It’s good to see Dan Slott back on Spider-Man after he moved on to Iron Man and then the Fantastic Four. He clearly understands the character while also being one of the masterminds behind Spider-Verse. Now he’s returning to the event that spawned the greatest superhero movie of all time. Spider-Man and his amazing friends are in more danger than ever as the Great Web may be destroyed for good.
Not if Spider-Man archnemesis Morlun can stop it! Yes, that’s right, Dan Slott and Mark Bagley revealed in Spider-Man #1 Morlun is back, and he’s on the good-guy side. If you were at all scratching your head around that one, expect some answers in Spider-Man #2. Part two in the “End of Spider-Verse” story arc, the latest issue leans heavily into the vast array of Spider-Man characters in the Spider-Verse and breaks your heart.
I won’t spoil the opening scene, but the preview does pick up where we left off, as some of the most famous riffs on Spider-Man have been turned into bugs. Now with mandibles, Spider-Man Noir, Ghost-Spider, Spider-Punk, and Spider-Girl are facing off against Peter Parker, Morlun, Miles Morales, and Silk. Those are decent odds, which leads to some great action by Mark Bagley. Fans who read Edge of Spider-Verse also get some payoffs as key characters jump onto the scene, complicating matters for Peter.
Possibly the coolest element for longtime readers will be a new Earth introduced here. It’s too good an idea to spoil in a review, but know it plays into the concept of early comics creation and how stories in the good old days might not have everything worked out. It’s also another example of how Slott continues to come up with new ideas that, historically speaking, should be quite hard at this point. How many Earths can you create, and Spider-Man variations, before it feels old hat? We haven’t found the answer yet.
This issue also ends on a satisfying cliffhanger. Often in superhero comics with an event feel, the decompression can be maddening, but judging by the cliffhanger, things will be speeding along nicely in the next issue. It’s also a fantastic near-full-page splash by Bagley featuring a heck of a lot of familiar characters.
If there was a gripe to be found, the idea of these iconic Spider-Man characters being turned doesn’t feel permanent enough. Suspension of disbelief when reading superhero comics is a given, but I’m not convinced that these characters are forever changed or will die from the experience of being turned into wasps. The danger is present, but the stakes don’t feel high enough.
Speaking of Bagley, he was the Spider-Man artist of my youth, and thus this issue takes me back. The nostalgic vibes are strong, and he hasn’t missed a beat. The quality is high, and the look of Spidey and his amazing friends is as strong as ever. He does a great job with the new versions of Spider-Man that were first introduced in Edge of Spider-Verse while delivering an excellent sequence as Morlun details how he found himself helping Spider characters.
If you enjoyed Spider-Verse and its sequels, get on board and read Spider-Man #2. It captures the fun of a vast multiverse while setting up a showdown that injects some oddballs into Peter Parker’s team against nearly every beloved version of Spider-Man ever made. Spider-Man continues to redefine the Spider-Verse in new and exciting ways.
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