By now you probably know the drill: there’s an ominous threat looming, forcing a bunch of different Spider-people from various dimensions to team up, fight the big bad, and restore the multiverse. Something along those lines. Edge of Spider-Verse is the miniseries that leads into the next, and supposedly last, chapter of the saga, this fall’s ominously-titled “End of the Spider-Verse.” Like the previous events, this series follows a few known Spider-folks (or Totems) while introducing a new batch of heroes, who may or may not end up as collateral damage.
Each of the four chapters is handled by a different creative team, and while they each have their moments, certain stories fare better than others. Tying everything together is colorist Brian Reber, whose work here is excellent as always, and letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, who manages to match the different tone of each chapter perfectly.
The issue starts out on a high note in “Something Wicked This Way Comes, which introduces us to Donald MacGargan, aka the Sensational Spider-Laird. Written by Spider-Verse architect Dan Slott with art by Martin Coccolo, we meet the Scottish hero fighting off a pair of British soldiers attempting to steal a goat. At only three pages long, this serves as an enjoyable, albeit vague opening to the event and to a character who could easily stand out among his peers with a unique look and fun personality.
“The Hero Within” is the issue’s main story, focusing on Anya Corazon, aka Arana, the youngest and oft-ignored member of the 616 Spider-family. Thanks to a team-up of sorts with Madame Web, Arana’s adventure does the best job of shedding some light on the upcoming threat our heroes will face. She also manages to get a new costume that, as she perfectly describes, is an excellent throwback to her first appearance along with some modern sensibilities. Writer Alex Segura does a fine job of handling the main story but it’s marred by some inconsistent art. Artist Caio Majado does an excellent job with most of the action scenes and his depiction of Arana swinging across the city is poster-worthy, however there are a number of scenes that are oddly-framed and don’t always match the narrative. Anya in particular appears awkward in most of her out-of-costume scenes, as do most of the civilians throughout.
The breakout star of this issue arrives in the titular “SPIDER-REX!!!” by writer Karla Pacheco and artist Pere Perez. While the idea of a dinosaur-totem is awesome, this entry is at once the weirdest, most fun and, in some ways, the weakest of the entire issue. While Perez’ art is truly fantastic, the story itself is all over the place, literally. The narrative skips around almost senselessly as we get snippets of Spider-Rex’s origin, interspersed with a weird body-swap, and an epic fight with a Green Goblin-esque pteranodon. There are moments of sheer, goofy brilliance, such as seeing a t-rex firing webs from his tiny arms and a truly laugh-out-loud final panel but the odd story choices threaten to overshadow the fun.
Lastly, we catch up with the dark and gritty Spider-Man Noir in “My Dame…My Destiny”. This chapter by Dustin Weaver and DJ Bryant takes the black-garbed crimefighter back to his seedy origins in a tale of mystery, betrayal, and weirdness that reveals another potential enemy (or two) that our heroes will have to face before the dust clears on the upcoming event. It also promises a new status quo for Spidey Noir that his inter- dimensional friends will not see coming.
Edge of Spider-Verse
- Writers: Dan Slott, Alex Segura, Karla Pacheco, Dustin Weaver
- Artists: Martin Coccola, Caio Majado, Pere Perez, DJ Bryant
- Colorist: Brian Reber
- Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
- Editors: Nick Lowe, Devin Lewis
- Publisher: Marvel Comics