The (Entire) Spider-Verse Review & Spoilers: Marvel Comics’ ASM To Scarlet Spiders To Spider-Woman & All Of It! Plus Amazing Spider-Man #15 Epilogue Preview!

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Spider-Verse

Last week the Spider-Verse story came to a conclusion in Amazing Spider-Man #14. However, this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #15 is billed as a Spider-Verse epilogue. A few interior teaser pages via a preview are below.

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Regarding the issues that precede Amazing Spider-Man #15, Spider-Verse was a dimension spanning epic that comprised twenty comic books, that included the core spider title (Amazing Spider-Man), two ongoing  books (Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Woman) and three limited series (Spider-Verse, Scarlet Spiders and Spider-Verse Team-Up). In addition, some key setup was established in earlier Amazing Spider-Man issues.

While this iteration of the Spider-Verse storyline has come to an end, if you want more, “a” Spider-Verse returns in Secret Wars.

So what was Spider-Verse all about?

Spider-verse Review & Spoilers follow.

Morlun and his family (collectively known at the Inheritors) are traveling through dimensions feeding on spider-people. Additionally, they’re in search of three specific spider-totems, who if sacrificed together, will ensure the Inheritors remain in power forever. The three totems are Kaine (The Other), Silk (The Bride) and Benjy Parker (The Scion). According to a prophecy, spider-people will eventually lead to the downfall of the Inheritors. Conversely, eliminating all present spiders, and sacrificing the three specific totems will stop future spider-people from appearing, and thus preventing the prophecy.

Funny thing about prophecies though– the very act of preventing them, usually is the key to making them come true . . .

Before going any further, I need to get this out off my chest: I never liked Morlun, and now the same goes for his family. Most memorable comic book villains, especially Spidey baddies have something interesting, redeemable or likeable going on for them.   The Inheritors, on the other hand, are simply an all-powerful, weirdo, aristocrat family.  Despite all their abilities, I just find them largely boring.  Worse, there’s six Inheritors, and for the most part, they’re all pretty much interchangeable.

Nope, don’t like them. Ok, now that I’ve got that out-of-the-way, it’s on to the recap!

The Comics

Things get started off in Amazing Spider-Man 9. Here spider-people start gathering together, in order to defend themselves against the threat posed by Morlun’s family. Already spiders in other dimensions have been massacred pretty much without effort, and the consensus is our Peter Parker is the one person capable of leading a fight for survival against the Inheritors.

My thoughts: I was a bit skeptical of the Spider-Verse concept, but Amazing 9 hooked me right away with its huge cast of Spider-characters and action. The story immediately feels epic.

Things continue to roll in Amazing Spider-Man 10. Spiders continue to gather, and we discover there are two distinct groups: one led by Peter Parker and another by Doc Ock (Superior Spider-Man). As the two sides discuss the threat, the Inheritors arrive to conduct a surprise attack. Ock is prepared though, and his tactics and leadership result in the death of Morlun’s big brother, Daemos. As the Superior Spider-Man naturally gloats, Daemos, miraculously and quickly reappears. Death and destruction follow with several spider-people going down. As the book ends, it’s revealed the Inheritors aren’t just ultra-powerful, but also able to cheat death through cloning. In addition, both Amazing and Superior Spider-Man claim leadership over the gathered groups of spiders.

My thoughts: Things move pretty briskly in this issue. Also, Doc Ock’s joining this war with the Inheritors is a welcome addition. A pragmatic and confident character is a nice contrast to Peter Parker’s less violent and unsure leadership.

Parker and Ock face off in the beginning of Amazing Spider-Man 11, with Peter finally getting some payback on Ock for stealing his body a couple of years ago. Shortly after their fight, a brief, but key introduction of the Inheritor’s wayward brother, Karn is shown. Just as quickly though, the story returns to the gathered spiders’ “safe zone”, where the Inheritors, to include their father, Solus appear for another fight. The battle between the two sides is another massacre, as more spiders die, most notably the Captain Universe version of Spider-Man. As the spiders flee, things get even worse when Mayday Parker’s infant brother, Benjy, is captured and taken back to the Inheritors’ home world for use in an upcoming ritual.

My thoughts: Pretty depressing issue with everything going wrong for the good guys.  I understand Solus is important, but it seems kind of insane that he defeated somebody wielding the Power Cosmic in only a few seconds.

Following all the downers occurring in the previous issue, a few positives take place in Amazing Spider-Man 12. Japanese Spider-Man, piloting a giant robot, stalls Solus enough for the remaining spiders to escape certain death. In the meantime, Silk discovers an post-nuclear version of Earth where the Inheritors cannot follow due to their vulnerability to radiation . More spider-people are gathered to replace the ones lost in Amazing 11. Jessica Drew receives crucial information that details the prophecy the Inheritors are attempting to crush. Oh yeah, and the issue ends with the irradiated world’s spider-totem, Uncle Ben’s introduction.

My thoughts: Plot heats up as the spiders gain some hope in their fight. Not sure if the Uncle Ben reveal should be bigger or not, but it’s hard to get excited over it.

Relatively safe in the irradiated world Silk discovered, the spiders regroup in Amazing Spider-Man 13.   Things are going horribly bad though as the Inheritors have the three spider-totems needed to prevent the Prophecy and end all spider-totems forever. The only true plus, and by far the most satisfying moment of the issue is Kaine killing Solus.

My thoughts: Felt good finally seeing one of these boring Inheritors go down. Sadly, giving Solus an easy way to return sometime in the future cheapens this moment and Kaine’s sacrifice.

