Is’nana The Were-Spider
Publisher: Webway Comics
Writer: Greg Anderson-Elysée
Artist(s): Walter Ostlie & Lee Milewski
Colorist: Lee Milewski
Cover: Walt Msonza Barna
What I know about Anansi the trickster or the spider god of stories could fill a thimble so it’s a good thing that this is a perfect introduction to not only the infamous deity but his son Is’nana as well. This is probably what I liked most about the book because Greg makes it so easy to just become immersed in the story without having to rely on extensive knowledge of where these characters come from. There’s a nice little joke in the opening sequence that also lets you know that Greg is fully aware that many might be unfamiliar with Anansi which then opens up to our first story. There’s layers to this and Greg is smart enough to play on the forgotten knowledge aspect and uses that to kick things off while utilizing it as an effective tool throughout the book.
We get two stories here with the first one focusing on Is’nana as he attempts to save a man whose soul is being corrupted by the leopard, Osebo. There’s not only a heavy dose of action, violence, and wit but the father/son dynamic is very impressive here. Anansi is helping to guide his son as he maneuvers through our world attempting to set things right after breaking several mystic barriers to get here. With those barriers now broken it has allowed creatures such as Osebo to come here and wreck havoc. It’s through this conflict that we get to know much about Is’nana’s character and how he differs greatly from his father but still wants to make him proud. Though seeing Is’nana show off his abilities and transformations via Walter Ostlie’s art was the icing on the cake here! He moves the action very well and makes Osebo a very imposing opponent from the long angular body to those flesh rendering claws we get several panels of some damn good fighting here. But like I said earlier, there’s levels to this and Greg wraps it up in a way that gives the title a lot more impact.
The second tale is a prequel of sorts which sheds some light on Anansi and Greg also gives us a look at the Mother Kingdom. There’s a bit of humor here and a lighter tone but we see how Anansi needed his son’s help in the first place and the extent he went through to get his father back to his family. There is also set up for several more stories after Greg gives us glimpses of the other realms which are now free to invade Earth realm due to the breaking of the barriers. Lee Milewski’s art helps the narrative along here and manages to fit the tone quite well with his style. It was only when the fight begins that it got a little too chaotic and I couldn’t tell what was happening. Between the creatures involved, webbing, and character movement things were lost and fell flat for me.
Is’nana The Were-Spider is a comic you should get into because we need to see stories drawing inspiration from a different well now more than ever. Greg has successfully merged the old stories with a fresh new look and given comics a new superhero in Is’nana. So it will be great to see where this creative team takes him in the future because there’s still quite a few unanswered questions and a lot more monster ass to kick!