Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #14 Review: Stillanerd’s Take


AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#14--cover“How can this be happening?! How can everything be unraveling so fast?”

So here it is–the big burly brawl between Our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Men, Women, and Pig against Morlun and his family of fellow steampunk vampire clones! But despite it’s solicit saying this issue is the “climatic conclusion,” you read soon enough that it’s still not the end of “Spider-Verse.”

“Spider-Verse Part Six: Web Warriors”

WRITER: Dan Slott

PENCILERS: Guiseppe Camuncoli and Olivier Coipel

INKERS: Wade Von Grawbadger, Cam Smith and Livesay

COLORS: Justin Ponsor

LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Devin Lewis

EDITOR: Nick Lowe

THE STORY: Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen are fighting with Verna’s pack of alternate Green Goblins in Loomworld, when Peter and the other Spiders teleport in to help. Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen tell them that Verna took Silk to the Inheritors palace, where Morlun proceeds to do the blood ritual to remove all Spiders from the Web of Life and Destiny. Daemos, however, considers the ritual pointless as the Master Weaver told him he’d outlive his father, Solus, only now he’s dead. Jennix, however, reveals their father’s essence resides inside a crystal which Jennix recovered before their cloning facility was destroyed (as seen in Scarlet Spiders #3), and Dameos takes it to protect their “father” himself. Morlun uses Kaine’s blood, insuring that the Other will never have another host. The Master Weaver tells him that all the Spiders are coming for the Inheritors, so Morlun and tells his siblings to slay the other Spiders while he and Daemos stay behind. As the Inheritors fight the Spiders, including Miles Morales and his “Web Warriors,” Morlun takes Silk’s blood, which will make sure no new Spider Totem will appear again by chance. Morlun is then about to sacrifice Benjy, whose blood will result in no new Spider Totem ever being born, when Peter arrives, yanking Morlun’s knife away with his webbing. Peter and his team fight with Morlun and Daemos, during which the Uncle Ben Spidey goes to the Web of Life and Destiny and uses it to teleport away. Outside, Karn arrives along with Anya Corazon’s team of Spiders (from Spider-Verse Team-Up #3) to aid the “Web Warriors.”

Back inside the palace, Morlun realizes something has gone wrong, and Silk tells him it’s because the ritual has stopped and the Web of Life and Destiny is healing itself. Morlun then goes over to where Benjy is supposed to be to complete the ritual, but is ambushed by…a naked Spider-Ham. It turns out that while Morlun and Daemos were distracted fighting the Spiders, Uncle Ben Spidey took Benjy back to his and Mayday’s homeworld, while Spider-Ham took Benjy’s place. Peter then calls Miguel O’Hara, who arrives outside the palace along with Lady Spider and Supidaman’s giant robot, Leopardon (who they repaired in Spider-Man 2099 #8). Mayday, meanwhile, is fighting Daemos and takes the crystal containing Solus’ essence, and, when she learns what it is and what it means to Daemos, starts to crush it.

Morlun boasts that Peter and his switching Benjy means nothing as he’ll just find him again, to which SpOck proclaims to have a “superior solution”–and murders the Master Weaver! As SpOck explains, without the Master Weaver, the Inheritors cannot complete their ritual even if they have the Other, the Bride, and the Scion. Morlun freaks out as the Master Weaver was the one literally binding reality together, while Peter angrily rebukes SpOck for going against the plan, reminding him that “We’re heroes, damn it! And heroes don’t kill!” These words and SpOck’s actions also cause Mayday to stop crushing Solus’ crystal, declares that, as Spider-Man’s daughter, she’ll seek justice instead of vengeance, and spares Daemos’ life. An enraged Morlun grabs Peter and starts to siphon his life force, but Peter uses his wrist teleporter to send them both to Earth-3145, the post-apocalyptic homeworld of the Uncle Ben Spidey, Morlun begins to choke from the radiation, and Peter tells him to follow Silk’s web arrows to Ezekiel’s bunker if he wants to live. Another portal opens above, and Silk arrives to rescue Peter, as their link always allows them to know where each other are. Later, the Spiders send the rest of the Inheritors to Earth-3145, and although they have the means to get back to their own dimensions with the Web of Life and Destiny, they decide to rest first. Silk holds Peter in her arms, who is still weak from his fight with Morlun. And although their pheromones are being triggered, Peter and Silk opt to cuddle and hold hands instead.

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#14--p18THOUGHTS: From the beginning, “Spider-Verse” has been saddled with problems. The very premise of featuring “every Spider-Man ever,” along with new versions being introduced, meant there were far too many characters to keep track of, with many of them being underdeveloped or reduced to cameo appearances. Morlun and his siblings killing off multiple incarnations of Spider-Man very issue became repetitive, as did the Spiders constant retreat and regrouping after every battle, made you wish Dan Slott would just get the story done because it became so boring. On top of this, by the time part 5 of “Spider-Verse” was done, there were still multiple subplots left to be resolved, many of which were only being followed-up on in various tie-in issues. So with all of this stacked against him heading into Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #14 and part 6, how can Dan Slott pull off a satisfying conclusion to his grand epic?

The short answer is he doesn’t. Thanks to Slott’s prior narrative missteps from the earlier parts of “Spider-Verse,” what we get is a rushed and anticlimactic comic that should serve as a textbook example as how not to wrap-up a story.

To be fair, there are moments which are rather good. Peter allowing Spider-Gwen to take down an alternate version of Norman Osborn, putting his faith in her abilities, and thus letting her prove that, unlike his Gwen, she’s not a victim or damsel-in-distress gave us a glimpse of the kind of satisfactory character building and interaction we should have had all along. Mayday deciding to show mercy towards Daemos was a logical, if not all-too obvious and predictable, resolution to her own revenge-driven story arc. And at long last, we finally see Peter Parker have the resourcefulness, intelligence, and self-sacrifice to prove he has what it takes to make for a capable and competent leader, something which issue after issue kept telling us but never showed. At the very least, it’s a sign that Slott is capable of writing comics driven by character instead of plot.

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#14--p20Unfortunately, what good scenes we have here are too little, too late, as everything else which happens is the result of Slott, having scripted each installment with such slow and plodding pacing, being forced by his own plot to wrap-up and resolve “Spider-Verse” as fast as possible. Hence why the Inheritors, after being built-up as being nigh-invincible and unstoppable juggernauts wind up looking like a family of pushovers who are easily defeated and webbed-up off-panel. It’s why we get an exposition-dump by Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen at the beginning of the issue telling Peter about Silk’s abduction without us having seen it. It’s why, after being killed off in the last issue, Solus is revealed to be “alive” in this one, just for Mayday to have an edge over Daemos in her decision whether or not to continue living by her father’s example or punish Daemos for her father’s murder. It’s why, after the Ultimate Jessica Drew finds the tattered remnants of Kaine’s Scarlet Spider outfit and vows they’re not going to lose “one more man,” Spider-Ham adds “or woman” and then “or pig,” thus turning Ultimate Jess’ vow to avenge Kaine’s death into ill-timed comedy. And it’s also why there’s no less than four dramatic entrances in which a large group of Spider-folk arrive just in time save the day, two of which (the appearance of Karn and later Leopardon) don’t carry any emotional weight since they depend upon you being willing and foolish enough to pay the extra bucks for various “Spider-Verse” tie-ins. And it’s also why we have Silk once again come to Peter’s rescue as the comic closes with a “heartwarming” and “intimate” panel of the two of them together in each others arms–complete with dozens of lit candles in the background no less–that’s about as tacked-on and contrived like the rest of their so-called “romance.”

This also results in outcomes which, if you pause to think about them, end up making no sense whatsoever. For example, if all the Spider-Men had to do to rescue Benjy from being sacrificed was to distract Morlun and Daemos long enough for Uncle Ben Spidey to remove him from the Master Weaver’s webbing and teleport away, why even bother switching Benjy with Spider-Ham, much less have him strip off his costume just so he could, somehow, be mistaken for an infant? It serves no other purpose other than to have a “funny scene” involving a naked humanoid pig. Or, after Peter remind everyone, especially Otto Octavious, that “heroes don’t kill,” his solution to stopping Morlun and the Inheritors is to trap and exile them to an Earth blanketed by radioactive fallout as even the smallest amount is toxic for them. Oh sure, Peter makes sure to tell Morlun about Ezekiel’s bunker where he and his brothers and sisters can seek shelter and live, except the art shows us that Morlun and the others can barely move as they’re literally choking to death. And even if they did manage to make to the bunker, how exactly are the Inheritors supposed to survive since we’ve been informed more than once they can only feed on the life force and totemic energy of other human beings, of which there are none on this world? For all his preaching to others about not murdering one’s enemies, Peter Parker might as well have. It’s the equivalent of Bruce Wayne telling Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you.”

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#14--p16Which leads me to discuss the reason Peter’s equivocation about killing in the first place: Otto Octavious’ murdering the Master Weaver. SpOck’s actions and twisted reasoning for doing this makes perfect sense given who he is, and is certainly shocking and unexpected. However, what impact and implication from the Master Weaver’s death are abandoned just as sudden as the actual killing, as everyone appears to forget all about it by issue’s end. What’s more, after making a point that without the Master Weaver being able to continue spinning the web, thus preventing the Inheritors from completing the ritual and using it to travel to other dimensions, not to mention the possibility of all of reality being destroyed based on Morlun’s horrified reaction, we’re later informed via Miguel they can use the Web of Life and Destiny to return to their own worlds, which means the Web is still intact. How convenient! At least I should be thankful Slott didn’t use the Master Weaver to bring all the dead Spider-Men back to life as I feared. And I suppose it gives Karn something to watch over to make up for how little involvement he actually had after Superior Spider-Man #32 and #33 went through all the trouble to make seem important.

If there is a silver-lining, the comic has excellent illustrations by Olivier Coipel,,,for the pages he does, at least. This is because midway through the issue, Guiseppe Camuncoli steps in as a fill-in artist, and while his work is up to scratch, the shift in styles in noticeable. Coipel, with his frequent use of double-page spreads and elaborate details, provides for some eye-catching visuals, whether it be Spider-Gwen kicking a Green Goblin in the face, the worm’s eye view of Morlun dramatic-stance with a blood-soaked knife, or Miles entrance with the other “Web Warriors.” Camuncoli allows for tighter panels in which plenty of action occurs with it feeling over-crowded, and the action it displays looks fluid. Yet neither artist seems to capture the sense of size and scale one would think a battle involving multiple iterations of Spider-Man from all over creation laying siege to the Inheritors should have. Those who read Spider-Verse #2 and Dan Slott’s “It’s The Little Things” at least got a sense of just how huge this fight is, yet here it seems as though it only focuses on those Spider-Men and Women we’ve already been following, save for a few brief cameos. In fact, Camuncoli’s cover for this issue has a greater degree of grandeur of this battle than anything inside the comic itself. The result just serves to underscore how underwhelming the comic, and “Spider-Verse” in general, really is.

