The Spider-Verse has been building up to a major battle between the Spider-Totems of the multiple universes and the Inheritors, a family of hunters who feed off the essence of other living beings.
Morlun, the first Inheritor introduced to the Marvel Universe during J. Michael Straczynski’s run, took on Earth-616’s Spider-Man only to be defeated when Peter Parker injected himself with radiation. Feeding on an impure Spider-Man, Morlun became poisoned and was then betrayed by his own henchman who delivered the killshot.
That was years ago, and Morlun’s back along with the rest of his family — dressed in Classical-chiq and living the high-life on Earth-001 where they jump to the different dimensions through the Master Weaver’s web.
Morlun’s taken out several Spiders already, saving Earth-616 for last. It’s been pretty obvious he’s gone out of his way to steer clear of that dimension, and it’s piqued the curiosity of his older brother, the hedonite Daemos.
The Spiders at large have become privy to the Inheritors existence and have begun gathering the remaining Spider-Men, Women, and Pigs who haven’t been killed or taken for the feast. One-on-one against an Inheritor, the Spiders have proven to be defenseless against their more powerful adversaries. In large numbers, they might stand a chance, but they’ll need three of Earth-616’s Spiders to stand a chance.
When they learn of Daemos’ trip to Earth-616, teams are sent on rescue missions to save Scarlet Spider (The Other), Silk (The Bride), and Parker (The Scion). One of the teams arrives just in time as Kaine becomes food for Daemos, and they escape back to Earth-13 where Peter’s brought up to speed on what’s been going on in the multiverse and also of the battle to come. When the unassuming Parker wonders why he’s so important, they tell him he’s the greatest Spider of all.
Meanwhile, Lady Verna begins her hunt on Earth-610, home to Miles Morales and Jessica Drew.
Filling in readers who haven’t kept up with the other Spider-Verse and tie-ins and issues, not to mention the various titles for the other Spiders, is a daunting task that could have resulted in a convoluted mess of an issue, but Dan Slott handles it very well. There’s plenty of explication to keep you in the know, but it works because readers should be invested in what’s going on and will be thanks to a script that keeps the dialogue natural and a pace that doesn’t lose its drive.
I was really excited to see Olivier Coipel on art duties, and Justin Ponsor is among the best colorists working in comics. Together, they deliver some seriously beautiful panels that channel Spider-Man in his various shapes and forms with plenty of bombast.
The Amazing Spider-Man #9 feels epic, and though the premise felt a little over-the-top, it works because of the way it’s handled. Slott brings us a super-squad of Spiders with familiar faces, and the ones we don’t fully recognize aren’t lost because we know them in some shape or form because of their connection to a hero or Spider-Man plot point from the past. There’s Spider-Ham and the Cosmic Spider-Man that never lost his powers. There’s also Gwen Stacy who Parker meets for the first time, and the moment, which lasts just one panel, feels incredibly loaded.
The Spider-Verse is the real deal, and if future issues can keep up the urgency and deliver some great moments within the title, readers who’re limited to just The Amazing Spider-Man won’t feel left out. So far, Slott and crew have given us a great issue that’s crammed with characters and their histories, and the multiverse of the Spiders feels so heavy it could branch out from the Marvel Universe for its own set of titles.
The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (2014)
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Words: Dan Slott
Art: Olivier Coipel
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos