Spider-Verse #1 Review: Forgetful Spiders Unite


All of the characters involved in Secret Wars have been pulled from their dead realities to the Battleworld, which is the only planet left in all of existence. Not everyone seems to realize something is amiss, but after just a few weeks of the event, some are starting to understand at least that things weren’t always this way — and it makes sense that certain spider-powered heroes who have already had some experience in jumping between dimensions would pick up on it first.

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That’s the gist of Spider-Verse #1, where writer Mike Costa and artist Andre Araujo reintroduce us to some of the favorite spiders from the previous Spider-Verse crossover. Among them are Spider-Gwen, Spider-UK, Spider-Man India and the Anya Corazon Spider-Girl. All of them have acclimated to life on Battleworld, and while they’re still fighting crime there, they already sense that all isn’t what it seems, and together, they might be able to figure out even more.

In many ways, the spiders make perfect POV characters for readers of Secret Wars as a whole, as we’ve been tossed into the new reality and are only figuring out how things work bit by bit. Costa does a nice job keeping the balance between the potentially serious things that might be going down and the lighthearted nature of some of the featured characters, and Gwen Stacy, in particular, is fun to read. The only part that gives me a little bit of pause is the uncertainty whether the spiders have been co-existing in the same slice of Battleworld and just not run into each other or are just starting to pop up, but that might get cleared up in subsequent issues.

Araujo’s work is proof that you can have a generally cartoony style and still have plenty of fine details included. I love his facial expressions — the smug smile of Norman Osborn, the agony on the face of the character Gwen discovers in the final two pages — and even with her mask on, Gwen is able to emote. That’s nicely done.

Though Marvel has been very clear that some Secret Wars tie-ins will link closely to the main series and others are going to be wild stories simply meant to be entertaining on their own, I’m already anticipating that my favorites will be the ones that try to accomplish a bit of both. Spider-Verse #1 pulls off that balancing act, so I’m on-board for the duration unless it seriously stalls out at some point.


Gwen Stacy senses that something is wrong with her universe.

While she’s still fighting the good fight as Spider-Woman, she’s been experiencing brief flashes of another life, one she believes might have been hers before.

Spider-Man India is working the same angle from a scientific standpoint, and some of his suspicions are confirmed when he sees Spider-UK and Anya Corazon stop the classic Spider-Man foes, the Enforcers. They turn out to be only a distraction, as armed Oscorp personnel attack the spiders, though Pavitr Prabhakar swings into action to help bail them out. While comparing notes after the fight, Pavitr convinces the others that they don’t belong there and that there’s a web connecting them.

Back with Gwen, we learn that Osborn is the mayor of this particular New York, and that everyone believes Spider-Man disappeared a few years ago. Gwen is also working for Ozcorp, hoping to do some digging from the inside. Though her plan to infiltrate the Special Projects wing goes wrong pretty quickly, she’s able to find evidence of work on a version of the Sinister Six and finds our old friend Spider-Ham, who appears to be held captive for experimentation, because that’s such a Norman Osborn thing to do.

Gwen gets to work freeing the pig when Norman drops in, saying he’s been expecting her. That’s probably not good.

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