“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 Spider-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 whole. 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 I 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.