I also love me some Spider-Man, though not to the lengths Jimmy does. I gave up on Spidey’s comic adventures not long after someone decided he didn’t need to be married for reasons that never seemed more than stupid to me. Apparently, I’ve missed some good stuff since then. Anyway, I decided to rectify that a bit by going through the massive Spider-Verse trade.
The Spider-Verse storyline was billed as an epic adventure that would feature every version of Spider-Man ever. Did they miss any? If they did, they came pretty damn close. I didn’t see the Marvel Zombie’s Spider-Man, and then there were legal issues on a couple that they danced around in some cases by referencing Spider-Men they couldn’t use in oblique ways, but yeah, every Spider-Man possible was in this story including some that were clearly set up as jokes.
The basic plot has the Inheritors, all of them, scourging the multiverse of every Spider-Man everywhere. One on one, individual Inheritors are much mightier than any and all Spider-Men. Heck, a single Inheritor like Morlun can take on whole teams of superheroes and prevail without getting a single hair out of place. The story opens with numerous alternate Earth Spider-Men being killed by one Inheritor or another, and sometimes having allies taken down as well. Only one Spider-Man has ever stopped an Inheritor. That would be Peter Parker of Earth-616. Can he lead the other Spiders to victory before they’re all dead? And will Superior Spider-Man let him even try?
This is very much a “shut off your brain and enjoy the spectacle” storyline. If you’ve ever wanted to see the animated Spider-Men of 1967 and 2015 interact, this is for you. It’s fun, it’s zippy, and it’s a great Spider-Man story.
My only real objection is that the trade includes some side bar adventures featuring Spider-Woman, Spider-Man 2099, and a few others in the back of the book. Sticking them in the back isn’t a bad thing on its own. Not including them at all would be much worse. But sometimes events from the back influenced events from the front, leaving the main story to look somewhat incomplete. Still, this was actually a rarity: a massive Marvel trade that felt like it was worth it. Eight and a half extra Peter Parkers out of ten.