“Holy Smokes! It’s a whole team of Spider-Men”
In the wake of the Spider-event that splits fans down the middle, Costa and Baldeon bring together a team of Spider-Heroes in an enjoyable, vibrant issue that may be confusing for new readers.
Writer: Mike Costa
Art: David Baldeon
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Devin Lewis
Hi guys! I’d like to start this review just by saying that it is my first for this site and I really hope you all enjoy it.
Plot: In the mystical eight-month gap, Spider-UK has put together a team of Spiders to defend the multiverse – especially the universes unprotected by Spider-Men. After a training session in the ‘60s Spider-Cartoon universe, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man India talk about Spider-UK’s depression, ‘Ham feels lonely and Mayday and Gwen’s lunch is interrupted by the gathering of an Electro army.
Spider-Thoughts: I was actually surprised from this issue. The preview in Amazing Spider-Man was lackluster – there were some interesting visuals but overall it lacked any distinguishing factors to make it a must on my pull list. But from the moment this issue got going I was hooked. Don’t get me wrong, this issue has its problems but we will get to that later on.
Can I just start by saying where has David Baldeon been all my life? His art is vibrant and colorful (special thanks to Jason Keith) and it is unbelievably kinetic. The Spiders/Web Warriors/ Warriors of the Web/ X-Webs/ Earth’s Mightiest Websters actually feel like they are swinging through the multiverse. The art seamlessly transitions from dimension to dimension with each area feeling fresh and different enough to know that the characters are dimension hopping yet familiar enough to not be too jarring a transition. It takes great skill to have the gritty Spider-Man Noir standing next to the ridiculous Spider-Ham and make it feel effortless.
Now I have finished worshiping at the feet of Baldeon, I can talk about the plot. The issue opens with a not-so-subtle monologue about how Spiders do not work together in the wild, foreshadowing the team dynamic. The visit to Earth-3015 (home to your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Meme) is a welcome one, as the story in this dimension in Spider-Verse was one of my favourites. Overall I think Spider-Verse was a very uneven event but it was dimensions like this that truly embraced the concept and were diamonds in the rough.
Character arcs also are set up in this issue, showing that this story can have more layers to it than just simply being about Spiders patrolling the multiverse. Spider-UK’s depression could be potentially interesting but there is something about Spider-Ham feeling like an outcast from the team that seems forced, out of place and unnecessary. However I do not want to condemn the plot before it has begun and I will be sticking around to see how it develops.
The most enjoyable part of this issue is when Mayday and Gwen go to Earth-9105 for lunch. It is always a pleasure to see Mayday as she is a reminder that there is always a place for Peter and MJ’s love, just unfortunately, not in our dimension. I do like Spider-Gwen as well, even though she has been met with mixed opinions from the fans. I understand that she is not like the original Gwen Stacey but I was never a huge fan of the character and Latour/Rodriguez’s comic is very enjoyable. The two Spider-Women play really well off of one another and I look forward to seeing more of this dynamic.
However the issue is not perfect. For a start, seeing as the events of Secret Wars are presumably not canon to the characters, are we ever going to find out how this team is formed? It seems a bit weird throwing us in with a fully formed team without much of an explanation. On the other hand, this issue can be off putting for newer readers because it casually drops references to Spider-Verse without explanation that could be confusing. It needs to get the balance between explanation when needed and leaving things in the past when needed.
Another gripe I had – although a minor one – is that Electro seems like a weird choice for an opening villain. He may provide interesting visuals but I can’t buy him as a major threat for our heroes – however many of him there are! Hopefully this will develop in future issues to give us a more interesting, more focused villain. Right now, I am worrying that the Electros are just Diet Inheritors and this series needs to create its own identity.
The back-up story featuring Lady Spider is serviceable but unnecessary and I don’t feel like I needed it for that extra dollar. It just kind of gives information we already know thrown in with a Spider-Hero. However it is good to see Lady Spider again, seeing as she was one of the standout stars of Spider-Verse. From solicits, it seems like we will be seeing more of her in the future.
Overall an enjoyable first issue with a lot of potential, albeit a few gripes that slightly bring down the grade of this issue. I give it 7 WEBS OUT OF 10.
Best line: Spider-Man-3015: “Wallopin’ Web-Snappers! A bunch of gifts wrapped for me and its not even Christmas!”