[Secret Wars] Spider-Verse #1 ReviewMay 24, 2015
When Spider-Verse was originally released in August of 2014, it focused on Peter Parker as a universal symbol and the ire of the Inheritors. I loved the direction that Dan Slott took the series uniting Spiders from all over the multiverse into one team to save themselves as they were being hunted down one by one by Morlun and his family.
Moving forward to 2015 and the multi-verse has been destroyed and some of the remaining Spiders have been dropped into Battleworld in their own domain called Arachnia. In this area Norman Osborne and Ozcorp (that’s not a misspelling…) are covering up the existence of Spider-Man, leading people to believe that he was killed years ago.
The focus character so far seems to be Gwen Stacy, who for the first time since she was brought back into the fold, has become keenly aware of her own death in the other corners of the multiverse. This could potentially be a very cool story as she explores the knowledge she gains about the fate of her other selves. This also goes for all the other Spiders from across the multiverse as none of their histories are safe. They could have been anything or done anything in any of the other worlds, and there could be some very dark truths about themselves hiding out there.
However, other characters in Battleworld seemingly have no knowledge of their past selves or other selves and are relatively set in their new surroundings. The Spiders are aware that something is off about their new world but they can’t quite place what it is, but they are on the case. There are some fun shocks along the way and twists on old characters, like who the Sinister Six are, for example.
The problem that I found with this opening issue is that while we start digging into Gwen Stacy and her new circumstances, it switches gears and we get a look at Spider-UK, Spider-India, and Spider-Girl and what they are up to in this new world of Arachnia. Keeping the spotlight on Gwen had it feeling like a classic Spider-Man tale but with an obvious twist, though with this being Spider-Verse, it wouldn’t live up to the title if other Spiders weren’t involved.
The story seems a little muddled as the true threat to the Spiders isn’t clear and it feels like it might take a few issues for it to really settle in. It will also be interesting to see how Spider-India (Pavitr Prabhakar) plays into the story since it seems like he has some greater knowledge to share with the Spider team. I’m hoping to see more of my personal favourites from the Spider-Verse story like Spider-Man Noir, Silk, Kaine, and maybe if the stars align, Superior Spider-Man.
When it comes to the artwork, artist Andre Araujo puts out some consistent panels that are relatively simple but are effective in moving the story along. The character designs are not flashy nor do they contain a great amount of detail. The action sequences are captured effectively, delivering punches and kicks with clarity.
Story wise the comic isn’t living up to the same expectations one might have from Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse, which is one of the best Marvel stories in recent years in my opinion, but again it is a first issue and may just need to find its legs. Mike Costa has been given the keys to play with a universe of Spiders, and has brought in a good group to start in with, but the story needs to iron out its wrinkles. The overall storyline seems cloudy right now, but I’m hopeful that the second issue gets the story moving in the right direction and establish the greater world. Let’s just hope that Costa will have the Spider-Man doing whatever a spider can by then.