Brendan McCarthy' Spider-Man: Fever

Posted by Grey Sunday, December 5, 2010

Game for some spectacular psychedelic web-slinging action featuring your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and the resident Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange?

British comic creator and graphic artist Brendan McCarthy's unlikely trip down the Marvel Universe earlier this year were equal parts psychedelic extravaganza and a love letter to comic book legend Steve Ditko. For those who have missed out on the three-issue-limited series published by Marvel earlier this year, do check out the collected edition of Spider-Man: Fever, complete with the entire series of Spider-Man: Fever and a special reprint of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, featuring one of Spidey’s earliest adventures into the wondrous world of Dr. Strange.

Here's the official synopsis from Marvel:

Pencils & Cover by BRENDAN MCCARTHY

One of comics' most innovative and original voices, Brendan McCarthy, brings SPIDER-MAN: FEVER – a truly unique and surreal story evoking the classic Silver-Age psychedelia of Steve Ditko's Dr Strange. In FEVER, Spider-Man is abducted by a depraved tribe of spider-demons to a bizarre dimension, where he is to be eaten alive. Dr. Strange goes on a perilous occult quest to rescue his friend – and tangles with some very peculiar characters along the way. Plus: this collection also includes a special reprint of one of Spidey’s earliest adventures into the wondrous world of Dr. Strange! Collecting SPIDER-MAN: FEVER #1-3 and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2. Parental Advisory …$14.99

Over at Brendan McCarthy's website, you can find an interesting interview on the series, where McCarthy describes his take on two of most iconic figures in Marvel. Here's an excerpt of the interview, and we strongly implore you to check out the full interview.

If someone came up to the counter and asked me, Oi, Mark, what's Spider-Man: Fever about anyway? I'd say, it's a kick-ass comic about Spider-Man getting trapped in Doctor Strange's bathtub. How would you describe it to a prospective borrower from a public library? Apparently some people also buy books, but eff them.

BMc: The story at its simplest: Spider-Man is abducted by a nasty tribe of spider-demons to a bizarre magical dimension, there to be eaten alive. Dr. Strange must undertake a perilous quest to rescue his friend.

Beyond that, it explores the psychological trauma of Spidey's early life and the terrible price he paid for the aquisition of his spider-powers. Underneath that wise-cracking youth is a psyche torn apart by guilt. I liked playing Dr. Strange as a kind of aloof 'occult' Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed throwing in all that 'Dr Who' type of esoteric theorising about the structure of 'illogical-magickal' systems, etc. It's fun to write these absurdist sequences.

Also, the narrative has a pretty loose structure, so that I could be playful or serious whenever the story demanded it. For example, the film Road Warrior utilised a very fast-paced 'pile-driver' narrative but veered from a disturbingly realistic rape scene to a cartooney 'Chuck Jones' sequence (fingers lopped off by a steel boomerang). I enjoy that freedom of range and tone.

The three parts of the comic each have a different feel to them: The first part of FEVER is in pop-video, rather than filmic style, and sets everything up. The second episode pushes the ethereal psychedelia on the visuals of the dimensions. And the third one brings everything back to earth, with Spider-Man finally punching somebody -- because after all, it's a Marvel comic and dramatically, something proactively physical needed to happen at that point. I tell the story in a fairly loose and surprising way, so that your reading experience stays unpredictable, but fun.

A FEVER movie should be co-directed by Tim Burton and David Lynch and go all-out for the Ditko look.

You can find a preview of the title right after the jump.


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