Spider-Verse #2 Review

SVERSE2014002-DC11-6b2ff“IT’s Showtime”
WRITER: Dan Slott
ARTIST: Kris Anka
COLORS: Chris Sotomayor

“Anansi: A Spider in sheep’s clothing ”
WRITER: Kathryn Immonen
PENCILS: Jane Parker
COLORS: John Rauch

INKS: Alvaro Lopez

“With Great Power comes no future”
WRITER: Jed Mackay
ARTIST: Sheldon Vella

“El Espiritu de las calles”
WRITER: Katie Cook
ARTIST: Katie Cook
COLORS: Heather Breckel

“It’s the little things”
WRITER: Dan Slott
ARTIST: Ty Templeton
COLORS: Andrew Crossley

LETTERER: VC’s Travis Lanham

EDITOR’s: Nick Lowe and Ellie Pyle

PLOT: The plots of most of these short stories are eclectic and hard to explain in depth so here is the one sentence review of each story.

  • The first story features Marvel Vs. Capcom Spider-Man getting KO’D by Morlun.
  • The second story features a colorful but incomprehensible plot regarding an African storytelling SVERSE2014002-int3-2-82213Spider-Man who is being chased by an angry sheep guarding tree, has a conversation with a tiger, angers a living tornado, and dresses up Spider-Man UK as a sheep.
  • Hobbie Brown the Spider-Punk puts up a final battle against the totalitarian government ran by Norman Osborn and his army of symbiote police men. Think Robocop, meets the revolution scene from Watchmen.
  • A Spanish Spider-Man explains that his father was a luchadore fighter betrayed by his partner. Then Spanish Spider-Man takes down a crime lord. (This is entirely in Spanish unless you download the online version).
  • The final story features a huge knock-out drag out battle apparently taking place at the end of the Spider-Verse arc. The story takes places between two Spider-Men taking a break from the action discussing the craziness. Andrew Garfield, Tobey Macguire, and Broadway Spider-Man are all referenced as the two attempt to determine the difference between them. There is a hint at the end that one of the two Spider-Men will be featured in a future story.

STORY: This issue is an odd one to say the least. The stories range from simple one joke gags, to nearly incomprehensible. So in order to critique this issue it will need to be done piece by piece, and then looked at as a SVERSE2014002-int3-3-67fa3whole. The first story featuring the Marvel Vs. Capcom Spider-Man is a fun, and funny story but it doesn’t have much depth. The whole impotence of the story and the way the plot is structured is nearly identical to at least two other stories we have seen throughout this storyline. Morlun shows up randomly, something quirky happens establishing the universe they are in, Morlun kills the other Spider-Man. The second story is really charming, even though it doesn’t seem to make much sense. From my knowledge this is a completely original version of Spider-Man, and appears to be a mixture of a Shaman and storyteller. The storyline is unlike anything else I’ve read before, and while it didn’t seem to make the most sense it still had enough charm to make it worthy of a read. The third storyline with the Hobbie Brown punk war was a lot of fun, and has a clear inspiration from a lot of classic eighties media. The biggest issue with this storyline is it’s tone, and the graphic content. The last issue of Spider-Verse had a kid friendly Spider-Man, and now this issue had Spider-Man bashing a guitar through Norman Osborn’s neck decapitating him gruesomely. This entire series is really difficult to recommend because I want to introduce kids to Penelope Parker, but if they read that and want to read more they won’t be able to. I really love Hobbie Brown as a classic Spider-Man character, but Spider-Punk doesn’t seem to represent the feel of that character. Which is completely fine, its just odd they chose to name the character after Hobbie Brown. Perhaps it has to do with capturing the Robocop, and The Warriors feel which the story does extremely well. The next story is bound to be the most controversial element of this series. The entire story is in Spanish if you buy the hardcopy of the comic, but you can download the English language version of the story for free, however for people who don’t speak Spanish, and don’t have access to a computer the story kind of punishes them. Now I am attempting to walk a fine line here because part of me thinks that it’s great to have an entirely Spanish team write a Spider-Man story. This isn’t something that happens often in the Marvel Universe so ISVERSE2014002-int3-4-f86d5 want to endorse this practice, I cannot however endorse the splitting up of the English and Spanish versions from people who only buy the magazine version of the comic. As for the story itself, it is completely fine it doesn’t do anything to original, but the costumes are quirky and the art is interesting. Finally we feature what is arguably the most important element of this book. The two Spider-Men conversing about their lives, and referencing other Spider-Men in the big battle is fantastic. It is fun to see the two cinematic Spider-Men get a mention, and it appears like one of the story lines that will be drawn upon in the future in some inconceivable way.

ART: The art is the biggest plus for this issue, all of the artists bring something new to the table and really help to bring out the characteristics of each universe. If for nothing else the entire Spider-Verse series will be fondly remembered for encouraging artists to bring unique styles to the table, and they are all doing consistently great jobs. The stand out artist for me is Sheldon Vella as his storyline feels really accurate to the style its attempting to capture. This being said all of the artists did fantastic jobs.


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(22) Comments

  1. ac

    @17 Dan...I mean Mike...the problem isn't Peter Parker. It's you. The sooner you admit you haven't done a good job writing the character the sooner you'll be able to improve, Mr. Slott. I mean Mike.

  2. Raul

    Oh yeah regarding Mexican Spidey story, it's easier to follow in English. The translation was just horrible.

  3. Raul

    I loved spider-verse #1 so I was anxious to get this issue, especially when I heard there was going to be a mexican spidey. But when I read this, I was a little disappointed. It wasn't bad but it was slightly underwhelming, especially since it cost $4.99. The Toby & Andrew bit was funny imo.

  4. RDMacQ

    @#16 & 17- Mike- I understand that you like Slott's work. But it doesn't do him or the book or anyone any favors to try and pretend that there are no problems with the book. It's also rather disingenuous to say that the problem isn't with Slott's writing but with Peter Parker. That this character that has endured at lasted over 50 years across multiple media interpretations and is famous worldwide is somehow "Not all that great" and it's really the character that is bringing the book down rather than have the shortcomings be the fault of the writer. Have all his stories been great over the years? No. But just because something was bad before does not mean that there aren't faults now. You don't get to excuse a current fault by pointing out previous ones. It was bad then, and it is bad now. Is this "just" a comic book? Yes. But so are many others. You don't get to say that the series doesn't have to live up to a certain standard of quality just because it's a "funny book." The argument that comics don't have to live up to a certain standard of quality "just because" the character appears on thermoses and pajamas is rather dismissive, and doesn't have any bearing on the quality of the series. Spider-Man can appear on PJ's, but that doesn't also mean his comic shouldn't try to be the best it can be, and not take narrative shortcuts. Again, I get that you like Slott. But it seems that you are trying to bend over backwards to try and excuse any faults with his work. Putting the blame on the Spider-Man character and saying that he's "Not all that great" and THAT is the reason why Slott's writing isn't all that great seems like a backwards rationalization. Sure, it COULD be that. But plenty of other writers have managed to tell good stories, GREAT stories, across MULTIPLE media interpretations that has garnered MILLIONS of fans all over the world with the exact same character. So it's either the character is so bad that it drags down the talents of this one particular writer, or it's that this is a good character that this one particular writer is dragging down. It seems to me that the latter is perhaps more likely than the former. Slott isn't the end all, be all of the book. He isn't perfect. He is capable of fault. It's alright to like his stories. But it's also alright for others to dislike his stories too. But it's not fair, and it's not honest, to put the blame on the titular character of the book for causing Slott to write "Bad stories." Because if Dan Slott WAS that good, then shouldn't he be able to rise above, and TELL all those great stories he's apparently capable, REGARDLESS of who or what he is writing?

  5. Mike

    What i meant was, it's not spider verse that aren't enjoying. It's peter parker/spider-man. Comparing the character in the 70s to a character in the 2010s is rediculous. The world is different, the readers are different and the publics expectations of a character are different. Spidey is put on girls underoos, not daredevil. The comics aren't written badly in my opinion. I wouldn't complain that a McDonalds burger doesn't taste good. Its from McDonalds! And these comics are spider-man comics. I'll keep reading spider verse till it ends, but i'm done after that. I'd honestly rather follow around hipster hawkeye, squirrel girl and daredevil than peter parker, who at his best is still a temperamental hot head who can't step on an any without feeling he should be cruicified. The characters motivations are so dang flimsy. Honestly i've looked at it that close before, it's just picture books with word baloons. But reading all the criticism on this site, I can't see how it doesn't apply to any other era of spidey. Including JMSs brilliant run.