With an epilogue issue left to go, not only has “Spider-Verse” not lived up to the hype, it’s Dan Slott’s most disappointing multiple-part story since “Goblin Nation.” I’m sure some of you my believe there’s a variety of reasons for this. You might place the blame on Marvel promotional campaign for their inflating yet another event-driven story to such lofty heights that it was impossible to meet it’s promised expectations. Or you might believe the fault lies with Spider-Man’s Editor, Nick Lowe, and his seeming inability to effectively coordinate and manage “Spider-Verse” into a cohesive whole, that despite claims it’s tie-ins were optional reading, they ended up being mandatory to make sense of what is going on in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. But like it or not, “Spider-Verse” belongs to Dan Slott, and was the story he was eager to tell as far back as his doing the story for the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions video game, the story he wanted to do for the Superior Spider-Man before being convinced to change to a story for Amazing Spider-Man–not that it wound up making much of difference anyway since Peter has been all but shoved aside throughout. Which is remarkable when you consider that, while being a different medium, Shattered Dimensions had a much tighter script and, with four playable versions of Spidey, each of them had enough time to come off as distinctive, interesting characters in their own right. It appears that somewhere between then and now, Slott has forgotten the lesson that, sometimes, less can indeed be more.

D+

NERDY NITPICKS

  • “Focus! The Inheritors have my brother…and Silk.” You know, for as one-note as Mayday Parker has been ever since her parents were killed, you have to least admire how she dismisses Cindy Moon as an afterthought.
  • “That’s the lesson here…never listen to adults. Adults are stupid.” And yet, Miles, aren’t you taking orders from Peter Parker, who himself is supposed to be an adult (and, based on how he’s been as a leader up to this point, has also acted pretty stupid)? I know you’re referring to the Inheritors, but just thought I’d point out the irony.
  • Another reason why the “hamboozling” of Morlun via switching Benjy with Spider-Ham makes no sense–Benjy isn’t naked. He’s wearing a jumper. Also, based on the art, Spider-Ham is bigger than he is. So along with what I already mentioned in my review, how did Morlun, as Spidey put it, get “faked out by a pig in a blanket” anyway?
  • “Sorry we’re late. We had to patch up this guy [Leopardon] with some future tech.” Hmm…for a scene which requires one to read Spider-Man 2099 #8 in order to get the full context of what’s going on, it seems as though Slott didn’t read Peter David script himself. Because if he had, he would learned that Miguel O’Hara and Lady Spider repaired Leopardon with technology based on steam-power from an alternate version of the late 19th century. Not exactly what I would have called “future tech.”
  • Oh, so now when she isn’t consumed by vengeance, Mayday uses her traditional “I’m Mayday Parker. Daughter of Spider-Man” line instead of “I’m Mayday Parker. The Spider-Girl” like she did back in Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #8. Which I suppose is Dan Slott’s way of telling Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, “Sorry guys. As much as you wanted this Mayday to be an alternate version like you suggested in your story for Spider-Verse Team-Up #3, she’s been the real deal all along, so deal with it.”
  • “Run, Morlun. Run for your life!” I guess this means Silver Surfer is no longer the only one of Dan Slott’s comics to make blatant references to Doctor Who.
  • “We’re connected. I always know where you are,” So along with everything else she can do, Cindy Moon’s “connection” to Peter is so powerful, her spider-sense can find him across the vast reaches of space and time? I suppose it’s only fair since we saw Morlun was somehow capable of smelling her from across space and time.
  • So Miguel O’Hara, when talking about the Spiders sending the Inheritors to Earth-3145, says, “After all these bit-heads put us through, can’t believe we’re letting them walk away.” To which Miles Morales says, “That’s what makes us good guys, O’Hara.” With all due respect, they’re both wrong. Because not are they not actually letting “walk away,” they’re technically sending the Inheritors to their potential deaths as I explained in the above review. Which means, according to Miles’ own definition, they and the other Spider-Men are not exactly “good guys,” are they?
  • And among the unanswered questions of “Spider-Verse,” if all it took to stop the Inheritors was trapping them on the post-apocalyptic Earth, why, given his “little acts of rebellion,” didn’t the Master Weaver do this a long, long time ago? Then again, what hold did the Inheritors have over the Master Weaver to force him into working for with them, much less how someone so powerful was even captured at all?

(45) Comments

  1. Captain Haddock

    ...I actually really enjoyed the event. I had a lot of fun, loved seeing all the various spidermen, disappointed at all the tie-ins and the rushed conclusion, but I really enjoyed it and laughed a lot during this story. I was fine with most of the characterization - there were some inconsistencies, but I didn't mind too much given the multiple characters - and thrilled to see all the interactions. As far as event comics go, this was probably my favorite since Avengers: Infinity and Spider Island. Part of it may be after suffering and dropping the book multiple times between 1991 and 2006 (truly woeful years for the main Spider books), I am just pleased to get joy again from comics. To each their own, I suppose.

  2. PeterParkerfan

    https://twitter.com/DanSlott/status/565685298404028416?p=v Accroding to Slott, big things happen in Amazing Spider-Man #15 So yeah, expect more bad writing and pointless deaths.

  3. Daddypool

    @41 - hmmm.... Didn't see that one coming (Karn becoming the new Master Weaver), but it makes sense. It is definitely one way to fix the damage done by SpOck.

  4. Franz29

    Finally got round to reading this one... What a let-down. Nonsensical plot and an all too easy resolution, and yes, I read all the tie ins and it was still too easy. I thought at least Peter (616) actually seemed to have a plan and be in charge for a little bit, then as usual he's left to the background while others do the work, and the leaving the inheritors on Nuke-world? Horrible ending - either they live in the shelter condemned to starve to death or in some other deus ex move they learn how to travel the realities without the master weaver and return in a future "AWESOME, MEGA, NOT TO BE MISSED 'COS THIS WILL FOREVER CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE OF SPIDER-MAN" event. Karn was underused based on his build up in the preceding chapters so I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that he will become the new Master Weaver and rebuild the web of life (or whatever it was called). Still thinking he (and the original MW) are versions of Peter Parker, which explains why both are in masks, so it makes sense to me that he be the replacement.

  5. Hobo-Goblin

    The one thing I will say in defense of the last issue is that Kaine killing Solus was consistent with what we've seen in regards to the Other. Peter killed Morlun almost instantly after he let a little bit of the Other take him over. Kaine embraced the Other completely, and being as the Inheritors have a Pokemon-esque weakness to The Other, this made sense to me. The rest of it though...yuck.

  6. Jack Brooks

    If you make a list of every plot or character element in this series that was either ugly, or made no sense, it would be very long list. Like: the Master Weaver, who can manipulate time, space, and matter, coming under the Inheritors' control for any reason, ever; the Inheritors making it their goal to wipe out their own food-source, thus killing themselves; Karn magically re-appearing after a complete absence, and agreeing to kill his family, in an instant; Peter trusting Otto for even half a second; Peter barely featuring in his own event; the ugly murder of the Spider-friends (including a mourning, grief-stricken little dog howling over his mistress' corpse); the horrible murder of Mayday's parents; the promiscuous Silk and her little phero-hormones sniffing at all the spider-guys (ew); Otto murdering a being who controls time and space (Master Weaver), as if Otto doesn't have enough scientific common sense to hypothesize whether by doing that he was about to tear a new one into the universe; The Master Weaver magically producing scrolls that tell the spiders how to stop the Inheritors (I assume Wesley Crusher wrote them), because, i guess, the Master Weaver is to stupid to use them himself? Solus eats Captain Universe (a Sentry-level being who could drop the Juggernaut, and who should have been able to smash a mountain down on Solus' head), but Kaine kills Solus instantly by sticking him with a little three-inch spike. And it's Otto, not Peter, who gets Uncle Ben up and moving with a miserable speech straight out of Selfish Existentialism 101. This series is living proof that sales do not reflect quality, ever.

  7. QuilSniv

    You know what I just found? Another Nerdy Nitpick for ya, Mike. If Silk says that their pheromone/Spider-Sense link always allows them to know the other is, why doesn't Peter ever use that ability a bajillion times?! He could've tracked her through the Noir universe and so on, and both Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Woman could have stayed back on Earth-13 to devote valuable resources to fighting the Inheritors, should they ever come there (which they did, so...). So, is Slott so desperate to make a link between Silk and Peter that he can't even keep up with his own comics that were published less than half a year ago?! The heck?!

  8. Jeff

    To me it felt like the final issue of Superior all over again. Only the preceding stories weren't as good. :::sigh::: my kingdom for a new creative team!

  9. Adam S.

    Reminder that there are giant mutant spiders in radioactive land. http://www.comicboards.com/php/show.php?rpy=spidergirl-2015012914371654&layout=thread [quote]2. Can you share with us some of the creative process of your story in this issue? What guidelines did Marvel give you? What did you HAVE to include? Marvel gave us very simple guidelines. They told us to have a conversation between our hero and Uncle Ben. That's it. So Ron, Sal and I did a "conversation" story...but we did our way. (We also went out of our way to set up a few things that will pay off at the story's climax, but that's just because we're nice guys.) [/quote] Tom and the Gang save the day!

  10. Al

    @#32-sn’t the model of how to characterise him based upon...you know....decades of Doc Ock stories we have to hand?

  11. Realspideyfan

    I also want to thank you for this review it was honest and precise. It feels good knowing a lot of genuine long time web-heads feel the same as I.

  12. Jam

    Comicosity gave this book a 10/10 review lol... Thanks to this site for a great review that actually is honest and aim for some purity from the best character that hasn't been shown any love in the main 616 universe for a very long time.

  13. Ben

    @28 - I agree with some of your points. Though I’d argue that Slott's characterisation of SpOck comes of as good because, unlike Peter, there is no ‘model’ for how to characterise him outside of the vague ’Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man’s body'. Instead Slott recreates SpOck whenever he wants to change the tone of whatever story or portray the character in a certain light, and because of this SpOck has had a consistently bipolar characterisation throughout his entire existence as a character. To the point that his personality changed so frequently during Superior Spider-Man and Spider-Verse that it felt like a different writer was scripting his dialogue for each issue.

  14. Sano

    Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who read Spider-Ham. He does not have the body of a pig. His dad, WHAT? Aunt May Porker isn't even his real Aunt. I think even DeFalco who created the character didn't read Spider-Ham. When he wrote Swiney Girl he created Mary Jane Watsow, which would be fine if she wasn't FUGLY compared to Mary Jane Waterbuffalo. Love DeFalco for Spider-Girl, but he really dropped the ball there . I get that most people at Marvel consider Spider-Ham a joke, but if you treat a joke like a joke that you don't research when you have easy access to every Marvel comic you just come off as being lazy.

  15. Al

    @#28-I think the Spider-Gwen/Peter interactions were underdeveloped. And her joining the main cast would’ve been horrible and unworkable due to how many people believe she’s dead. And she’s frankly more interesting on her own. Plus as a love interest...no...just no. The real Gwen Stacy sucked as a love interest and this one, whilst being more interesting, doesn’t jive with Peter beyond being another version of Gwen. They’ve got nada in common, he’s too old and on top of that it would be sad and creepy since he’d be replacing one Gwen with someone else. I wish MJ wasn’t wholesale ignored in this because it speaks to how ill and marginalised her character has become. At the same, this storyline tainted or killed virtually every character involved save a few so I would rather NOT see MJ at all. The one major MJ we did get in ASM #8 got murdered!

  16. Nick MB

    @28 - Regarding "what were they thinking" with the art - seems pretty likely this was an unwanted schedule problem rather than an intentional stylistic choice, especially considering there were issues getting delayed from their ship dates as well. I imagine Coipel would've pencilled the whole thing if everything had worked out as planned.

  17. QuilSniv

    Okay, so with the event over, I think it's time to discuss what I liked and disliked about the Spider-Verse event. Stillanerd's review is spot on, and I have nothing to criticize that he hasn't, but there are some things on my lists that, without looking back on his other reviews, I have to say about my own experiences. With that in mind: QuilSniv's Good and Bad from Spider-Verse--- The Good: -The art. By far the single best thing about this entire event was Oliver Copiel's art. Every person looks like a real person, with proportionate shading, stance, and engaging action scenes. Camuncoli's art is subpar to his usual work, but that may be because Copiel has so much better art. For the issues he did, I enjoyed what I could; in fact, he and Ramos both inspired my art style, and since I integrated Copiel's form, my own style has improved immensely. -Spider-Gwen and Peter's interactions. Though it can come off as a bit creepy given the age difference, the interactions between the two are very sweet given the circumstances of each other, and their deal to watch out for each other seems genuine; in fact, if Gwen had joined the main cast of the mainstream ASM series, I wouldn't have minded, since the relationship between the two would seem realistic and much more of a genuine relationship than the... Spider-Silk relationship. But we'll get to that when we get to that. -The Inheritors. Despite the fact that, as multiple commenters and Stillanerd have pointed out, they fill the role of stock and genuine villain, their threat is genuine, threatening to end the entire Spider-race (if it is one). Their ability to clone themselves is a unique way to escape immortality, but the kryptonite crystal Deus Ex is admittedly ridiculous, and had no real reason to exist other than "Solus lives plot twist". -The characterization of SpOck. Though Dan Slott's characterization skills are poor as dirt, he somehow does a good job characterizing his own pet project SpOck (Slott showing favoritism to his own characters? I totally didn't see that coming!) -The build-up to the actual event. As Javi said in his reviews, the Edge of Spider-Verse is a great build-up to the event, introducing a lot of great new characters as well as reminding us of old one (Spider-Gwen, Noir, Sp//dr, etc) The bad: -The art. Somehow, this event's saving grace turns out to be its weakness. Much like Ends of the Earth, this arc thinks it's a good idea to switch out artists halfway, and even halfway through the final book! And I know they did it with three art teams in SSM 26, but that worked because it was simply multiple points of view and locations. Here, it's just an abrupt change of art! What were they thinking? -"Every Spider-Man ever." That single tagline provides the reason the problem exists, if that even makes sense. When you have every single Spider-Man ever, from every universe before now and some new ones, dozens will be shoved to the side to make room for the main characters, or some were just needlessly killed that were fan favorites just because either Slott hates us or the plot demands the needless murder. Speaking of which... -Peter's characterization. Because of the tagline, Peter is needlessly shoved to the side for most of the issues, save for the last part, simply to let Slott put his own creations up front, and then some other important characters. Not only is it an insult to Peter to be upstaged in his own book, but it makes Slott look like a hypocrite, claiming he's the "biggest Spider-Man fan ever", while also looking like he's writing a fan fiction that only lets his characters win (Stillanerd's Silk theory anybody?) -The tie-in controversy. As a Spider-Man follower, I like to know what's happening. What I don't like is when the explanation is hiding in another tie-in issue that I have to pay extra money for. As a person who's fresh out of high school, I have to be careful with my money, which means that I can't afford to pay for another one-shot, tie-in series that explains everything going on in the ones I can afford. Thankfully, I have crawlspace to help me with that issue. :] -Silk. God, she's getting annoying. Always better than Peter, always saving him, wanting to constantly mate for no apparent reason... is there really any reason other than sales that Silk is getting her own spin-off. And yes, I will be buying it with my extra comic money, since it's not just a series that'll come and go as a one-shot tie-in like Edge of Spider-Verse, and I want to see if Thompson actually does something really unique and clever with the character. I may also be checking out Spider-Gwen, since I'm getting a raise soon, and it should cover my costs towards the Spider-Gwen comic, but that's another story. Overall, despite the potential this arc had (not to mention the incredible titles before it, i.e. Edge of Spider Verse and the Superior Tie-ins), this arc was overall carpet-bombed by lack of character development, need to purchase tie-ins to understand anything, a lack of focus of the main character in his own book, and a bajillion other things that I don't have time to list here because, if I did, I'd be here all day. I picked up the title again hoping I'd get some release and meaningfulness from the deaths of all the Spider-Men casualties, but it looks like I've been disappointed Good job, 'Nerd. You pulled me back in, and I enjoyed your reviews more than I enjoyed the arc. See ya when we come back to 616 (without Silk, preferably :)) Also: Where's Mary Jane Spider-Woman from the Mangaverse comics? Was she just so unimportant to the Spider-Man Mangaverse run that she didn't deserve a cameo? And to my knowledge, Copiel didn't draw a single panel with the Big Time Spider-Suit (that wasn't Kaine's costume) in it. That's a shame... I love that suit and his art. They would've gone perfectly together, like me and my girlfriend ;D

