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Review: Spider-Verse #3

Spider-Verse003Of all of the big crossovers to tie into the Secret Wars event for the summer, Spider-Verse is maybe the strangest of all of them.  The theme of Secret Wars has been to resurrect the old crossovers and to put them into the Secret Wars context, but Spider-Verse was in itself a very intricate and layered crossover as well, one which employed the use of every Spider-Man that had ever been written from across the multiverse.  It gave us a new version of the old Spider-Woman and two new Spider-Womans (all of whom are absent here) but it was also sometimes confusing and overly complicated.  It is also the most recent of crossovers, so the memories of it are still pretty fresh in the collective minds of the readers, which means it has a lot to compete with.

If this series has anything going for it, it is that it at least doesn’t dwell too much on all of that, neither of the ties to Spider-Verse nor of the ties to Secret Wars.  There is still a lot of Spider-people in this book, from regular Peter Parker all the way to Spider-Ham, but the focus remains on the threat posed by the Sinister Six.  As they came up against these villains, the heroes realize that they are ill-equipped to deal with them.  Although Spider-Man has handled them alone on several occasions, this proves that less might be more, as six Spider-Mans are ineffective in taking them down, and they are subsequently brought before Norman Osborne.  This segment ties in more closely to the Secret Wars crossover, yet still leaves it at a safe distance.  Instead the issue goes back to focusing on Gwen Stacey, one of the fan favorites of the past year and one of the characters pretty much guaranteed to return to the post-Secret WArs landscape at Marvel.

Secret Wars has been really effective at times in putting together fun takes on old stories, but it has also fallen a bit flat with others.  That Spider-Verse is so fresh hinders it, but the series doesn’t really dwell on it either, instead giving us what is essentially a fairly average comic, except for a few deeper moments with Gwen.  The first half of the issue might have easily been lifted from a comic from the 1980s, and it is only with Gwen towards the end that there is any redeeming material here.  It is fun at times, and a bit of a disappointment, but it at least provides some hope for an interesting resolution with the plot development at the end.

Story:  Mike Costa Art: Andre Araujo 
Story: 6.8 Art: 6.8 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass