Spider-Geddon is Here! Your Guide to the The Good & Bad of Spider-Verse
Why Talk About Spider-Verse Now?
Edge of Spider-Gedden #1 just came out; why are we talking about Spider-Verse from 2014?? Because you should read Spider-Verse first! Do you have to? Nah. But will you want to? If you're a big fan of multiple Spideys you will! Spider-Verse was one of the biggest Spider-Man events in the history of the comic series.
So let's take a look at the last time there was a Where's Waldo number of Spider variants with this Edge of Spider-Verse recap. Part 2 of this guide will cover the Spider-Verse main event!
This isn’t an official reading order! Check out Comic Book Herald’s reading order to make sure you don’t miss an issue!
Spider-Verse is a great story with deep roots that's been brewing since Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #30. This is part of J. Michael Staczynski's great Spider-Man run. It's in this arc that Peter is introduced to the racist concept of animal totems.
Sounds epic, right? It is. There's a Spider-Man in every universe and it's a pleasure to read different interpretations on the classic origin story. Let's check it out!
Superior Spider-Man #32
Superior Spider-Man is one of my favorite Spider-Man series, so revisiting the series in this context is nostalgic even though it's not that old. It's also a reminder of Dan Slott's great run on the comic. Edge of Spider-Verse kicks off here. Instead of Peter’s one-liners we get Otto being hella arrogant.
If you haven't read this serious or aren't familiar with it, Doc Ock is in Spider-Man's body and has stolen his memories. He's trying to be some sort of anti-hero, but there's tons of character development along the way. Here's a great guide to collecting and reading the series.
Otto gets all mixed up and sent to the year 2099, which he recognizes, remembering the Spider-Man he's met from this time period. Check out the art for this amazing page:
What follows is him building or doing something with particles that idk about to get back to where he needs to be. Each journey throws him to another timeline with another Spider-Man who is running from this dude that’s trying to kill them. Hmmm.
Otto-Spidey decides to build a team of all these alt Spiders to eliminate the threat. Look how cool they are:
The art by Giuseppe Camuncoli & Adam Kubert is perfect throughout the issue. I particularly dig the colors and lines when Otto is traveling through time; it looks like fire. Dope. Great introduction to this event.
Superior Spider-Man #33
This issue continues where we left off with Otto getting more into fighting the mysterious force that's out to kill every Spider-Person. We learn who the man behind the mask is and his motivations.
It’s creepy that Otto makes Anna Maria into his personal assistant bot. Reading the original series I found their relationship interesting. It touched a little on disability & desirability in a way that’s rare for mainstream comics. The series portrays her as desirable and intelligent.
BUT this whole hologram bot thing puts a damper on the potential sweetness of Otto loving (?) her. He can’t experience love at all, only possession. Ugh.
Not much happens in this issue in the present timeline.
Toward the end, Spider-Girl of Earth-80718 gets together with the killing team. She gives them a pep talk about killing the other Spider-Folx that don’t agree with killing??
I wish the story presented a different conflict between the team.
Edge of Spider-Verse #1: Spider-Man Noir
Flip the origin a little, okay? Anansi bites 1930's Peter Parker. Wow.
Totems! The spiders crawled from a statue stolen from Africa. STOLEN. I bet if y’all were stealing like that Anansi wouldn’t have blessed you with superpowers, but this is a white writer. Okay.
Not a fan of the art, way too shadowy and doesn’t quite match the 1930’s vibe. Something about this is ill suited for what is a standard Spider-Man story. Very little humor. Why is this so dark?
Mysterio is cool here, but the use of his character feels cliche. The scenes where Peter is escaping are some of the best to look at though.
The best part of the issue is the end. Read this, but it's not the strongest in the series.
Edge of Spider-Verse #2
We've got Gwen Stacy in this issue. Spider-Gwen is dealing with some fall-out of Peter Parker dying. She's trying to play in a band, do some soul searching, and be a superhero at the same time. It doesn't go well.
This would be my favorite issue, but too many cops!
For example, she’s getting chased by cops, one confronts her and is so nervous that he’s shaking and his gun goes off. This leads to some digs by Gwen, who chastises him for not being… tougher? Because we need tough cops?
This contrasts later with the climax later. Gwen confronts her Captain Dad who is also trying to kill her as masked heroine. Unlike nervous cop, Dad cop is steady and sure in his aim. Gwen feels like she has no choice but to reveal herself to him.
More “good cop” nonsense. These two cop scenes really outweigh the rest of the comic for me (which is actually really good). Why? Because they bolster narratives about their being a good kind of cop, and that accidents happen when cops are nervous, and that bad cops are the ones chasing vigilantes, and good cops are the ones that are letting them go.
The artwork in this issue is very crisp and has a well defined flow that helps keep the action scenes moving. I’ve always liked the coloring on Gwen’s uniform, and the issue is also brightly colored without being too overdone.
Edge of Spider-Verse #3
This issue is great as a stand alone issue. It tells a large amount of backstory in a few pages. And we get an in depth look into this Spider-Mans personality. He’s a genius, workaholic, asshole, so like a lot many other Marvel characters…
One thing that doesn’t click for me is the “hero” role. There’s not a lot of sense of motivation with this Spider-Man.
The story is about grief essentially, losing what you love, and doing whatever it takes to get that back. It would have been more powerful if there was an emotional sacrifice on Aikman's part, but there isn’t. That keeps this issue from being an amazing comic on it’s own. Nonetheless as a tie-in issue it works well.
Edge of Spider-Verse #4
This one’s a horror comic. It uses a lot of cliche’s. This universe’s Peter is Patton, a kid that gets bullied, abused by his Uncle, and stalks his neighbor next door. Meh.
He dies at the end. The final page is gross and triggers a certain phobia of mine that shall-not-be-named. I was glad that it was over. It’s skippable unless you want to read an issue packed with misogynistic overtones and absolutely no subtlety.
Edge of Spider-Verse #5
This one is cool. The story feels stripped down to some core elements and kind of cold or detached. Shout out to the Ghost in the Shell reference art!
What a wonderful futuristic world with a small girl in a giant Spidey armor suit. Although the focus is mainly on SP’//dr the world really comes to life in a cold and detached way. The art style and colors give it a really sterile feel. Of all the Spider-verses, I think this is the one that I would want to see more of the most.
That's it for Edge of Spider-Verse! I hope you feel inspired to read this comic and dive into the next part of the series, Spider-Verse! Stay tuned for part two of this guide. And check out the latest Spider-Man event, Spider-Geddon, at your local LCS now!