  18. Al

    As for the issue itself....the Mayday thing and the Silk Shipping was egregious. Who know what happens in the epilogue and I guess Secret Wars but this was a piece of crap

  19. Al

    It would’ve been cheap and contrived for all the dead Spider-Men to return to life ala a dues ex machine...but Mike would that really have been a bad thing? It would’ve undermined THIS story but it would’ve fixed all the reductive and detrimental killings it initiated. I don’t think anyone is HAPPY that the Spider-Heroes died because a lot of people liked them to varying degrees and felt this soured their stories and endings. You literally have to read every What If issue of Spider-Man ever knowing they’re gonna be killed by the Inheritors when all is said and done anyway. With how Mayday refers to herself, she still gets the classic MC2 era introcuction wrong so it doesn’t undermine DeFalco and Frenz. Also DeFalco and Frenz muddied the waters with much more than just how Mayday refers to herself.

  20. hornacek

    What does it say that I haven't read this issue yet (or the previous issue - it's been sitting on my dresser unread for weeks) and yet I skimmed the summary and review without ever thinking "I can't read this, I don't want to be spoiled!"? At this point I feel like I could skip buying this issue, continue with the post-Spider-Verse issues, and not even care years later that I never read it. I didn't care one iota about the Spider-Verse story. Reading these issues felt like a chore, not a pleasure. Conway's story is the only thing that's getting me through this.

  21. Evan

    I wonder if Dr. Octopus is going to use "Inheritor technology" (from the future!) to store his essence in a Kryptonian crystal (which sounds kind of gross, actually) and thus be reborn in a new body. If that were to happen, it would suggest that his relinquishing Peter's body at the conclusion of the Superior run was hardly heroic at all -- that he had an ulterior motive. Do we ever get to see what Karn looks like beneath his mask?

  22. Francisco

    " It’s the equivalent of Bruce Wayne telling Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you.” This was actually one of my first thoughts. "No One Dies. Well, more like, I don't get my hands dirty. That's more like it."

  23. Stillanerd - Post author

    @#2 Spider-Matt -- LOL! Yeah, that would be a bit of a snag, wouldn't it? @#4 Chasing Amazing -- Thank you, good sir. And having listened to your Superior Spider-Talk podcast where you've talk about the effect Nick Lowe has had as editor on the Spider-Man books compared to Steve Wacker, I'm inclined to agree. As I do your theory that perhaps Slott is starting get burned out on Spider-Man...or least Peter as he is currently. Oh, and looking around on other comic book related websites, this particular issue is not being received too well, either. Newsarama is giving it a 5 out of 10, and IGN gave it a 6.3. @#5 sean -- And just by sheer coincidence (i.e. not really coincidence at all) most of the Spiders who survived also happen to currently have their own comic. Or will in the near future. @#6 Javi Trujillo -- Thanks, good sir. And having seen that variant cover, what I also like about is, if you look at the headline on Daily Bugle Gwen is reading, it says "Spider Mess." A apt description of this entire event if there ever was one. ;) @#7 RDMacQ -- It's definitely something Slott continually has fallen into, no question. The only big Spider-Man event which I believe had a satisfactory conclusion was "Spider-Island." @#8 George Berryman -- Absolutely! And this particular fan of the Japanese Spider-Man was thinking when what you described happened, "Gee...thanks for nothing, comic." @#9 George Berryman -- LOL! Next thing will be Morlun inserting Solus' crystal into some console of ice tubes and the floating head of Morlun's Big Bad Santa Claus dad will appear saying "The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son." @#11 Sean -- Re: Peter's surprise at SpOck killing the Master Weaver, I agree. After all, this is Doctor Octopus, his archnemesis who he has fought since he was 15 years old, the guy who nearly burned up the entire world just to prove how smart he was, who stole Peter's body and left him for dead, who he's seen while he was Ghost Peter Otto kill criminals in cold blood, and he's shocked--shocked, I tell you!--that Otto would do something like this? Good point. @#13 RDMacQ -- Also, who wants to bet that this whole series is going to be an attempt by Slott to “Close the book” on the totem side of Spider-Man “forever!!!”</blockquote> Yeah, I got that same feeling as well. <blockquote>And let’s not forget that, despite the fact that BOTH Mayday AND Benjy- the daughter and son of Spider-Man and MJ- are featured heavily in the story, at NO POINT does Peter reflect on his relationship with them or with MJ, and instead spends more time lusting after Silk.</blockquote> Very good point. In fact, with the exception of Spider-Gwen, Peter, not once, ever seems to reflect on the various ways his life could have gone when he meets other versions of him. @#14 Ben -- Wow! That's right. Although I guess since Amazing Spider-Man #8 was an "Edge of Spider-Verse" back-up that also counts...and it that one she died. @#15 Ryan3178 -- Unfortunately, Ryan, if you saw the latest Secret Wars annoucement from Marvel courtesy of Nerdist, you know by now that "Spider-Verse" is the gift that keeps on giving. @#16 Sean -- Agreed! And yet another example of the benefit of having fewer Spider-Men as opposed to "all of them." @#17 Frontier -- <blockquote>Awesome and well-thought review as always Stillanerd, though you kept spelling Miguel’s name with a q… Thanks, good sir. And oops! You're right. There's goes my 4 years of learning to speak Spanish right down the drain. :) But in all seriousness, thanks for the correction, and I've made sure to fix it. And yes, I agree that the tie-ins wound up being better, for the most part, than the main series, especially that one with Miles and Ultimate cartoon Spidey recruting 60s cartoon Spidey in Spider-Verse Team-Up #2, and that it did give us Spider-Gwen who turned out to be genuinely surprise breakout character. At the very least, my curiousity is piqued for Spider-Gwen #1 now. @#18 Gareth -- Or, there's always the possibility that Otto actually does remember, and this would explain why he gave Peter back his body so easily because he already came up with a plan as to how to survive. Remember, we never did find out yet what happened to Doc Ock's original body.

