So. Many. Spiders!
The build up for the Spider-Verse event has been pretty intense over the past few months, and Slott keeps that momentum going right here! Wasting no time, we are thrown into the demise of yet another Spider at the hands of Morlun. His presence alone would be reason enough to give pause, but we have been introduced to his family who are also hunting various Spider-Men from across the multiverse and feasting on their life force. But just as Morlun has his family, there is an army gathering to oppose them, and the most important of them all is the Spider-Man of the 616 universe, Peter Parker. It seems as if the 616 universe has caught the eye of Morlun’s older brother, who has mocked his sibling and wants to see what’s so special about it. And just when Peter only thought his biggest problem was his animal attraction to Silk, things are about to get a lot worse.
Once again Slott has started an event that utilizes the many corners of Spider-Man’s history in some of the most exciting ways; you can’t help but enjoy the issue. He’s been building the event for some time, which has helped, but even if you passed on the previous Edge of Spider-Verse titles or even the most recent Superior Spider-Man issues, you needn’t worry about being lost. The introduction here is pretty straightforward as Slott sets up the plot, and makes sure that you get a sense of how dire things are and how dangerous Morlun and his family are. There are hints to Peter’s past with the character, but you don’t have to be neck deep in Spider-Man knowledge to enjoy these characters. Slott makes sure that the issue is very accessible while balancing out a huge cast of characters. The various Spiders that show up range from the familiar to some we’ve never seen before. However, there is a great focus on Morlun’s family, The Inheritors, that keeps the book on a very dark path from beginning to end. Speaking of the end, the cliffhanger pretty much double dares you not to pick up the next issue!
You would expect some great artwork in an event like this, and Olivier Coipel and Justin Ponsor knock it completely out of the park! There are too many great looking panels here to attempt to narrow things down to just one favorite. Just as Slott balances out the narrative between the comical and the down right violent and scary, Coipel does the same, effectively telling the story so well that at some points the dialogue isn’t even necessary to move things along. He gives you so much to look for in the panels, which just adds more character to the story. Spider-Ham sitting on the shoulders of Spider-Man 2099 is just one of those moments where you would think those two have been lifelong friends. Ponsor’s colors give everything a unique tone that transfers directly to the story and take Coipel’s work to another level.
The epilogue, which is written by Slott and drawn by Camuncoli, is another strong visual tale that focuses on The Inheritors, and gives the reader a look into not only their world but their ideology. This reinforces their motives and that this is much more than feeding on the life force of the Spiders.
I’m not sure if a comparison to Slott’s past event, Spider Island, is fair at this point, but one thing is for certain, and that is Slott is making sure the amount of fun he’s having writing this is transferred to what we’re reading here. So go ahead and pick this issue up if you haven’t already and see if Spider-Verse is for you!