The Spider-people of various universes have gathered, but the menace they face is greater than any of them have ever seen before. Will our Spider-Man survive? Will ANY of them? Your Major Spoilers review of Amazing Spider-Man #9 awaits!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Olivier Coipel/Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: With the revelation that there was ANOTHER person bitten by the radioactive spider that empowered him, Peter Parker’s life has been thrown into chaos. His worst foe, Morlun, has been traveling throughout the multiverse, murdering Spider-men (including the ‘Amazing Friends’ cartoon version and ‘1601’ Spidey, Peter Parquaugh) but has so far been afraid to return to our Spider-Man’s world, where he has been killed no fewer than three times.
Of course, that’s not withstanding Morlun’s big brother…
After a false start in which another Spider-Man is murdered, we meet the original Peter Parker, who is awakened by Silk (aka the Spider-Bride) whose very presence fills him with the urge to mate until they both explode. Taking their sexual tension out into the world to fight crime, they come across minor villain The Looter, only to find other spiders (Spider-Woman Jessica Drew, Anya Corazon, Spider-Man 2099, Mayday Parker and even the wondrous Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham) gathering with them, all realizing that something is coming. In Europe, the current Scarlet Spider (Peter’s clone Caine, a member of the New Warriors) is attacked by a mysterious foe who is, in actuality, Morlun’s older and more powerful sibling, come to Earth to kill more spiders in direct defiance of his brother’s wishes. It’s a busy issue that only gets busier with the appearance of Ben Reilly and even more Spiders, all of whom retreat to an alternate world where Peter Parker never gave up the Uni-Power of Captain Universe, and as we hit the cliffhanger, we even see Miles Morales and his world’s Scarlet Spider being hunted by another of Morlun’s clan. This issue has a LOT going on, perhaps a bit too much for my tastes, but it’s engaging anyway, especially in the second half where we learn even more about Morlun and his family, including the mysterious, unseen pater familias.
“SOMETHING WORSE THAN MORLUN IS COMING…”
Visually speaking, this issue is a real treat for me, as the cartoonish and lumpy work of Humberto Ramos is nowhere to be found, with the issue’s halves handled by the expressive Olivier Coipel and the exquisite Giuseppi Camuncoli, which means that the character’s have expressive faces and the backgrounds are detailed and add much to the story. Dan Slott has, by all reports, been working on this massive tale for years, and it seems he intends to leave no Spider unturned, with even the original Japanese Spider-Man making a cameo in these pages (in the “Great Web” of reality, a way to view and travel into alternate universes) and a clear intent to make this “Spiders On Infinite Earths” tale as memorable as possible. If this first chapter is any indicator, there’s a LOT of ground to be covered, including the still-absent Doctor Octopus, and the as-yet-unexamined assessment that Peter Parker is the greatest of them all. If nothing else, it’s fun based on sheer scope and spectacle, as well as the fact that the villains motivation is just “we gonna eat us some spiders, man!”
THE BOTTOM LINE: AN ENTERTAINING START
The entire premise of this story is one that has a massive meta tongue-in-cheek moment: Look how many alternate Spider-Man stories we’ve done! Clearly the death toll is not final, and I’m afraid that some of my favorites (Spider-Ham, Spider-Gwen, and even Ultimate Jessica Drew) might buy the farm in this crossover, enough so that I might have to keep reading the entire thing. Amazing Spider-Man #9 finally brings all the players together and kicks off Spider-Verse in style with a well-drawn, engaging issue featuring characters I never thought we’d see again, much less care about, earning a surprised and pleased 4 out of 5 stars overall. If we don’t see 60s cartoon Spidey and/or Leopardon by the time it’s all done, I’ll eat my hat…