The first part of Spider-Verse is here after a 5 issue Edge of Spider-Verse teaser/taste, so without further ado, is it good?
Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Marvel Comics)
Having read all of the Spider-Verse stories and Amazing Spider-Man (and Superior Spider-Man for that matter) I’m trying to imagine not knowing a thing and picking up this issue. Considering how Dan Slott is a master at weaving in tiny details throughout a story, one can imagine even avid readers will miss things, but I think it’s safe to say this issue is very well organized for new and old readers alike. If you did know nothing you’d probably find this comic almost overwhelming, but also extremely epic. I’m not sure a Spider-Man story has ever been this complicated and frankly that could turn some folks off, but for those who who are interested in mythology and storytelling I think it’s well worth the price of admission.
If he’s not from Earth…
The briefest of setups before we dive in: Spider-Man fought a guy named Morlun and whooped his butt, and since then he’s been afraid to even set foot in the 616 universe. He’s part of a family of vampiric creatures who eat Spider people, have their own spider fortune teller and warp around dimensions eating superhero spider people. Fortunately, spider people are banding together to stop this force once and for all and it’s all being done by the Superior Spider-Man who has the brain of Doctor Octopus.
Omg it’s Silver Sable!
This issue opens with great misdirection, especially to those who don’t know what Peter does for a living anymore. He’s called by Jameson to get some photos for him but quickly learns it’s all a setup. What happens to him is awful, but damn is it a surprise to find out where this Spider-Man is from. From there we are introduced again, in similar unclothed sleeping fashion, to our 616 Spider-Man. Slott adds a bit of Silk to the mix and the continually hilarious sexual tension between them. From there Spider-Man is introduced to one spider hero after another which introduces new and old readers alike to what is going on. There are also plenty of new details about Morlun and his family with a building up of the characters in interesting fashion. Those of you who like Miles Morales are in for a treat too and on top of all that there are some easter egg moments for those who are paying attention.
The backup, also written by Slott, opens on a dinner scene with the Inheritors as they wait for Morlun to bring a spider for dinner. It’s sort of like a potluck as each brings a spider to eat and share with the others. They’re all dastardly, we learn some interesting details about their fates and it’s all capped off with an introduction to what appears to be an even more evil father figure. Ultimately this is a lengthy read, at least for the standards of comic reading today, and there’s a lot to like. There’s action, team ups and a ton of new information on the villains. All around a well worthy read if you’ve dug anything Spider-Man for the last few years.
The main story, which runs 19 pages is drawn by Olivier Coipel, which is a nice change of pace from Humberto Ramos. His style is darker in tone and much more grounded which helps create an epic, event-like feel for the main thrust of the issue. The backup is drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli and he does a great job with the very confined space he has to work in. This is very much a character driven story and there’s little to no action, yet he moves around the dinner table with great variance in panels and facial expressions. You never feel lost in the scene even though it jumps around six characters.
Dinner is served…and it’s disgusting.
Is It Good?
This is a fantastic issue that clearly explains all the players and stakes at play but also delivers good character moments and plenty of spider-ific art to go with it. Some might say it’s a bit overloaded, but it’s never boring.