Marvel Comics has a big time Spider-Man event incoming called “Spider-Geddon,” but before that new Edge of Spider-Geddon solo issues get us up to speed. They fill us in on key alternate dimension Spider-Man characters. The first introduced Spider-Punk and what he’s been up to, and the second has a focus on SP//dr. If you don’t know, SP//dr just got a Marvel Legend Build-a-Figure toy. Aside from that, dive right in, as this is new reader-friendly comics.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This is all about Peni Parker, a high school student who has the unique ability to control the SP//dr mech suit, and her meeting a new kind of villain who’s very similar to her. It’s also a fun introduction to the different characters who rotate around Peni, like her adopted father Ben and mother May. You see where this is going.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is quite economical, dropping you into Peni’s world and introducing a new character right off the bat. Writers Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson tap into the unique nature of this hero who is still only a high school kid, but also fighting giant monsters in her spare time. What draws you in the most is the parental figures Peni has in the story. They aren’t your typical parents, far from it, and are more like mad scientists who have a kid to support in her superhero work first. This issue doesn’t quite get into the dysfunction of that, but you can read in between the lines.
Outside of this is plenty of big mech vs. monster action. If you’re a fan of Godzilla or other anime-styled giant battles, you’ll dig this issue. Peni goes up against a familiar Spider-Man villain to start that’s a fun take on a classic. There’s also another major villain who pops in, and a promise for more, that should have longtime Spider-Man fans very excited indeed.
Pencils are by Alberto Alburquerque with colors by Triona Farrell, who work together to keep the art feeling fast and loose. I got a kick out of the designs of the villains who invoke the classics but have a nice spin on them too. There are some excellent facial expressions from Peni throughout to help remind us she’s a kid who reacts to things in big ways. The colors are a bit subdued, giving the work a more realistic, gritty feel when it could have easily swung into a cartoony look.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The comic gets a bit predictable leading up to the third act. Peni gets in trouble, she needs help, yada yada yada, and we get a conclusion. It makes portions of the book run on in a boring sort of way. I’m also deeply unsettled by a major loss by the end of the issue. I think we’re being lead down a dark road when it comes to Peni’s parents, yet the book seems to suggest she’ll be just fine with her parental situation.
Is it good?
A good issue that utilizes the alternate Spider-Man very well. It also serves as a reminder of how an Elseworlds tale can explore a character effectively while not skimping on action.