Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Spider-Verse #1 Review

So many, so different................

This was seriously fun, and a trip down memory lane for me. It’s nice after two heavy reviews, that this comes along to balance the day perfectly.

The basic premise is simple – showcase Spiders of different worlds and how they interact with their universe and in some cases, Morlun. A team of writers and artists handle these stories, including event leader Dan Slott.

The meta commentary is powerful given we are transcending the comic book medium and venturing into things like ads and newspapers.

Slott works best when he’s using humor, and the only problems I see are the tantalizingly brief glimpses of the character and in some cases, being very non-new reader friendly.

We get six Spiders in this story, each in universes unique to each other – and that’s what keeps the concept fresh.

Slott starts us with the origin, it’s simple – Peter goes to a science exhibit and gets bitten by a radioactive spider, setting him on the path to become Spider-Man. Like Uatu in the What If stories, the Master Spinner is our host here as he reveals to us the tiny and large divergences that lead to the Spiders of the multiverse.

We see current events as Morlun and his family cut through the multiversal thread, picking off Spiders right and left – which apparently include the Old Man Spiderman from Spider-Man Reign and a female Spider, not to forget some truly outlandish environments.

Starting with the Mangaverse Spider-Man, we see him taking the call only to get stopped by his brother in this reality, who is a curious mix of Venom and Samurai.

Their battle is interrupted by the Multiverse Spider Gang arriving (through there does seem to be some inconsistencies, as the Spider-UK and Superior groups are mixed up).

Earth-803, a Steampunk universe, chronicles the tale of Lady May Reilly, the Spider-Woman of her world as she does her first battle against her world’s version of the Sinister Six.

The subtext of her being a woman and the subject of emancipation, as well as the freedom she gets by being a Spider is well handled in the brief time it gets, not to mention awesome Steampunk reinventions of the Six

The next one is pretty funny, a funny Hostess Fruit Pies ad with a wicked bend, as a Spider-Totem 'ad' is given featuring Morlun tasting on some tasty Spider Snacks (by which I mean a Peter Parker). So hilarious!

Earth-11, which features Katie Cook’s work, shows Penelope Parker. It’s a nice kid friendly world and shows her tribulations in a well done, yet light, manner(through in a gender reversed world, I would have liked to see a boy Mary Jane. Right, Andrew?) – and her first Spider costume is brilliantly different, a subversion of her failures leading her to a new day. Not to forget, the Amazing Bag-girl!

Newspaper strips are the next target, as Morlun interrupts a Parker picnic. It’s awesome to see him bewildered by the nature of the world, as the laws of the strip dictate that similar information is rethreaded painfully and repeatedly for the Inheritor to comprehend. 

The Master Spinner through manages to hide the universe in his strands and protect the world from the Morlun family.

My favorite by far was Katie’s Penelope arc, and I want to see more of her.

It was very different and light compared to the dread-heavy Spider Verse event. And Mangaverse Spider-Man, being the least new reader friendly, stuck out like a sore thumb due to some random plotting.


This is a fun and light romp in the middle of a dark chapter in the life of every Spider, and the different creative teams use all the humor in their arsenal to make it such.

The diverse nature of this issue keeps the stories from getting stale, and introduces some very interesting new Spiders – most of whom I want to see again.

So, I give it 8.0 out of 10.

+Some great diversity
+Unique representations of Spiders
+Great humor
+Artwork is evocative of the different worlds

-Very little forward movement of plot
-Some stories too brief


  1. Skottie Young Wrote the Spider Clan Story Not the Penelope Parker one. that was written and pecilled by Katie Cook

  2. So, no Skottie Young artwork in this book? This was my first exposure to Katie Cook and her work is evocative of Young's style, so that's where I made the mistake. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Spider Clan is very continuity heavy, and will be easier to follow for those who read the Marvel Mangaverse that came out years ago. The Penelope Parker one though felt like a breath of fresh air amid the gloom of the Spider-Verse.

  3. Nope there is no Skottie Young art. Spider Clan was pencilled by Jake Parker. agreed though the Penelope Parker story was fun.