Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Mark Bagley, John Dell, Edgar Delgado, and VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 5th, 2022
Well Spider-fans, it appears as though the End of the Spider-Verse is finally here! The Great Morlun is back and appears to be aligned with some of the most fierce people in the Spider-Verse out to get… (you guessed it) Spider-Man! However, with Peter now working for Norman Osborn, does he deserve this retribution? Let’s swing into Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott and Mark Bagley as Spidey’s 60th Anniversary kicks off another tale to be remembered by two Spider-Man greats.
Slott quickly catches fans up with the new status quo, Pete’s connection with Osborn, his new suit, and the insanity that is society as of late. Moreover, the public seems numb to the vigilante-superhero-ing as of late. People literally stand around and take pictures of the fight instead of taking cover brushing things off by assuming Spider-Man will save them. It’s a pretty clever dig by Slott at our culture today and somewhat emphasizes a few societal changes that are taking place even within comics.
Another aspect of the Spider-Man #1 I liked was that Slott didn’t forget about the two-bit criminals when the real action began from Loomworld. The terror spider-wasps would have killed those goons if he left them there. So, Slott doesn’t overlook his surroundings within the story and connects the subtlest elements together giving him definite points from this reviewer.
Additionally, I think fans will have a field day as they see the Spider-cameos sprinkled throughout. Nevertheless, Spider-Man #1 moves fast. The battle picks up quickly, the pacing is almost rapid, and the unexpected wrinkle with the plot flushes out before issue one wraps. Overall, I think Spider-Man fans will appreciate this opening installment, however, I feel like they may be a bit upset about the pacing and page count. Keep in mind, Slott opens with a throwaway story to catch readers up on Pete’s recent happenings for about a third of the issue and has the Amazon Spider-Man on the ropes six pages later from his fight with Morlun. I mean, if Pete can’t stop Morlun, who can?
Ultimately, there really isn’t a ton to hate other than the focus and pacing of the issue. Yet, there are a few indifferences. I feel like Slott was right in giving fans a sly recap but wasted time and page count on an opening scene that was somewhat unnecessary indirectly causing the pacing issue itself. Moreover, I needed more setup before the twist happened. Slott should have given fans more background on Morlun. He should have provided some background on the other Spider-characters and why their new situation is what it is.
Lastly, Slott says that getting hit by Morlun is “like getting hit by a Hulk.” That seems a bit far-fetched. Plus, I don’t know if Slott needed all the incredibly forced dialogue introducing the new Spider characters into the narrative. Sure, I want background but not in an ironically, corny way. It comes across as trite and almost silly at times which also led to some of the other Spider-Man quips not hitting the mark as well. Pete just seemed… different.
The Twist was commendable, however, it didn’t make sense. If Morlun was genuinely there to help, he would have told Spider-Man to stop fighting him. Granted, Peter did shoot webbing in his mouth. However, they fought for numerous panels before that happened AND Morlun didn’t make a single attempt to get the webbing off his face to confront Peter either. Now, I understand it adds to the drama, suspense, and shock with the twist on which side Morlun is on. Nevertheless, as wild as the reveal was, it felt a bit too over the top just to provide the killer reveal.
Mark Bagley’s usual big eyes, slim look, and funky (almost contortionist) demeanor shine through like gold in this week’s Spider-Man #1. Additionally, like any Bagley Spider-Man, readers will instantly see the high energy and fluid movements of the character practically leap off the page. However, I feel what gets the most overlooked with Bagley is that he finds a way to amplify Spidey’s movement even more to showcase his emotions that can’t be seen with his mask on. It takes a special artist to deliver a character’s emotions while wearing a mask but Bagley nails it as usual in Spider-Man #1.
Spider-Man #1 is an average start to what appears to be another Spider-Verse story. And at some point, we have to wonder if we need any more Spider-Verse tales. Now, as Spider-Man #1 kicks off, fans of the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man, and all those connected Spider characters will definitely flock to this issue. However, Jessica Drew peeps should enter this issue with severe hesitation and preparation for some disappointment.
Nevertheless, Spider-Man #1 delivers fans with a fast-paced, action ride that thrust Pete immediately into an almost unbeatable situation against a classic foe with a twist that should snooker fans back for issue two. Nevertheless, I don’t see this series for the average fan nor do I think this series fits as something that will monumentally change the Marvel Universe. And thus, unless you’re a Spider-Man fan looking to re-harness some of that Dan Slott magic, it might be best to just stay away. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!