  24. PeterParkerfan

    Duh, I hate Peter and Mary Sue Cindy as a couple. The Morlurn family derserved worse than this! Oh well, we still have the aftermath issue(AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15) left. Hopefully something good will happen in that issue.

  25. Realspideyfan

    So this is it right? This is the line that's finally been crossed where marvel opens their eyes and says "hmm you know what? After secret wars were going in a different direction with different writer." Right? Right??

  26. Chandler

    This had so much potential. This had so many things going for it. We could of seen so many interesting and unique scenes and ideas. It was all a waste... just bring on the Epilogue on the twenty fifth; and let's see how this whole mess wraps up.

  27. Gareth

    In superior spider-man 19, when Otto returns to his own timeline they ask him where he went as he was only gone 9mins. He replys "I can't remember". I wonder if every character will have the same memory loss too? I'm sure kaine will rise from the husk of the other at the end of next issue as well.

  28. Frontier

    Y'know, I was honestly excited for this event. Oliver Coipel on art, Morlun back and the main villain, seeing all these AU Spider-Men (and a few women) coming together to have this epic adventure and combatting the odds to save the day like Spidey always does. Instead we end up with an event that keeps trying to be so bombastic and big that it lacks heart, or any real emotional core, and character development and emotional investment is at a near zero because we're too busy seeing different Spiders popping up and The Inheritors then promptly killing them instead. And the big moment for Peter to step up from how he's been portrayed since #1 falls flat pretty much every time SpOck enters the picture, which isn't surprising considering Superior and what was the original plan for this event, and only really gets to show off in like two issues. At least we got the Edge of Spider-Verse issues out of this, which gave us Spider-Gwen and a new series that will likely be 10x more fun and feature more proper Spider-Man action and development than Amazing has had in a while. And some of the tie-ins were good, even better than the main event itself, though that's always been true of Marvel Events. But shoving major plot-points and story moments of an event into an event was a bad move since anyone reading just the main event will be confused and the impact will basically be nill. I wasn't a big fan of Axis, but at least you had the main story beats present within the main even rather than put into a tie-in to get more money. I didn't think the Inheritors were that bad, and found them interesting in their own way even if they were generic in terms of role and character. Maybe it was the designs or Morlun himself? Though their lack of depth might not have been that much of an issue had focus been put more squarely on our heroes, their feelings, and their conflicts instead so we would be really invested in seeing the Spiders beat the Inheritors and not mind anything lacking in the villains. If the fights had been more exciting too, maybe it would've been more forgivable, instead of just seeing the Inheritors cut swaths through Spiders until somehow they just lose because the plot needs them to. And this definitely wasn't the epic all-out fight that Spider-Verse #2 portrayed it as. At least Spidey beat Morlun, and in a cool way, which was my most positive takeaway from this issue. I was fine with how the Inheritor's were ultimately defeated/spared until I actually read your review Stillanerd and realized how, logically, Peter wasn't really leaving them alive at all. Maybe if Slott had wrote that the dimension just weakens them rather than kill them, or made it a point that they could sustain themselves somewhat on normal food...or something. A cruel mercy only works when there's actual mercy involved. And SpOck just gets to kill the Master Weaver, who was pretty much just forced into this somehow by the Inheritors, and gets no repercussions? Heck, it didn't really help save the day or even make that much of a difference, and if Morlun's words are accurate it just made things worse. Nice going Otto. So we supposedly end on a romantic moment between Peter and Silk, only it's not very romantic considering the lack of any real or genuine development between these two and that they're still going on about "pheromones." You want to make Silk a viable love interest Slott, and get people invested in the relationship? Then don't force it through a plot device that makes Cindy and Peter want to get it on all the time, start making Cindy a genuinely interesting character in her own right rather than someone who could be interesting in theory but only comes off as an annoying Mary-Sue most of the time, and actually develop the relationship like you did between Anna Maria and Otto. Apologies to anyone who actually does like Silk. I pray Slott is off Spider-Man post-Secret War, but something tells me that's not happening until we see Osborn or Otto back in some form... Awesome and well-thought review as always Stillanerd, though you kept spelling Miguel's name with a q...

  29. Sean

    You know what's another takeaway I have from this is? Aside from Shattered Dimensions doing this idea better, I also think the finale for 90's series handled the whole idea of multiple Spider-Men teaming up with better villains and character work. Just sort of drives the point home how disappointing this turned out to be.

  30. Ryan3178

    Its over! However, what a waste of a story, ok Slott. You got your universe crossing, Dr. Who out of your system and now you choose to actually write Peter Parker right. Its true, how he outsmarted Morlun and basically brought an end of the Inheritors but letting them starve out in Uncle Has-Ben's world was fitting but what about Peter's "No one dies" mantra? Also, Otto kills the Master Weaver, ok and yet the Great Web is still standing and is now healing itself. Oh and remember the crystals were part of the clones, so hence the Inheritors survived like the Asgard on Stargate. Just clone a new body but put their mind and soul in each one and they live forever. Silk also proves she just knows how to spoon with Peter and hopes to get under his mask. What a mess of a storyline and so many people out of character from Miles to Miguel. Bring on Secret Wars so we can erase this from history please.

