Revisit: SP//dr’s Anime References in Edge of Spider-Verse #5

Welcome to Revisit, a new segment of mine where I’ll take a closer look at some cool stuff found in older issues that you might have missed or are worth mentioning again. For the first round we have Marvel’s Edge of Spider-Verse #5 featuring SP//dr, which harbored some Japanese influence within its pages.

First off, let’s draw a comparison that many had when they first opened the pages of this issue and saw SP//dr: Evangelion. In both series, a young human pilots a mech of sorts by climbing into it and controlling it from within as an extension of their bodies –they have to bond with it, be compatible. In this case, a young girl named Peni uses a psychic link with an actual spider as a catalyst to control the suit, but still…

Even if one were to say that it’s a bit of a stretch to compare the two, there’s further proof deep within the issue. In one particular scene, as Peni is called out by Daredevil for some run of the mill, gang busting job, three very familiar classmates stare at her as she leaves; yep, she goes to school with Shinji, Asuka, Rei, and Kaworu — eva pilots all.

The references don’t stop there either. This one is little smaller, but it looks like she has another classmate with giant robot experiences; the goggle wearing, blue haired boy sitting next to her looks like a young Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

And for the final anime cameo, and perhaps my favorite inclusion, there is a familiar jacket found on one of the gang members SP//dr and Daredevil dispatch. Take a look here.

From the way his weapon looks (even down to how it is strung to the box he wears at his waist), his hair, gloves, and the infamous red jacket with the capsule logo — this is truly a throwback to Kaneda from the famous Katsuhiro Otomo movie, Akira. The similarities are so close, from the shine on the capsule to the design of the jacket’s shoulders and collar, that it’s impossible to deny what they were going for.

With Akira airing in 1988, Evangelion spanning 1995-1996 with movies coming out up until now, and Gurren Lagann’s beginning and end in 2007, the Edge of Spider Verse #5 issue really went full throttle in its homages; and it’s an issue like this that makes me appreciate the Spider-Verse all the more.

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