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Preview of ‘Spider-Man: Fever’ by Brendan McCarthy — EXCLUSIVE

We’ve got an exclusive five-page preview of “Spider-Man: Fever” that we’d like to share with you, from the first issue of the upcoming Spidey miniseries by Brendan McCarthy. We’ve been excited for this project since we first caught a glimpse of McCarthy’s art, which evokes the Silver Age psychedelics of Steve Ditko’s “Dr. Strange,” and now that we’ve had a chance to read through the first issue or so we can confirm: This is going to be awesome.

Although the book is a ostensibly a Spider-Man title, and he certainly features prominently, it seems like Spidey’s really going to be more of the Princess to Dr. Strange’s Mario in this one. The series kicks off with Spider-Man getting kidnapped by spider-demons and dragged to their trippy alternate dimension, leading Dr. Strange on a mystical occult journey to rescue his friend from being devoured by their giant spider faces.

While McCarthy manages to retain the classic elements of the character, he’s done so in a way that feels like nothing else on the stands, and drives a spike of luminous, brain-bending magic straight through the skull of the usual superhero book and lobotomizes all the things that often make it boring. If you’re a fan of Ditko, or like any part of what you see above and below, the series is going to deliver the goods. And it gets way crazier than this, kids.

Between books like “Fever,” its recent experiments with indie creators in “Strange Tales,” and its “Marvel Women” initiative, we’ve got to give Marvel some plaudits for its willingness to reach outside the box for talent and art that goes beyond house style and the usual suspects.

“Spider-Man: Fever” #1 launches in April, so start waiting.

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