  31. Ben

    @13 - MJ’s only appearance in a Spider-Man comic in months was when an alternate universe version of her was punched in the face by Spider-Woman. That’s sad.

  32. RDMacQ

    Also, who wants to bet that this whole series is going to be an attempt by Slott to "Close the book" on the totem side of Spider-Man "forever!!!" And let's not forget that, despite the fact that BOTH Mayday AND Benjy- the daughter and son of Spider-Man and MJ- are featured heavily in the story, at NO POINT does Peter reflect on his relationship with them or with MJ, and instead spends more time lusting after Silk.

  33. Ben

    This story is atrocious. Though I’ve since soured slightly on the conclusion of Goblin Nation, at least it wasn’t as much of a disappointing anti-climax as this was. This arc has had zero character development for any of the characters, and Peter’s romance with Silk is less genuine than his one with Carly Cooper (yes I said it!). I really hope Slott isn’t writing the rebooted Spider-Man.

  34. Sean

    My first thought upon them putting the Inheritors on the radioactive Earth was that they're pretty much condemning them to eventual starvation, which seemed rather cruel if not deserved. And I found it hilarious that they throw out this big reason from Morlun why killing the Master Weaver is actually a really, really bad idea and then not get much of a response from anyone about it. Maybe it'll come next issue, but it should have been addressed here with some sort of reaction. It's not out of character for Otto really and actually somewhat funny that his actions actually have the potential to make things worse. Peter shouldn't even be surprised that he pulled something like this.

  35. George Berryman

    @6 - "I paid $10 for the variant Noto Gwen cover, so the issue wasn’t a total loss, but this is my second issue of ASM since the relaunch and likely my last for the foreseeable future. " No point anyway Javi since it's all about to be rebooted.

  36. George Berryman

    Yes, if by "future tech" they meant 1895. The only tie-in to all this that I followed was 2099. In 2099 #8 Miggy and Lady Spidey fix Leopardon and rig it with the radioactive power core from Steampunk Otto's tentacle harness, specifically to use offensively and turn the tables on the Inheritors. The payoff? One panel where Leopardon grabs a dude. Men died in 2099 #8 so Leopardon could grab a dude. Supaidaman sees Leopardon return and says "You are invincible!!" which made me think "Except for two issues ago, when he was extremely and quickly vincible and got torn into pieces." :cool: What a mess.

  37. RDMacQ

    So, can we finally put to rest the notion that Dan Slott "Always pulls it together for the big events?" Sorry, but I heard that a LOT during the lead up to Spider-Verse to excuse the lame storytelling from the "Parker Luck" arc, that while the story may be bad NOW, it will all be worth it when Spider-Verse happens. Well, it didn't. No surprise, because Slott DOESN'T pull it together for big events. He ends up making the same mistakes and having the same problems that all his other stories have. Simply put, Slott should NO LONGER be given the benefit of the doubt for his stories. We need to stop giving this guy a pass on crappy stories under the belief that he'll "somehow" manage to tell a good story "later." I keep hearing this, but this "later" never seems to come. Slott has been given way too many chances with his storytelling, and he's used up all the good will he should have garnered.

  38. Javi Trujillo

    Miles' line about adults being stupid was very out of character. I didn't see the point of 2099's big entrance as they accomplished nothing really. I paid $10 for the variant Noto Gwen cover, so the issue wasn't a total loss, but this is my second issue of ASM since the relaunch and likely my last for the foreseeable future. Good review!

  39. sean

    Did anyone else notice that short of Kaine, whom I'm still not 100% convinced is dead due to the fact he didn't turn to dust like EVERY OTHER CLONE EVER, every Spider from 616 survived? Kinda odd really. Slight yay that 60s Spider and Spider ham survived though!

  40. Chasing Amazing

    This was very spot on. The love this storyline has been getting around the internet continues to confound me. It's like everyone wants to ignore its inherent flaws in construction and execution in favor of "oh hey, look, it's Spider-Ham!" I know there are others on this site who haven't liked Slott's work in a long time but I still maintain that Superior was quite good until it suddenly wasn't ("Goblin Nation"). While this is just baseless speculation on my part, I don't think it's coincidental that at least from my perspective, the quality of the Spider-books has taken a nosedive since Wacker left and once Slott started writing Surfer. In terms of editorial, Lowe has inspired very little confidence. Wacker knew how to troll the fans better than anybody, but he was an exceptional editor who didn't let things slip through the cracks as witnessed during tri-monthly BND and his work with DC with 52. Since Lowe has jumped aboard, there have been far more errors and typos and the bloated mess "Spider-Verse" became is proof positive that he might be in over his head. I also think Wacker was able to reign Slott in from time to time. As for Slott and Surfer, I still read SS and think the writing is inspired. Slott is clearly getting a lot of joy out of writing that book and for all of his talk about being the "biggest Spider-Man fan ever" you have to wonder if after all these years, he's getting burnt out on the character. Slott also seems to be overwhelmed by the prospects of scripting three books a month. Truth be told, I feel totally stuck because I've been buying Spider-Man comics for nearly 25 years now, but this is the least amount of fun I've had reading them since the peak of One More Day. And at least I stuck out OMD and got some fun stories with Brand New Day. I don't see light at the end of the tunnel. Dropping the book doesn't feel like an option to me because, like I said, I'm just so invested in this series at this point. But man does this book need a change in a major way.

  41. Spider-Matt

    They handcuffed the Master Weaver. Duh. That's totally logical right? And especially if he was handcuffed, how would he spin webs?

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