Spider-Verse Hardcover Collection Reviewed
I’ve been reading comics now for at least 45 years. When I started I would pick comics based on cool covers and Spider-Man always had cool covers. Soon I started reading favorite characters and while I leaned more towards the DC family of superheroes, I liked my share of Marvel as well. As I grew older it would go back and forth but there were always two constants in my comic book reading. Batman and Spider-Man.
Going back to the 70’s I’ve seen a lot of versions and variations of Spider-Man and read a lot of different writers and artists take on the wallcrawler. Of late Dan Slott has been at the helm and I have to say that I am a huge fan. He is doing things with the character that feel so fresh and so original it’s hard to believe the character is a year older than I am.
The latest collection is SPIDER-VERSE, collecting a story line that has exceeded all my expectations. It contains AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #7-15, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #32-33, SPIDER-VERSE #1-2, SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP #1-3, SCARLET SPIDERS #1-3, SPIDER-WOMAN (2014) #1-4, SPIDER-MAN 2099 (2014) #6-8 and material from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2014 (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) #1.
Here’s the quick run down on the story. Alternate earth versions of Spider-Man are being hunted and killed. They are being killed because they are animal totems, specifically spider totems. The hunters are a family of immortals from earth 001 and they are called the Inheritors. The kill the various totem and suck out the life force like vampires. Eventually Spider-men and variations gather together to fight them. Sounds kind of straight forward, no? Well, Dan Slott on the main series and various others writing other spin off tie in stories have a lot more to add to this.
For me part of the fun was the sheer volume of varieties they have of Spider-men, many of whom I’ve seen glimpses of including Noir Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099 and Spider-Girl May Day Parker. Many of the newer versions were a lot of fun.
But this story is not all fun and games. A lot of spider totems get killed before it’s all brought to a head and the fact the stakes are high is never forgotten, even during the lighter moments. The climax is crazy fun and really well played. My only complaint is that the collection keeps the main story in order and after the ending the tie in books are after which feels a little disjointed when reading, but the with sheer volume of reading it makes some sense. The hardcover weighs almost 3 and half pounds and comes in at 648 pages, almost all of them story.
I really love reading Spider-Man and this may be my favorite story line to date. Worth every penny.