Spi­der- Verse

Cri­sis Of In­fi­nite Spideys

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Comics -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!!

Pub­lisher: Marvel Writer: Dan Slott Artists: Oliver Copiel, Giuseppe Ca­muncoli, Cam Smith, Justin Pon­sor

If there’s one

thing that writer Dan Slott has proved via his cur­rent run on Spi­der- Man, it’s that he isn’t afraid to think big. This is the man who put Otto Oc­tavius into the role of Spi­der- Man for a whole year, and also gave ev­ery­one in Man­hat­tan spi­der­pow­ers in the epic Spi­der Is­land saga. His lat­est block­buster shows there are few lim­its on how far he will go in search of mind- scram­bling plot twists.

Spi­der- Verse starts from an at­ten­tion- grab­bing con­cept: a tale that unites ev­ery al­ter­nate ver­sion of Spi­der- Man ever seen. And so far, Slott is mostly living up to that en­joy­ably lu­di­crous idea. Mix­ing lively ac­tion with Grant Mor­risonesque con­cep­tual weird­ness, the story pitches Peter Parker against the In­her­i­tors, a fam­ily of trans­di­men­sional, vam­pire- like ad­ver­saries with full ac­cess to the Mul­ti­verse.

They’re us­ing this to hunt and kill ev­ery Spi­der- pow­ered hero in all re­al­i­ties, but the re­main­ing Al­terna- Spideys have gath­ered to­gether, and it looks like the Peter Parker of Uni­verse 616 ( the ev­ery­day Marvel Uni­verse) is cen­tral to the In­her­i­tors’ plans. Throw in the reap­pear­ance of the Su­pe­rior Spi­der- Man, along­side a ros­ter of weird Spidey in­car­na­tions in­clud­ing Spi­der- Man 2099 and the Spec­tac­u­lar Spi­der- Ham, and you’ve got an ac­tion- packed saga that doesn’t stint on comic- book insanity.

Four is­sues into the core sto­ry­line ( cur­rently run­ning in Amaz­ing Spi­der- Man), it’s help­ing that Slott has cre­ated a set of en­ter­tain­ingly nasty vil­lains in the In­her­i­tors, giv­ing their twisted fam­ily enough depth to be truly scary. Slott keeps the pace light­ning- fast and the tone at the cor­rect level be­tween daft lu­nacy and gen­uine drama, throw­ing in off­beat con­ti­nu­ity ref­er­ences and mak­ing this a broad but un­de­ni­ably en­ter­tain­ing slice of su­per­hero non­sense. The main se­ries also fea­tures bril­liantly pol­ished vi­su­als from artists Oliver Copiel, Giuseppe Ca­muncoli and Justin Pon­sor.

How­ever, while Spi­der- Verse is more ac­ces­si­ble to new read­ers than some re­cent Marvel event comics, it still suf­fers from a bad case of Too Many Cross­over Is­sues. The core story reg­u­larly branches off into cross­over ti­tles when dif­fer­ent teams of Spidey al­ter­nates head off for sep­a­rate mis­sions, re­sult­ing in mo­ments where it oc­ca­sion­ally reads more like an ad­vert for other comics than a story in its own right.

The crossovers and spin- offs them­selves are of­ten fun, in­clud­ing the is­sue that in­tro­duced the now phe­nom­e­nally popular al­ter­nate, Spidey- pow­ered ver­sion of Gwen Stacy. Spi­der- Verse is a lit­tle too sprawl­ing and cross­over- de­pen­dent for its own good, but de­spite th­ese flaws it’s still a rol­lick­ing good time, and proves there are few cur­rent writ­ers with as good a grasp as Dan Slott on Spi­der- Man’s unique blend of emo­tive drama, quick- fire gags and su­per­hero thrills. Saxon Bul­lock Spi­der- Verse’s ver­sion of Gwen Stacy got such a good re­ac­tion she’s al­ready been given her own se­ries; it kicks off on 25 Fe­bru­ary. McCloud’s first gig in comics was in pro­duc­tion at DC, past­ing in let­ter­ing and whit­ing out mis­takes.

Noth­ing packs a punch like an an­thro­po­mor­phic pig.

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