  6. Mike

    @15, you can DL the english version. IMO the whole story being spanish was an awesome choice. The country is changing wether you like it or not. Marvel knows alot of it's new spider-man fans spanish speaking. It wasn't any more of an inconvenience to me than it is to repeat myself a couple times to the new american at the drive thru window so he can get my order right. If the story were in english no one would've cared. It wasn't particularly interesting...just more peter parker crap One other thing. Through Spider verse i'm starting to realize I dont't even LIKE peter parker. I don't know why I ever did. He's as bereft of personality and depth as Superman. And it's not the spider verse arc itself. I've just been racking my brain trying think if spider verse and dan slotss run is any worse than Roger Sterns or Todd McFarlanes "doom! doom! doom!". Or Gerry Conway or Howard Mackie. Everyone agrees they had some crap ideas, but it's all about Slott hate here. You're blamin the wrong person it's not Slott It's been peter parker this whole time. And maybe he should go away.

  7. Lord Alford

    I love the Spider-verse concept and have enjoyed most of it. I was really disappointed with this issue. I would have rated it a D. The Capcom story was interesting and the last story was interesting (even more so with you guys pointing out the wedding band - I missed that), but they were not enough to justify the $4.99 price tag. The long story in Spanish was a turn off. I have nothing against Spanish, but I can't read it and if I buy a copy of a story (especially at 5 bucks), I want to read that copy - not go get it translated somewhere else. I feel that this can be a fantastic story, but I read Amazing 12 and then this, and I'm beginning to lose faith.

  8. RDMacQ

    @#13- It's not really about Peter "learning to let other people do the punching," but more that the titular character of the book has become pretty much a passive observer to an event that is supposed to be all about him, letting other characters take the lead, not coming up with ideas to stop the villains, and taking a backseat to the supporting cast.

  9. Mike

    They lag behind about a month on the spider satellites. I was so hesitant to read this review. Thought you'd trash everything I loved anout it! Spot on review and credit to Slott for the last story. I love how he basically lays it all on table by taking us to the final battle. Letting us know there WILL be a final battle and it won't be the battle that ends the story. Something deepe will be happening. I know you all just wanna see spidey punch instead of learning to let other people do the punching, but this is spidey 2.0. He gets by with a little help from his friends. And we got to see spidey 1.0 too!!

  10. Jason

    This morning I tried to find the review for Spider-Woman #2 and couldn't find it. Unfortunately I'm a bit behind on the story-line (due to my comic shop's delay in getting certain issues), but I seem to remember not seeing a review for some of the earlier tie-ins as well. Maybe I'm not getting e-mails when they're all posted? Do you have a list of all the review? And yes, I've clicked the box at the top of the screen, but this does not seem to be the entire list.

  11. Evan

    Here you go: (If there is a way to post images in not quite so large a size, I don't know how to do it!)

  12. AndrewRoebuck - Post author

    Ha well @3, and @7 I think this is like the third time this has happened to me while doing Spider-Verse. There should be a new segment in each of my reviews called: "things that are probably in continuity but Andrew forgot to google them". OH and one other thing I forgot to mention in the review is that during the big Spider-Verse climax we see Doppelgänger who is one of my favourite Spider-Man villains...he's my Stegron (although nothing beats the dinosaur man)

  13. Big John

    Man, I'll tell ya, the fact that there's a married Peter somewhere out there. . . It honestly stirred something in my heart that I thought the Quesadarchy killed eight years ago.

  14. Francisco

    As a Spanish native speaker, I think the Spanish version looks like it's been translated from the English version, not the other way around. The translation is pretty bad too to the point of botching at least one exchange between Aracnido and a thug, and captions are missing/out of order on it which doesn't happen in the English version These two issues haven't really done much for me, cause only one or two stories save them.

  15. Stillanerd

    Great review, Andrew, and I pretty much had the exact same feelings you did with regards to each story. I was going to mention about the wedding band, too, but Shaun beat me too it. :) Also, the character from the second story is supposed be Anasai, who is a notable trickster deity in West African folklore, who is also supposed to be the god of storytelling and spiders. Here's some info on him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anansi

  16. AndrewRoebuck - Post author

    Thanks Shaun! I missed out on the wedding band, but I imagine that is definitely the tie-in since they specifically mention secret wars in the storyline itself. So good catch on bleeding cools behalf.

  17. Shaun Martineau

    Bleeding Cool posted an image from the last story, showing that one of the two Spider-Men had a wedding band on, indicating it might be our first look at the married Spider-Man that will be featured in the upcoming Secret Wars event. I agree with your thoughts on nearly every story here; fun, fun but incomprehensible, I want to support the Spanish creative team/story but I had no idea what was going on, and the last one was probably my favorite story in these two Spider-Verse tie-ins just because it was so fun.

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