Edge of Spider-Geddon #2

 Lonnie Nadler & Zac Thompson, based on a story by Gerard Way
Artist: Alberto Albuquerque
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Jake Wyatt

Publisher: Marvel Comics

A review by Nico Sprezzatura.

Ahead of her big-screen debut in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse later this year, Peni Parker —pilot of the SP//dr mecha— returns to the pages of Marvel Comics with this week’s Edge of Spider-Geddon #2. It’s been a while since we saw Peni; does her latest adventure make up for such a long absence?

Introduced in 2014 as part of the Spider-Verse crossover event, you could easily summarize SP//dr as “Spider-Man meets Pacific Rim.” In a world (specifically Earth-14512!) where giant kaijus wreck havoc on New York City, teen engineer Peni Parker has inherited the SP//dr mecha suit from her late father. When the Inheritors —vampire-like mutates— began hunting Spider-People throughout the multiverse, Peni was recruited to help fend them off.

That’s more or less where we find Peni at the start of Edge of Spider-Geddon #2. Some time has passed since the events of Spider-Verse, and she’s still getting the hang of superhero business. After she rejects a new transfer student named Addy Brock (sound familiar?) who excitedly asks about the SP//dr suit, Peni soon faces a new threat who may be more than she can handle on her own — and that’s before Spider-Ham comes back into the picture with another Spider-Versal offer she can’t refuse.

Despite her cult following, there hasn’t been much of Peni Parker in the Marvel Universe since her first (and last) appearances, so her involvement in the upcoming Spider-Geddon (and Edge of Spider-Geddon #2) is very exciting to some.

Co-created by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way —who gets a story credit here— you kinda get the idea that Marvel had bigger plans for her moving forward from Spider-Verse, had Spider-Gwen (another Spider-Verse creation) not become a sleeper hit first. While I’m a fan of that version of the character as well, something about SP//dr seems more fresh and distinct enough from the Spider-Man we already know.

Thankfully, Edge of Spider-Geddon #2 should remind people why Peni Parker is such a viable protagonist who could easily lead a spinoff set within her specific universe. Writers Lonnie Nadler & Zac Thompson (recently of Cable) expand the world of Earth-14512 with the addition of aforementioned classmate Addy Brock, who we soon find suiting up as VEN#m, a mech comparable to SP//dr that’s powered by a psychogenetic “sym engine.” Needless to say, things go very wrong for everybody involved. But there’s also another familiar wrinkle to the Spider-Man mythos that gets explored in this issue — I won’t say what it is, but Peni very well may learn that with great power… you know the rest.

Similarly to writers Nadler and Thompson, Edge of Spider-Geddon #2 boasts a new art team in the form of Alberto Albuquerque and Triona Farrell, replacing Jake Wyatt and Ian Herring. The latter’s animesque art was perhaps my favorite part of the original SP//dr story, so I was disappointed to learn they wouldn’t be returning for this one-off.

However! Albuquerque and Farrell do an admirable job of approximating the visuals of Peni’s initial appearance. Much like Edge of Spider-Verse #5, the visuals here are bright, colorful, and full of energy. There’s especially a wide palette of color here, from the warm reds of dusktime scenes to the sickly black and green of the VEN#m mecha. If Marvel has any plans for a SP//dr ongoing title, everybody attached to this one-shot would be more than suitable for the job.

The Verdict: Read it!
Bringing back a cult favorite Spider-Person from publication purgatory, Edge of Spider-Geddon #2 is a fun one-off adventure that rewards your patience.

Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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