story that kind of detract from the experience. I might be wrong, but I’m certain that women at the time did not wear pants, did not jog, or order pizza over the phone. They were minor events, but they did detract from the experience somewhat.
About the only complaint I have with the storyline might be with the prior knowledge of the reader. If the reader is not familiar with the Pulp genre, they might think the character is Batman, or based on him. This is not entirely true. The Spider, Batman, Shadow, and other heroes of the time have similar aspects. A lot of them are independently wealthy, are club and bar goers, are friends with powerful people, and use deception to cover their vigilantism. It is just a common occurrence from characters at the time.
Final Verdict: Positive.
The story is very solid. It is a single issue story, but there are hints of a grander storyline the characters have with regrets and express remorse for their actions. The situation is very pulp inspired.