Spider-Verse Finale Review & Spoilers: Amazing Spider-Man #14 by Dan Slott; Giuseppe Camuncoli & Olivier Coipel; Wade von Grawbadger, Cam Smith & Livesay

Editor’s Notes:

Here are a few things you should know heading into Amazing Spider-Man #14.

  • Amazing Spider-Man #14 marks Part 6 and the Finale of the 2014 debuting Spider-Verse event.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #15 hits stands on February 25, 2015 and is billed as a Spider-Verse Epilogue.
  • Lastly, there will be a 2015 debuting Spider-Verse as part of Secret Wars.

Now onto Paul Miranda’s review of the Amazing Spider-Man #14. Beware of spoilers!

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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 Review & Spoilers
“Spider-Verse, pt. 6: Web Warriors” (20 pages)
Story by: Dan Slott
Pencils by: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Olivier Coipel
Inks by: Wade von Grawbadger, Cam Smith & Livesay
Colors by: Justin Ponsor
Letters by: Chris Eliopoulos
Covers by: Giuseppe Camuncoli; Gabriele Dell’Otto; Jeff Wamester; Phil Noto
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
The six-part saga featuring every Spider-Man ever (not quite) comes to an official end. The title is an appropriate (and perhaps intentional) nod to the assemblage of arachnid adventurers.

Despite bits of suspense and dramatic tension as well as after months of eager anticipation, I am glad to see this over. I’m a bit disappointed that the story wasn’t more gripping than it could have and should have been. The overall arc was very disjointed at times trying to spotlight as many multiversal men, women, and animals as possible but it seems like Dan Slott bit off more than he can chew. There is an epilogue but most likely that’ll make the end of this issue a brief footnote.

The battle royale is to be expected. The Spider-Women are on the front lines engaging in warfare with Verna and her Hounds. In some respects the fast-and-furious pace doesn’t allow for logical playout nor does any action or interaction make much sense. There’s not even one worthy panel of the women showing their worth before Peter and his Spider-Army ‘port through. What the heck is it with Pete freaking out that Spider-Gwen has to fend off Goblins? Aside from the obvious answer, it belittles the newest player to hit the scene. He quickly takes back his doubt when she proves more than capable of taking down the menace. Just like that, Spider-Woman mentions that the Inheritors took away Silk. Convenient and contrived.

The Prophecy is about to take place. It’s bemusing that Daemos remarks Kaine’s monstrous husk. Pot, meet kettle. Daemos is distraught not just with Solus’ death but whether the Prophecy can be brought to fruition. Jannix shows a crystal containing their father’s life essence. All is not lost but with no cloning factory available, that will have to suffice. Morlun cuts in (get it?) and stabs Kaine’s lifeless body. His blood will stain the Great Web ensuring an end to all Spider-totems. Master Weaver is chained since he has now outlived his purpose. He utters grave warnings to Morlun: the entire Spider-Army is coming for him and his clan.

Morlun commands his siblings to fend off the ‘wretched’ Spiders. The ritual still requires the blood of two more. This time around the Inheritors’ mission is to exterminate. No prolonging hunts, no playing with their food, just the quickest of strikes. Enter the Web Warriors — Miles Morales (he even utters it!) and his motley crew. Otto makes a snooty remark about Pete putting all his faith in those ‘misfits’. Pete reminds him that as Spiders they are all misfits which is their common denominator. Ultimate Black Widow spots Kaine’s torn costume and swears vengeance. Spider-Ham interjects a bit of humor in an otherwise tense scene.

Morlun makes many eyebrow-raising designations about Silk. Her role in all this is bigger than she can imagine. Nevertheless, I love how she downplays it by stating “It’s all just blah, blah, blah…” What makes me cock an eyebrow even more is that he only cuts her hand. Why not go for the big kill? Looks like he’s saving that for baby Benjy, the youngest of the totems and the most innocent. What a savage Morlun is!! Benjy’s sacrifice will truly end the Spider-line. Master Weaver spews some ‘nonsense’ in a way that is wont of a mystic. How much more of a dirtbag can Morlun be? He sets off Peter when he calls the Army “vile little bugs”. Peter retorts with Morlun’s eagerness to cut into an infant. Peter, in trademark fashion, tries to get under Morlun’s skin by pointing out his evasion of him and persistent fear. Morlun won’t admit to it. Otto leads the charge by claiming Daemos. Just as he does, Daemos tears his mechanical appendages. Spider-Girl Mayday Parker delivers a swift kick enraged at the murder of her parents. She asks for some assistance as Uncle Ben Spidey spots a portal and decides to make a hasty retreat.

The turning point of the plot happens here! Karn, the prodigal Inheritor, has returned!! His clan believe that he’s there to add to the mix but aren’t they the fools! He’s disowned them and has another Spider-Army in tow. Morlun can’t contain himself. The ritual has been halted. He feels at a loss for words until Silk flatly tells him the obvious: the Web is already beginning to heal. Another surprise is around the corner — just as he’s about to stab the swaddling babe, Peter Porker comes out squealing (alright, I exaggerated there). I couldn’t help but chuckle at this. To see that little piggy in the buff is hi-larious!! Plus, Uncle Ben Spidey has redeemed himself since he was part of the bait-and-switch and safely whisked away his young namesake.

