Spider-Verse has been a wild ride mostly because artists and writers can run with any Spider-centric hero they well please. So far we’ve been introduced to a Gwen Stacy Spider-Man, a manga looking Spider-Man and a horrific spider monster Spider-Man. What does this issue hold for us this week and is it good?
Edge of Spider-Verse #5 (Marvel Comics)
Fans of writer Gerard Way are probably already lining up to purchase this and to them I say this, you will get everything you hope for in this issue. Way utilizes his customary music and lyrics in the narration as well as incorporates some rad ideas – like how the suit is made of speed-metal – or how the spider that imbues the power is some kind of spirit animal. To say you’ll leave this issue wishing to learn more about this dimension is an understatement. From the semi-introduction to an interesting Daredevil to a larger concept of how powers are transferred, there’s a lot to dig into in this issue, yet at the same time it’s all at the surface level stuff do to the short time we have with the character.
Check out the tunes.
Way definitely draws up an interesting world complete with an interesting interpretation of Mysterio. He’s actually kind of cool, at least his giant floating orb that wants to gas the city, but of course underneath that orb he’s a skinny weakling. He’s a farce, as his powers suggest, and it suits him. There’s an infusion of techno punk in this issue – just look at the name of Spider-Man which is SP//dr – and it’s pretty damn cool. The fact that SP//dr died on the first page, only to transition to Aunt May and Uncle Ben having a difficult talk to his very young daughter Peni about taking up the mantle, is decidedly twisted and surreal. Of course the comic doesn’t have much time to explore this odd relationship between Peni and her aunt and uncle, or how SP//dr worked when it was being controlled by her father, but it’s not frustrating or limiting on the issue. Frankly this story could probably get its own series eventually because it’s just that interesting.
Which might be its only weakness. There’s really no origin story here, at least as far as the powers of SP//dr are concerned. We don’t know what Peni’s relationship is like with her aunt and uncle nor if she really knew her dad. There’s a lot of question marks.
Love being a hero.
Art by Jake Wyatt is inspired and interesting. It’s probably true that without his art this comic would fall flat, because all of the neat ideas Way has incorporated wouldn’t have looked so damn cool. The SP//dr suit for instance, has a neat Neon Genesis Evangelion feel to it while the style is organic and reminds me of Aeon Flux. It’s all very science fictiony and interesting to look at. The layouts are interesting too; for example, at one point he uses tiny panels across the middle of the page which deviates the top and bottom to enhance the pace and dramatic timing.
Now that’s cool.
Is It Good?
This is a fantastic issue that introduces an interesting world and character dynamics. It’s really too bad it didn’t have more time to flesh things out, but for what it’s worth it’s a great taste and a fun read.