On the Panel – The Amazing Spider-Man
Spider-Verse comes to The Amazing Spider-Man and it hits the ground running. The main universe (hereafter referred to as 616 as that’s the universe he inhabits) Peter Parker is drawn into a pitched battle involving different incarnations of himself from alternate universes and learns of Morlun’s plan.
Event comics have come a long way since Secret Wars in 1984 but not necessarily in a good way. Modern event comics tend to consist of long convoluted plots with infinite tie in side issues making the whole thing impossible to follow. Marvel’s most recent event, Original Sin was nothing short of a mess. It started off seeming quite small scale and tightly plotted but quickly lost any sense of coherence. Many of the main series issues were peppered with references to tie ins that formed such a large part of the plot meaning that there was no way a reader could keep up without purchasing them too.
It all gets to be a fairly expensive affair if you want to follow everything and the publishers know that completionists will feel a compulsion to read everything in case they miss out on something. DC aren’t doing any better with their event next year encompassing somewhere close to 90 comics in total over 9 weeks which is just insane. Secret Wars was clean with only 12 comics spread over a year with no tangential connection and had direct consequences on whatever comic you happened to be reading at the time. For instance, Spider-Man returned with the black suit that would one day become Venom but you didn’t need to read his comic to understand Secret Wars. The quicker they return to this model the better because events aren’t special any more. They’re just a confusing mess that mostly ends in disappointment. Also, having 3 or 4 a year doesn’t really help matters.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now and actually talk about the comic I came here to review. This was a really good start to the Spider-Verse event -not counting the Edge of Spider-Verse titles- that kept things nicely focused on our Spider-Man. The story states that 616 Peter Parker is some kind of key figure to all of this for reasons that are as yet unknown. This is something that has been a cornerstone of the character since his first appearance. We as readers are constantly faced with the question of what makes Peter Parker special beyond his super powers and this event clearly means to extend that question out to the multiverse.
I like the escalation of this by not only exploring why Peter Parker is special and exploring what makes our Peter Parker special. After all he is the one most people follow so it is a valid question. It also makes this event worthwhile and gives us a clear focal point to take us through this utter lunacy.
Another thing that makes this event worthwhile is just how much fun it is in general. Dan Slott has managed to make a group of different Spider-Men -including a pig- coming together feel natural. The interactions are very enjoyable and I personally get a kick out of seeing a version of Ben Riley show up as I really liked his stint as Spider-Man and miss the character a lot.
Despite the fact that there’s constant universe hopping things remain consistently easy to follow as well as showing off a distinct visual style for every universe visited. Each Spider-Man -or Woman- featured manage to have a distinct personality that comes across nicely. It’s really impressive that such a large scale event is being handled so expertly by Dan Slott and his team.
A really strong start to Spider-Verse that brings the event to the attention of the main universe -616- Peter Parker. Dan Slott expertly manages to keep this event focused on the characters and gives most of them a chance to shine in their own way.
The story is a lot of fun with lots of interesting visuals, not least of which is a group of human Spider-Men and Women interacting with a costumed pig. It’s an image that shouldn’t work but somehow does.