A third contingent arrives. This one is for the nerdiest of fans. Led by Spidey 2099, Leopardon has been repaired much to his Japanese handler’s delight. The tide turns extremely quickly. Mayday snatches Solus’ crystal out of Daemos’ hand and tightens her grip. Pete keeps egging on Morlun who is determined to retrieve Benjy since he knows of the hiding spot. Lastly, in a shocking (perhaps) turn of events, Otto extracts his ‘claws’ and impales the Master Weaver. Leave it to the Superior Spider-Man to tackle the problem head-on hands-on. The advantage is all yours, Otto! The Inheritors’ history, future, and reality is all threatened by this unexpected demise. Peter curses Otto for his wrong-doing. Heroes don’t kill. Ever. This is enough to jolt Mayday back to her senses. She simply wants justice, not vengeance. Daemos thanks her not realizing her altruism.

Morlun has gone past the deep end. He grabs Peter and begins to drain his life essence. The other Spiders want to intervene but Gwen realizes this is a tactic. Pete activates his teleporter and SWOOSH!! the two find themselves on Earth-3145: the one spot that is harmful to all Inheritors due to it being a radioactive wasteland. Peter proves to be the most Amazing of all Spider-Men. Morlun looks genuinely frightened here and in awe of what has transpired. Peter offers him the way to the shelter and suggests he run there. Unfortunately, Peter is too weak to move but a most appropriate lifeline webline snags him. Cindy saves the day. That really was a rapid rescue.

As cliché as this sounds, I truly didn’t see the outcome. Mercy is given to all the Inheritors. They are all shoved into that irradiated Earth. The very last panel really made my eyes pop out of their sockets. Despite their literal connection to each other with those pesky pheromones, is there a blossoming romance between Peter and Cindy?!? That’ll probably be addressed in the epilogue.

Dan Slott has tied the final thread on this culminating event. For all intents and purposes, some mysteries are left to linger so that the dangling plotlines be reserved for a later time. Be that as it may, I wish that the most enigmatic characters had been completely exposed. One being Karn. Why is his face obscured from view? Is he an alternate Spider-Man who was cast out because he is a black sheep and thus not really part of the bloodline?? The second being the Master Weaver. I see this character as a masculine take on Madame Web — as cryptic and eerie but of a different gender. He was literally connected to the Great Web. Thus, his death assuredly changes everything. Mr. Slott isn’t discarding Silk any time soon nor should he. The fact that she’s also promoted to her own on-going is a testament to her popularity.

To reiterate my earlier statement, this mini-epic had numerous hits-and-misses. That much was consistent in all six issues. I thoroughly enjoyed all the ‘little moments’ that made me crack a smile, made me gasp, or made me root out loud. This title belongs to and will always reflect Peter Parker but I was truly hoping to see more interaction between him and Otto. Despite the murderous act, Otto was on the back-burner from the halfway mark. Way too many characters were thrown into this ginormous stew. As such, there simply can’t be an even amount of screen time for each and every one of them. My final point: this last chapter should have been at least an extra ten pages. I was looking forward to more pathos, suspense, excitement, and proper character development.

Several characters require a big enough support crew, I suppose. It took two top name artists to work on this issue as well as three inkers but one colorist and one letterer?!? I can’t fathom the reason given that this was not a double-sized issue in the least. The end result is a hodgepodge quick-fix. I can easily spot the different renditions but couldn’t begin to tell you which inker did what. As I mentioned in my review of part one, Camuncoli is a regular fixture and far more reliable than his bigger-name counterpart. Giuseppe vividly portrays the Inheritors’ vampiric visages. He also draws a mean side of pork! *snort* Olivier Coipel contrasts Camuncoli’s rough pencils with more smooth lines. In other words, Peter just looks plain pretty. I find he’s under-utilized here and not really necessary since Giuseppe carries most of the weight.

Truthfully speaking, I don’t know who inked what but these gentlemen are just as essential to the production of this book. Well done!

Justin Ponsor must have hand his hand completely cramped by the end of this all-Spider jam. He fit in so many characters into every single page that he deserves a standing ovation.

Chris Eliopoulos is yet another one of the main players. He’s done every single issue except for #6. At any rate, I beamed at spotting the classic “THWIP”. Plus, nothing can be more eye-catching than that gigantic FWASHHHH on page 10. Mr. Eliopoulos handles the dialogue effortlessly.

Spiders, Spiders, Everywhere!!

There are 38, count ‘em! 38 Spider-individuals in total. Aside from the ones larger-than-life, see if you can spot the more obscure ones.

Team 1 – Peter, Otto, MayDay, Uncle Ben, Spider-Ham, and others in shadow joining Jessica and Gwen

Team 2 – Miles, Ultimate Jessica Drew, Peter from the Ultimate animated series, Spider-Mobile, Spider-Cowboy, Spider-Horse, Mini Marvels Spidey, FF Spider-Man

Team 3 – Ashely Barton, Pavitir, Spider-Punk, Anya, Spider-UK

Not to mention…Kaine (his corpse), Benjy, Silk, SP//dr, Mangaverse Spidey, Spidey 2099, Lady Spider, Leopardon, Tayuka Yamishiro the Japanese TV Spidey, a Spider-Wolverine (find him!!) and eight others!

And the Bleak Shall Inherit the Earth

The seven siblings are all shipped off to a radioactive wasteland with their patriarch encased in a scarlet shard.

Over and Under

Master Weaver, we hardly knew ye. For real!!!
Verna’s Hounds.

This event was hyped a bit more than it should have been. The ancillary reads are fun on their own (obviously) but for this particular crossover, cohesion was key. All threads should have been tightly connected and reverberated. The first chapter was a strong start. I find this final one to be tremulous. Never shake a spider from its web!!

I give this 6 web shots out of 10.
Spider-Man '67

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