Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 is filled with jokes, sexual tension, gross out gags, and slightly self-aware supervillains galore all from the wacky mind palace of Deadpool legend (and basically daddy) Joe Kelly. Ed McGuinness and Mark Morales’ art is slick with a side of disgusting and helps the story move on at a bouncy pace. There may be an overreliance on bathroom humor due to this issue’s villain, but there’s also jokes about Uber’s labor practices and some great puns for folks whose eyebrows are glued on higher than the rest of us. Early on, there seems to be a gap between the Hydro Man battle and Deadpool accidentally teleporting him and Dormammu to Hell, but by the final page all his revealed along with the series’ hook. It’s another Deadpool redemption story, but this time with Spider-Man as his goofy guardian angel. But his path isn’t as simple as that last sentence. (Deadpool does have a handy morality choosing gadget that is McGuinness’ best visual funny.)
For some reason, Marvel Comics has always treated Spider-Man a lot like the Knicks treated Patrick Ewing. In Spider-Man, Marvel has their most iconic and globally recognized property, yet they seem to do everything humaely possible to undermine the character’s appeal and success. At times, it almost appears that Marvel is content to surround the Spider-Man franchise with mediocrity and controversy. From trying to convince readers that Peter Parker was actually a clone and replacing him as Spider-Man with Ben Reilly, to turning him into a giant spider every 8 years or so, Marvel can’t help but fuck up the Spider-Man mythos every once and a while. There was that time Peter’s long-thought-dead parents returned, when in actuality they were robots programmed to kill him, there was also The Gathering of Five storyline where some kind of cultish gathering happens, but doesn’t really, and then there was Spider-Man: Chapter One, which is so bad that even DC pretends that it doesn’t exist. The one thing that all of these stories have in common is that they were released during the 1990s, or as comic book fans like to call it: “The Dark Years”.
Dan Slott is back, delivering a tale of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s struggle to maintain their family in the face of Secret Wars. However, references to Hickman’s massive event are non-existent. Instead, Dan Slott creates a dystopian world, reminiscent of the worlds of Orwell and Huxley, where supervillains hunt superheroes in the name of a despotic overlord. Despite the departure from the Manhattan that Spidey traditionally swings through, Dan Slott proves that he’s still more than capable of telling a story that puts the wall-crawler’s heart and determination on full display.
At East Coast Comicon, comics historian and researcher of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe Peter Sanderson, former Uncanny X-Men editor and Daredevil writer Ann Nocenti, and former Amazing Spider-Man editor Jim Salicrup chatted and swapped stories about what Marvel was really like in the 1980s.
Well, it’s finally over. After six months and nearly thirty books, including set-up and tie-in issues, “Spider-Verse” has finally come to an end. After putting an end to the Inheritor threat, the remaining Spiders get a chance to find their way home and get back to their lives. But before they can do that, there’s a last bit of convoluted exposition to wade through before Peter Parker – and the readers – can move on.
After being forced to flee from the Inheritors at every turn, the army of Spider-People finally gets a chance to take the fight directly to their pursuers. This is the final battle, the last stand against an unstoppable force. Can the Spiders save themselves before the Inheritors carry out their master plan?
Having a black character with a conscience and a heart was a pretty big thing for the late 60s in comics: a refreshing human portrayal compared to a lot of other supporting characters that existed at the time. He truly plays such a key role in the development of Peter’s life that his name deserves to be compared to the likes of Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Robbie is one of those characters that cause the likes of not only Peter to smile, but the reader as well.
The penultimate chapter of “Spider-Verse” begins with the ragtag band of Spiders scattered and lost. However, having perhaps finally found a safe refuge from the Inheritors, they find a Spider-Totem tied to Peter’s personal history unlike any other. But can an army of Spider-Men fight back against the greatest enemy of all – a plot so wrapped up in itself it forgets it’s own potential?
Picking up immediately after the big reveal of last issue, part 4 of “Spider-Verse” begins with Solus, the father and apparent leader of the Inheritors, kidnapping Mayday Parker’s baby brother Benjy, proclaiming him to be the “Scion” foretold in their prophecies. After the deaths of several Spider-People, and a very literal deus ex machina, our heroes manage to escape by the skin of their teeth. But all this running is useless unless they can come up with a plan to put the Inheritors to bed for good.