So begins Spider-Verse.
Slott brings in his magnum opus – every Spider ever. The character moments are the big draw, and how the different Spiders interact.
The artwork by Olivier Coipel is spectacular, and befitting the mega event.
First, we see another episode of ‘Morlun kills another alternate universe Spidey’. This one is unique in that excepting the similarities to early days Peter, it seems humanity has moved to the moon.
So, ends Spider Moon-Man of Earth 449.
Coming back to Loomworld of Earth 001, we see the Master Spinner, whom the Inheritors captured and is using to detect and kill the Spider-Men of the multiverse, being goaded into bringing back Morlun from 449.
Daemos ridicules him in that he is purposely avoiding the 616 universe (where our Peter lives) and after he leaves, decides to travel there himself while his sister Lady Verna has acquired some pets of her own, including an alternate world Silver Sable, Kraven and Fireheart.
Speaking of Earth 616, Silk pays Peter a visit and as they respond to a police call, she tells him that their animalistic attractions mean that one of them must move away from New York. Apparently, the ‘attraction’ has grown stronger recently and is drawing Silk’s every sense towards Peter.
Thankfully, a stolen Spider Tank (yeah, one of those from Superior Spider-Man’s time) and former Spider soldiers prove a welcome distraction.
That is until a Spider convention takes place.
Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman), Anya (Spider-Girl) and Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099) all arrive to help out and talk. Not to mention Spider-UK, MC2 Spider-Girl and Spider-Ham getting in on the action.
Some bewildering moments after, Peter is convinced by the MC2 Spider-Girl (his daughter in another universe) that this isn’t a trick and when he learns that Morlun is on their trail, he is the first to understand the severity of the situation – telling everyone to go back through the portal to whatever ‘safe place’ they’re staying at.
Though I take issue with Spider-UK using Spider-Ham’s real name Peter when fighting with the criminals. Secret identity, anyone???
Meanwhile, at Mount Wundergore, where the New Warriors reside, Kaine and his group are getting their asses kicked by Daemos and it is revealed that the Other now resides in Kaine.
But before Daemos can kill him, Old Man Spider , Bruce Banner Spidey, Alt universe Ben Reilly and Spider-Gwen arrive and save him, though they lose Bruce in the effort.
It appears Spider-UK is coordinating the team of Spiders, and our Peter gets another shock (just like Kaine) when he sees Gwen and Ben alive.
The Cosmic Spider-Man of that world (Earth 13) reveals that his abilities pose a credible threat to the Inheritors but are useless outside his universe.
Over at the Ultimate Universe though, Miles Morales and that world’s Jessica Drew get attacked by Lady Verna and her ‘pets’.
The biggest selling point of this story is the interactions between the different Spiders. Most of them are roads not taken for the main universe Spider, while others are totally different people who have taken up the mantle. Apparently, Peter has visited the MC2 universe before – which is a little sad given I expected more from his realization that he had a happy family life with children in one universe.
The annoying things were Kaine and Peter in quick succession being gobsmacked by Ben and Gwen. I know that it’s a realistic reaction, but overuse is never a good thing.
Also, there seems to be a disconnection with the Superior Spider-Man miniseries, though it does seem like there are two teams – Spider UK’s and SpOck’s.
In the backup, the Inheritors place their spoils on the dining table infront of their father, Solus while they wait for Morlun to return from his current conquest. It’s a nice contrast between the different Inheritors and their ideologies regarding the hunt.
We see Spider-Banner brought back from 616 by Daemos and then Morlun’s ‘spoil’ finally speaks up, saying that while they have the power, the Spiders will always battle for it is their responsibility. It seems Morlun has really personalized the hunt (calling his food by name isn’t a good sign) even as they dig into their meal.
Slott manages to make a story comprising of multiple Spider-Men (and women) start well, and the artwork is a refreshing change from before.
The interactions are the main draw here, and while there is some repeatability, and heavy continuity use, most of them work well.
So, I give this 8.0 out of 10.
+The character interactions
+Some great artwork
+The threat is made very credible
-Heavy continuity use distracts