The Spider-Verse comics have been going on for years, starting in 2014, getting a direct sequel with Spider-Geddon in 2018, and now a conclusion to the Spider-Verse storyline begins this week with Edge of Spider-Verse. When it comes to Spider-Verse comics, two things are guaranteed: tons of new versions of Spidey will pop up, and there will be super high stakes. As the first issue shows, we get both right out of the gate.
Edge of Spider-Verse #1 features four stories by four creative teams. It’s basically an anthology, although each story does either build up what we know about a growing threat or connect directly with each other. Each story offers a little something extra, be it goofiness, humor, or even a darker tone, especially for a Spider-Man book. Essentially, you get a lot of different flavors, reminding you the Spider-Verse universe is very diverse.
The first story in this first issue is by Dan Slott and Martin Coccolo with colors by Brian Reber. Titled “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” Slott introduces readers to the Spider-Man of Earth-1740, who is essentially saving lives during the American Revolution. This tale is only three pages long, but teases the fact that Spider-Man characters across the multiverse will be called upon soon. Oh, and there’s a threat that’ll require their services.
The next story is called “The Hero Within” and it’s by Alex Segura with art by Caio Majado and colors by Brian Reber. Anya Corazon or Araña, aka Spider-Girl, takes central focus in this tale. She’s from Earth-616 and tries to balance school and superhero work. Certainly the longest story in the issue, this story features a major confrontation, a new Spider-Man costume, and essentially the first strike the heroes take on the enemy. Majado does well to capture Araña’s agility and speed in the action scenes. The story balances the hopeful cheeriness of Araña, the hero, and a threat that wishes to take her off the board.
Following this is the much-teased Spider-Man T-Rex story “Spider-Rex!!!” by Karla Pacheco and Pere Perez. As the preview shows, Pter Ptarker faces off against what appears to be a Green Goblin-themed pterodactyl. It’s a goofy tale that plays with language in a way only Pacheco can pull off. Perez makes the action exciting while also making you believe a T-Rex could somehow use those little arms to swing with webs. Truly over-the-top goofy fun.
Wrapping up the book is a wonderfully noir story by Dustin Weaver and D.J. Bryant called “My Dame… My Destiny.” Spider-Man Noir takes center stage in a story that feels densely written and drawn. The captions intentionally overpower the art at times to convey the inner monologue of the detective. There’s a sexy sultriness to the story that is refreshing since this version of Spider-Man sure isn’t any boy scout. The tale is darker in tone, thanks to the reduced use of color that makes it feel like an old detective movie. It’s a great way to end the comic as it reveals not every hero is going to make it out of this event.
Edge of Spider-Verse #1 is every bit as strong as the sum of its parts. Each tale feels like it’s building towards something while giving readers a different flavor of Spider-Man. The threat may seem far off and vague at this point, but Edge of Spider-Verse shows how the Spider-Verse is vast and incredibly rewarding.
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