Spider-Verse is finally here and it’s…a lot like Edge of Spider-Verse. That’s right, there isn’t any continuation of story nor does it feel like an event, but it’s actually a checking in on new Spider “totems” the bad guy wants to eat. So far I’ve loved everything this event has thrown at me, so let’s give this one a shot. Is it good?
Spider-Verse #1 (Marvel Comics)
This issue is broken up into 6 stories written and drawn by nine creators, one of which does both the writing and art. Each story is focused on a different Spider-Man, some new and some old, and whether or not they make it out alive by the end of their story depends on the purpose of the story itself. Let’s dive into each and give a critique as if each story is its own comic. The issue opens with the Master Weaver as if he’s narrating these tales. He’s the guy sending the bad guys after the Spider totems, but if anything is learned in this issue it’s that he seems to be reluctantly helping them.
The first story is drawn by Skottie Young and written by Jake Parker. It’s Earth 2301 and it focuses on Marvel Mangaverse Spider-Man. Young is a nice choice for this story as he gives the character a manga feel, but it isn’t baby centric like so much of his work. I wasn’t familiar with the character going in, but it’s a nice 10 page story that opens with Spider-Man having a vision of doom. He sets out to go to the temple and must face his brother. Essentially this story explains what happened to the character before he joined up with Superior Spider-Man. It’s a quickly paced story that serves as a feast for the eyes more than anything.
The second story follows the Steampunk Lady Spider and is written by Robbie Thompson and drawn by Denis Medri. It’s Earth 803 and this version of Spider-Man is a woman who has built a suit from car parts. She faces off against the “Six Men of Sinestry” and it’s good fun to see how each costume has taken on a steampunk look and feel. This story takes a bit of time to get started, partly because it focuses on the inequality Lady Spider must face, but gets action packed and fun after a few pages. The story runs only eight pages.
Oh, that’s clever.
The third story is set on Earth 11 and has a Peanuts vibe to it as it’s cartoony and colorful. Written and drawn by Katie Cook, it’s a fun childlike story that frankly you’d expect Skottie Young to be behind. It doesn’t break new ground in any way, but it’s a nice cute story. It’a also eight pages.
The most enjoyable stories in this issue are total throwback stories culling up classic Spider-Man look and feel. Both are written by Dan Slott, the first drawn by Ty Templeton (who doesn’t appear on the credits page), has a very Jack Kirby look and feel and runs one page. It hosts a Spider-Man who’s more interested in getting to his date than saving lives or having to deal with instant peril. It helps set a tone of how lighthearted Spidey has been and clearly shows how far he’s come from the laid back Spidey to a Spider-Man that is deathly serious. The second Slott short is drawn by Tom Grummett (who also doesn’t appear on the credits page) and is drawn like the newspaper serial. It is at once funny and compelling because it calls into question the insanely slow paced nature of the newspaper Spider-Man. There’s a twist ending that should be relished by anyone who loves storytelling.
Can’t wait to see this at conventions!
Is It Good?
While the issue as a whole is a fun read and interesting, don’t expect much in the way of progress when it comes to Spider-Verse. Instead enjoy it for what it is – a celebration of Spider-Man!