Spider-Gwen’s in Battleworld, face-to-face with none other than Norman Osborn.
Also, she’s standing at the foot of Spider-Ham’s hospital bed, where apparently he’s been serving as the ahem… guinea pig for Osborn’s experiments. How will things play out? Is it good?
Spider-Verse #2 (Marvel Comics)
Ever thought you’d see Spider-Gwen absconding with Spider-Ham from a twentieth-story window while Norman Osborn himself looked on with incredulity? And then watch Osborn wave his goons off even when they said they had a clear shot at sniping her out of the air?
Even if you did — did you think you’d enjoy it nearly this much?
Give writer Mike Costa credit: he’s taken what could have been a routine Spider-Character outing and put enough spin on his narrative curveball to both keep us guessing and thoroughly entertain. Notwithstanding though, this is a fun Spider-Man story that actually feels like a Spider-Man story, despite the clashing demeanors of the Spider-Crew.
Another reason to give Costa props: he’s infused the Spider-Crew with very disparate and fully fleshed out personalities in a very small amount of time. I loved the contrast between the more traditional, ethical superhero Spideys (Spider-Gwen, UK Spider-Man and Yogi Spider-Man) and Noir. You can tell Costa is having a lot of fun using Noir for inner-monologue and Raymond Chandler-esque barbs and it shines during Noir’s conversations and his inner scrutiny of the fight sequences.
Andre Araujo once again lends his cartoonish style to Spider-Verse and it works. As Dave said in his review of Spider-Verse #1, all the characters are “bendy and filled with energy,” which imparts a strong stylistic flair to the action sequences — like watching a well-constructed animated series taking place. Besides, one of the main characters in this issue is Spider-Ham, the talking porcine version of Spider-Man. You need a little bit of appreciation for cartoonish flair if this is going to work for you at all.
My only gripe with Araujo’s art comes later in the issue, when Carnage and Tombstone appear. Araujo’s Carnage is lumpy-looking, stiff and insectile. He resembles more an enormous red ant-creature with an exoskeleton, thorax and petioles included, than an amorphous, alien sludge parasite bonded with a serial killer. It’s not a terrible look — it just pales in comparison to the symbiote having a gooey, fluidic, constantly swirling look that complements the character’s unpredictable nature and perpetual ominousness. Like Mark Bagley’s Carnage for instance.
Also, tell me that Araujo didn’t use Freddie Mercury as a reference for his Kraven the Hunter on the book’s last page. The resemblance is just too damn uncanny.
Is It Good?
Another fun issue of Spider-Verse that shows Spider-Gwen isn’t the only Web-Warrior that can carry the lion’s share of the title. Costa delivers on a fun story with seeds of mystery, action, and clever humor and Araujo satisfies on art.
Worth a buy for all Spider-fans and certainly worth a look for those on the fence looking to jump in.