Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Oliver Coipel and Giuseppe Camuncoli
Spider-Verse is finally here, the story that’ll bring together every Spider-Man ever. After tons of build-up within back-up stories and spin-offs we finally get to witness the event every spider-man fan has been waiting for. Luckily, this debut chapter is a strong start to what looks like a highly promising arc.
This issue really springboards off the groundwork that has been laid so far allowing for a very quick start to the story following a grim opening. Having already established the villains in other material we get to skip lots of the usual set-up of big events that bog this stuff down, while still managing to keep the big points relatively new-reader friendly (it really isn’t too hard to understand the villains motivations even if you don’t know them). What is a little less reader friendly is the inclusion of Silk’s ongoing story and other elements dating back to Superior Spider-Man; I personally like the inclusion of prior ongoing elements as it makes the story feel natural rather than a marketing stunt however I feel I should mention for potential new readers you might want to read up on some of the book’s recent developments before jumping in.
Apart from that, the rest of the story is great and manages to include lots of the traditional series humour even amidst the grim story nature. I especially appreciated some of the self-deprecating humour in regards to just how many Spider-Men there are these days (a common complaint amongst fans). It’s good to see even amongst a much more epic, darker story than usual that Slott remembers the appeal of The Amazing Spider-Man is fun and humour. The back-up story however is a much creepier story which further fleshes out the villains and makes them a highly intimidating force. It builds a really big sense of dread that hopefully will be paid off when they get their chance in the spotlight.
Oliver Coipel tackles art duties for the majority of this issues and brings his usual incredibly high calibre of art. It’s a much different style than we’re used to on the book, though one that suits the epic nature of this story. When the different Spider-Men start showing up things just look incredible; each version of Spidey looks visually distinct and interesting. No two Spider-Men in the same panel look alike, and each makes me want to learn more about that character. Camuncoli returns to Spider-Verse for the back-up story and his art looks just as great as it did during all the previous stuff, as I’ve previously stated, his harsher style suits the nature of the story. There is also one particular section of this back-up story which I won’t spoil, but will have fans pouring over for ages looking for easter eggs. It was definitely the highlight of the issue.
In conclusion, Spider-Verse is off to a strong start and is definitely something every Spider-Fan should be looking into. There’s some very strong talent behind this book and the best is yet to come. With the promise of “every spider-man ever” I can’t wait to see who turns up next.