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'Spider-Man' #3 features temples of doom and tons of characters on the page
Marvel

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‘Spider-Man’ #3 features temples of doom and tons of characters on the page

‘Spider-Man’ #3 sends Peter Parker and his amazing friends after whatever it takes to get an edge.

If you’re a fan of the Spider-Verse, you better be reading Dan Slot and Mark Bagley’s Spider-Man, whose third issue is out this week. Peter Parker and his amazing Spider-Friends are back, attempting to stop the Great Web from being destroyed, and the wasp villain known as Shathra is behind it all. As we enter the third issue, with Morlun by Spider-Man’s side, the big question remains: can these heroes stop talking long enough to enact a plan?

If Spider-Man #3 had an identity, it’d be a distracted mind. It opens where we left off in Spider-Man #2, as Miles Morales has been turned into a wasp. The heroes — many of whom were introduced only a few weeks ago in Edge of Spider-Verse — race to subdue and maybe even kill Miles. Once things settle, Slott has the distracted and probably overly heroic minds of these heroes do their best to save the day. Teamwork may not be their strong suit, it seems, and the issue sprouts into multiple subplots.

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The subplots allow the narrative to cut back and forth while reducing the sheer number of heroes in one place. Slott and Bagley have Peter Parker and two other Spider characters enter a tomb of traps in a fun twist on an Indiana Jones-style adventure. They’re after something that ties to Spider-Woman, who was killed in the first issue. Or so we think she was killed.

Spider-Man #3

Stick to the plan, guys!
Credit: Marvel

Meanwhile, Morlun is after something that Spider-Man Noir has in his possession. Ultimately our heroes are dodging traps and fists and trying to stay alive long enough to get back together and enact the big plan Madame Web had concocted. It’s fun, loud, and action-packed, with many characters on the page at once. In a word, it’s epic in scale and approach to the story.

That epic feel suits the previous vibe of Spider-Verse tales, but it’s also a bit too chaotic and trope-filled for its good. There are two McGuffins in this issue, and it’s somewhat frustrating these heroes can’t stop and hear a plan for five seconds. Their impatience is what spurs most of the conflicts in the issue. The cliffhanger is tantalizing, though.

It’d likely be impossible for any other artist to pull off a book like this, but Bagley has had his fair share of drawing many characters on the page at once. Things get crazy busy near the end of the issue, and if you linger long enough, you can see he’s putting in extra effort to pop in familiar Spider-Man characters as Peter fights for his life. Even the earlier scenes with the small group of heroes feel packed with many panels featuring multiple characters. Bagley’s iconic detailed style continues to look great, never missing a beat or looking unfinished.

Spider-Man #3 brings a special kind of Spidey writing as Slott and Bagley fill each page with many characters in a big epic story not often embarked on for Spider-Man. That is when it comes to non-Spider-Verse tales, but since this is a Spider-Verse tale, it feels right at home within the line of stories.

'Spider-Man' #3 features temples of doom and tons of characters on the page
‘Spider-Man’ #3 features temples of doom and tons of characters on the page
Spider-Man #3
Spider-Man #3 brings a special kind of Spidey writing as Slott and Bagley fill each page with many characters in a big epic story not often embarked on for Spider-Man. That is when it comes to non-Spider-Verse tales, but since this is a Spider-Verse tale, it feels right at home within the line of stories.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.5
Manages to keep the epic scale up with tons of characters on the page and high stakes choices
Should be fun to unpack that cliffhanger!
The characters are more distracted than necessary sending them off on subplots
8
Good
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