Is there such a thing as to many Spider’s? HAS Spider-Verse finally gotten to the point where you start rooting for the exterminators, or are you still rooting for the ragtag group of web-headed wonders?
“Spider-Verse Part 4: Anywhere But Here”
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Giuseppe Camuncoli
INKER: Cam Smith
COLORS: Justin Ponsor
LETTERS: Chris Elliopoulos
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Dewin Lewis
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ellie Pyle
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
Plot: We begin our twisted tale precisely where we left off last issue. Solus has just absorbed Captain Unispidey and is bearing the brunt of a Spider-filled counter attack. Unfortunately for the Spider’s Solus is supercharged and is easily beating off any attempts to bring him down to size. Morlun taking advantage of the chaos manages to slip away with the scion aka Spider-Girl’s baby brother. When all hope seems to be lost the one, the only Amazing Spider-Man arrives with the assistance of the 70’s japanese Spider-Man and his giant robot. The robot does battle with Solus as the rest of the Spider’s escape into a prehistoric version of New York. Meanwhile we see Silk arriving on a highly irradiated universe that the inheritors seems hesitant to travel to. As we do our due diligence to remind readers that they need to buy 5 other titles we see a series of events happening in the Spider-Verse offshoots. Spider-Woman has infiltrated Morlun’s inner circle and has a meeting with the master weaver who bequeaths upon her three scrolls which pertrain to the prophecies the inheritors seem so keen on stopping. Spider-Woman manages to transfer the scrolls to 616 Spider-Man. Miles Morales the Ultimate Spider-Man is riding in a living Spider-Mobile, and The Spider-Man 2099 dissection of Daemos is still dragging on. 616 Spider-Man and his ragtag Spider crew find themselves in imminent danger when they discover Jennix has been listening to all of their calls and has sicked Lady Verna out to dispatch them. Silk sends out a message to 616 Spider-Man telling him to make his way towards the earth she is on. Once the Spider-Men arrive they discover the earth is highly irradiated and they make their way towards the bunker Silk spent so much of her life in. Once they enter the bunker they find out another Spider-Totem has already taken up residence there, and it’s UNCLE BEN!
STORY: This may surprise people who have been reading my reviews but this issue is where I am finally starting to feel Spider-Verse fatigue. The fact that this issue is almost impossible to read as a stand alone story really hinders its appeal. Sure last issue had similar storytelling elements but it showcased more of a “beginning” of the other issues, and didn’t really require that you read EVERY other Spider-Verse related issue. The fact that you need to read: Spider-Verse Team-Up, Spider-Man 2099, and Spider-Woman to even get a basic understanding of each plot shows the weakness of the core issue. Another downside to this issue is that it seems to cover a lot of the same ground, I enjoy that the Spider-Men are continuously on the run, but it seems like only the fan favourites are living long enough to become characters. For example how is the robot Mech Spider-Man from Edge Of Spider-Verse even alive? At the end of his issue its heavily implied that he was straight up murdered by Morlun. He hasn’t been in any of the other stories from my memory, at least not as a main character and now he is just popping up front and centre. The master weaver also continues to be an annoyance as he MAKES NO SENSE. There is absolutely no reason why he should be able to be held up by handcuffs. We see him do crazy all powerful things, but suddenly he is unable to free himself from the simplest of devices.
All that being said the issue is not without its positives. The introduction of the 70s Spider-Man and his giant mech robot arriving to save the day was pretty great. It is a pity we didn’t actually get to see much of the robot in action, but his appearance was enjoyable nonetheless. Lady Verna is always a charm to see on page, and it was nice to see that the inheritors finally were shown to have a weakness to radiation. That being said wouldn’t that make all Spider totems toxic food? They suck out their energies which are entirely based on being bitten by radioactive spiders. It also took an extreme amount of radiation to take out Morlun the first time Spider-Man fought him which also took a lot of effect on Spider-Man himself. So if the radiation was high enough to make one of the inheritors pass out and nearly die it must have been an INSANE amount of radiation which would have made short work of all the spiders asides from the one in the protective mech suit. The end reveal of Uncle Ben works, but I have a feeling it may not be all its cracked up to be. We have a few possible scenarios. One its an older Peter Parker who eventually begins to resemble Uncle Ben keep in mind the world looks very desecrated and old. Either that or we may have a deeply unhinged crazy Uncle Ben from being locked up all alone on a world devoid of all human life. Think about it, this Ben sat in his bunker as the world went to hell around him. That’s not the Spider-Man or the Uncle Ben we know and love.
Another quick note and I know this is a point that can get rather beaten over the head in our Spider-Verse coverage, but this issue really didn’t feel like Spider-Girl’s characterization was on point. She has become a solely militaristic and rude character. Her lines now play out like they should be said by Superior Spider-Man. I guess we will have to wait and see how Tom Defalco writes her in his upcoming story as it may shed some light and bridge the gap between classic and current May.
Overall this isn’t an especially bad issue, but its a noticeable step down from what we’ve had come up before, and the storyline from here on out seems relatively self explanatory. The heroes seem all but defeated, so naturally its about time for them to take charge and have a come back.
ART: In previous issues of Spider-Verse this has been the deciding factor in grade for me. Spider-Verse has had some truly outstanding and amazing artwork thus far, and this issue was simply…serviceable. Don’t get me wrong the art is not bad in any way shape or form, it is however more like a routine Spider-Man story and doesn’t feel as special as the art had in previous issues. I do have to give major props for the Japanese Manga Spider-Man that looks like amazing classic newsprint style.