After what seems like months the most Spider-filled crossover of all time is about to begin. First Slott has the Spiders take over an island, now he has them take over the Universe. Yet the question remains, is it any good?
“Spider-Verse Part One: The Gathering”
PLOT: Dan Slott
ARTIST: Oliver Coipel
COLOR ARTIST: Justin Ponsor
LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos
“Spider-Verse: The Feast”
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILS: Giuseppe Camuncoli
INKS: Cam Smith
COLORS: Antonio Fabela
LETTERS: VC’s Travis Lanham
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ellie Pyle
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
PLOT: The story begins with yet another Spider-Man from an alternate universe gets eaten by Morlun sequence (aren’t you glad you paid extra money for these pages). From here we see Morlun meet up with his dysfunctional family to give us all an excess of exposition about their desire to eat, and the mention that Morlun is the favoured son of the family. Morlun’s brother Daemos pesters Morlun about his avoidance of Earth 616, which leads to Daemos deciding to check out this famed world for himself. We are also introduced to the most interesting member of Morlun’s family. His sister Lady Verna who uses old Spider-Man characters as her “hunting hounds”. From here we finally cut to the hero of the story the real Peter Parker as he is woken up by Silk. Silk and Peter go on patrol, and Silk is attempting to convince Peter than he needs to move to a different city. Together they stop a “loot” by the Looter as he uses old Superior Spider-Man tech to rob a bank. From here a multitude of a Spider-Men from Spider-Man UK’s Spider-team, and every Spider-person from earth (excluding Kaine) converge to get Peter Parker to accompany them through a portal in order to plan against the Inheritors (Morlun’s family). As they go through the portal we cut to Kaine who is getting royally beat by Daemos on Mount Wundagor. Daemos makes some allusion about him being the Other (oh joy) and he is saved by old man Spider-Man in order to be reunited with the rest of the Spiders on the planet Spider-Man Captain Universe. Once they are all together, we get it hammered in even more than Spider-Girl will do anything to protect her brother, and we find out that Captain Spider-Verse (his new name) can’t leave his planet because his powers are tied to his home world. We end the main story in The Ultimate Universe with Jessica Drew, and Miles Morales mourning Mile’s mother. Their mourning is interrupted when Lady Verna bursts in with her spider-hunting dogs in order to feast upon them.
There is also a boring backup story in which the Morlun family literally explain exactly who they are, and what they stand for. They also bicker a little, and we get a slightly larger view into their world with the introduction of Robbie Robertson a wine dealer with slaves. Other than that though it doesn’t really deliver anything ground breaking. Now for just an observation, is it me or is the Marvel universe just a huge pile of crossovers currently? I mean the Spider-Man family of titles alone are split between both AXIS, and Spider-Verse with only more crossover’s being teased upon the horizon. Is that what an interconnected universe should be?
STORY: Asides from a fairly disappointing fake out in the beginning this issue was pretty enjoyable. I like the fact that after what seems like months our 616 Spider-Man is finally getting involved in his own storyline. As soon as Morlun is mentioned Peter puts on his game face, and gets ready to take him on. Not a lot happens in this issue as it is mainly set-up but there are a few fantastic character beats. I love the reappearance of The Looter who is taking advantage of Superior Spider-Man’s reign of terror in order to fool the citizens of New York. Sure he gets taken out with a single kick to the face but eh at least he appeared. Although his appearance at all contradicts with his most recent appearance in Superior Foes Of Spider-Man in which he fled New York in complete terror. I doubt after being so traumatized by Superior Spider-Man he would risk sneaking into Spider-Island in order to rob him. That being said it’s comics, and continuity bits like this are almost always dropped when C-list villains are involved.
Another note since when is Anya Spider-Woman’s protégée, I haven’t read much of either character but I have been following Secret Avengers which seems to be taking up most of Spider-Woman’s free time. God help us if Silk pestering Spider-Man to move actually comes to fruition at the end of Spider-Verse because out of all Marvel’s characters Spider-Man should always be in New York. Where does Silk get off thinking that Peter should be the one to move? It’s incredibly selfish on her part as she has no ties to New York, so it would make way more sense for her to be the one who ends up relocating. Speaking of bad story tropes, having Kaine be referred to as the Other. Sure it makes sense, but I really don’t want to have to read about the omnipresent Spider-God, and the horrible Morlun family at the same time. All of these terrible story elements are really hampering my desire to be completely in love with this storyline. If you want an example of how I’d like the entire crossover to go, you’d be much more apt picking up Spider-Verse Team-Up #1 which has two fantastic stories with fun, and unique insights into these characters. It also has a good pseudo appearance by Lady Verna the undisputed Queen of Morlun’s family. Okay she’s really only another sibling but her concept is by far the most intriguing of the family. She gets old Spider-Man heroes or villains and uses them as hunting dogs. It is such a cool concept, that can have a lot of really fun consequences. I really hope we just get her going all-out in one issue with a hunting dog army filled with a multitude of Spider-Man villains throughout the multi-verse.
The back-up story is only interesting to me due to the fact that we get to see that Spider-Man Japan, and Spider-Man 67′ are still out there. There needs to be a Spider-Man team-up between Spider-Man Japan, and Spider-Man 67′. In fact my dream for the storyline is for at least one of the Morlun clan to be taken out by Spider-Man 67′ because when they attack him nothing will make sense to them in that universe. Please Slott make this happen this better not be his only cameo. Also any guesses on who old man Spider-Man is? He sort of resembles the future Spider-Man from Amazing Spider-Man #500, so it could just be an old Spider-Man or it could be an Uncle Ben.
ART: The art is spectacular in this issue, some of the best art that Amazing Spider-Man has has since I started reviewing the book. The majority of my enjoyment from this issue is the beautiful artwork that really brings the action scenes, and characters to life. I really hope Coipel stays throughout the entire arc great work!