In Amazing Spider-Man 14, despite Solus’s death, the Inheritors claim a big victory by killing Kaine, and acquiring the final Spider-totem needed to end all future spider people. Peter leads his remaining forces to the Inheritor’s world, where they manage to delay the Inheritor’s sacrifice of Silk and Benjy Parker. Still, the battle seems destined to go bad until Karn arrives to aid the spiders against his family. Ock kills the Master Weaver, which all but ends the Inheritor’s power over other dimensions. Despite failing to end the prophecy, Morlun nearly kills Peter, until the two teleport to the irradiated world, rendering the velvet wearing fella helpless. With the spiders victorious, the remaining Inheritors are exiled with Morlun to post-nuclear Earth world.

My thoughts: Not a bad ending to a good saga. The angry person inside me wishes the Inheritors would have suffered some more vengeance for their evil, but I understand the deal with good guys not killing people.  Kind of sweet final page with an exhausted Peter resting in Silk’s arms.

A quick recap of the Spider-Verse stories occurring outside of Amazing Spider-Man:

Spider-Man 2099. Maybe the most useful of all the background stories. Here Miguel and Lady Spider (Steampunk Spider-Woman) experiment to discover the Inheritors’ weaknesses, along with rebuilding XXXX’s spider-mech for use in the final battle. The one problem I have is that Peter Parker has known Morlun’s vulnerability to radiation since their very first meeting. Not only that, but Silk discovered it herself when porting into the irradiated, post-nuclear Earth.

Spider-Woman. First, let me say, I love Jessica Drew. I love the first three issue’ supporting cast: Silk, Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man Noir. Unfortunately, the key plot points here already appeared in previous or concurrent issues of Amazing Spider-Man.   Still, I like the character, the writer and art in this book, so I’ll be sticking around for future issues of Spider-Woman!

Scarlet Spiders. This three issue series ranks next to Spider-Man 2099 in value. A pretty tight storyline featuring Kaine, an alternate version of Ben Reilly and the Ultimate version of Jessica Drew infiltrating and destroying the Inheritor’s cloning facility. This event is crucial in the eventual fall of the Inheritors.  Key moment here is Kaine heading to the Inheritor’s home world to get vengeance for Ben Reilly’s death.

Spider-Verse. Huge mixed bag of good and bad in these two issues. Variety of stories presented here will appeal to some, and annoy others. Skipping this miniseries will not cause any problem in following the main story. Highlights: Hostess Advertisement Spider-Man, Newspaper Comic Strip Spider-Man and Videogame Spider-Man.

Spider-Verse Team-Up. Not much going on here either. Still, some decent stories. 1960’s Cartoon Spider-Man’s story in particular is a gem. In addition, Gerry Conway has a story where Spider-Gwen meets up with a Peter Parker who became the Goblin following an alternate Gwen’s death.

What to look for coming out of Spider-Verse.

Peter Parker versus Doc Ock. Amazing versus Superior. Knowing that his past self lost to Peter Parker can’t sit well with a man of Ock’s ego. Now that the Inheritor threat is gone, odds are he’s already plotting to undo the past. Whether that plays out now or over time is the question.  I’m kind of split in that I like the character, but I’d prefer to see Ock go back to being . . . well, Doctor Octopus, rather than Superior Spider-Man. Either way, “THE DIE HAS BEEN CAST!”

Spider-Women. Lots of Spider-Women. Spider-women old and new stood out during the event. Of course, Jessica Drew already has her own book to go along with a strong presence in the Marvel Universe, but now we also have Silk and Spider-Gwen grabbing some positive attention. Both characters have books coming out this month. In addition, Lady Spider a.k.a. Steam Punk Spider-Woman made quite the impression, and seems destined, or at least deserving, of her own limited series. At least I wouldn’t mind seeing her tangle with the Six Men of Sinestry again. Last, but not least, cult favorite May-Day Parker, the true Spider-Girl, in my opinion could use a new run in publication. She seemed to drive a lot of the plot during Spider-Verse, so hopefully Marvel sees some value in giving her some more spotlight.

When do the Inheritors ooze their way back? Finger crossed that they won’t. There were great pains in making sure Morlun and his family was left alive. Even Solus who “died” was given a relatively easy way back to the living.

Kaine. Does the Cool Spider-Man Return? Great power, great responsibility. Heroes don’t kill. I get it, but I still enjoy me some good old-fashioned righteous vengeance. I liked Kaine’s sacrifice and going out with an impressive “kill” over the Inheritor’s all powerful daddy. I never really paid much attention to Kaine, outside of the MC2 Spider-Girl stories, but here’s hoping that he makes a miraculous, and well explained comeback in the near future.

The Future Status-Quo. Secret Wars is coming, and everything in the Marvel Universe . . . sigh . . . will be reset. Marvel already has the plan in place, and all we can do is wait for it to unfold. Over the last couple of years Peter Parker has already been screwed with enough to varying results (Brand New Day: Bad. Superior Spider-Man: Kind of Good). Part of me can’t believe they’d take another wrecking ball so soon to Spider-Man, but that’s probably naive thinking on my part. Is Peter Parker going to get through the next few months, or will he be replaced? Every time I open Yahoo, there’s seemingly a new article discussing the positives of Miles Morales. I have this nagging fear that Disney/Marvel will jump at a chance to give us a more diverse Spider-Man.

Final Thoughts and Verdict

Another major event has come and gone. Unfortunately, we’ll only get a month or so to catch our breath before the next one comes along with Secret Wars. I wouldn’t mind getting back to some classic Spidey, but that’s not in the cards.

As for Spider-Verse, I won’t complain if Morlun and his velvet clad family never appear again. I’m quite happy imagining them annoying each other for eternity in that fallout bunker they were banished to.

Despite my dislike of the Inheritors, Dan Slott put together a damn good story. Amazing Spider-Man 9 – 15 are definite recommendations. The miniseries’ outside of that are shippable, as they really add little to the story.

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