[Comic Review] Spider-Mania! — The Amazing Spider-Man #10

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The gathering of Spiders continues as another group led by the Superior Spider-Man — because time travel — plans its own strategy for taking down the Inheritors.

After rescuing Miles Morales and Jessica Drew — the Spider-Totems of Earth-1610 — from Verna’s hunting party, Superior Spidey brings them home to Spider-Man 2099’s Earth. When Peter Parker and several of the other Spiders from the Safe Zone pay a visit, the meeting’s interrupted by a very hungry Daemos.

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The Inheritor is quickly overwhelmed by the Spiders, and the Superior Spider-Man gets the killing blow. The victory is short-lived, however. The Spiders are attacked within minutes by more Inheritors, including another Daemos.

Whaaaaat?

The Amazing Spider-Man #10 is pretty straightforward in plot as events unfold at a snappy pace. What isn’t very clear is the dialogue with the myriad Spider-Peoples getting their say. It took me several read-throughs to connect the dots and figure out which responses fit which statements. That sort of ruined the overall experience, but the issue was fun nonetheless, and it’s worth the cover price.

In terms of scope, Dan Slott’s making it very clear that he’s going big by including Spiders of all sorts of animal-shapes, sizes, and genders. If the last issue wasn’t overwhelming, get ready to meet Spider-Monkey of Earth-8101, Assassin Spider-Man of Earth-8351, and Spider-Punk of Earth-138. Adding to that the two Jessica Drews, a handful of Spiders from Earth-616, and a ton — literally — of Peter Parkers with varying costumes and hairstyles from the other parallel universes, The Amazing Spider-Man #10 feels like The Amazing Spider-Man 10,000.

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And if Slott had a 10,000 issues, he might not have enough panels for all of the Spiders up to Earth-807128 where Ashley Barton, Spider-Woman, hails from. Barton’s first appearance was in an Old Man Logan story, and her inclusion in the Spider-Verse doesn’t feel random. Neither do any of the other Spiders filling the pages — each one either stands alone or represents an era or important story from Spider-Man’s 51-year run. In that way, this current Spider-Verse story arc feels like an homage in a beautiful way.

And if we’re going to talk about important stories, we have to bring up the one that brought Spider-Man to its lowest of lows — the Clone Saga. What began as an interesting and exciting story arc turned into a farce when Peter was revealed to be a clone of the original Spider-Man who was presumed killed. Marvel backtracked, but the damage was done as sales for Spider-Man issues hit bottom. That clones would be an answer to the question of Daemos’ second appearance this issue raises a flag, and though I’m not sure whether the emphasis on clones is coincidental or deliberate, I think it could be a sign of something.

Regardless of conjecture, it’s pretty amazing to see how many different Spider-Totems Olivier Coipel can fit into his panels. Coipel’s pencils are polished, though a few — a very minor few — of his panels get a little abstract and hard to decipher. It’s a tiny gripe that’s a microscopic piece of dust on a colossal artistic endeavor packed with characters, action, and details.

I especially loved the inks and colors by Wade Von Grawbadger and Justin Ponsor. I know of Grawbadger and Ponsor’s work from their stint on All-New X-Men, and their work here further cements their status as two of my favorite finishers. Ponsors deep reds and solid blues are the perfect tones for the various Spider costumes. With Grawbadger’s inks setting the artwork into place, the pages are filled with artwork that will likely fetch mucho dinero on the original art market.

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In closing, The Amazing Spider-Man #10 is a double-edged sword that’s a perfect example of not being able to eat your cake and have it too. You can fault it for what it lacks while cheering with glee at what you gain as a consequence. On the one hand, we don’t get much characterization, but we get plenty of characters. We don’t get Morlun, but there’s the Superior Spider-Man leading the charge. One important character dies, but the reveal of his identity immediately garners trust for what he’s about to tell Peter. It’s all very ironic, and if you can see the glass as pretty full, you won’t be sad that this cola’s diet — the taste depends on what you prefer.


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The Amazing Spider-Man #10 (2014)
[usr 4]
Words: Dan Slott
Pencils: Olivier Coipel
Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: chris eliopoulos

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