Secret Wars: Spider-Verse #1 Review


Next up in our Spider-Man related Secret Wars reviews is an actual Spider-Man title! We haven’t had one of those since Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1. This issue is also the semi-continuation of the huge Spider-Man related storyline event that took place over last year, and this year. That’s right folks it’s Secret Wars: Spider-Verse #1.

For those of you uninitiated in all things Spider-Verse here’s a brief explanation. Loads of different Spider-Men and Spider-Women from alternate dimensions grouped together to defeat a dimension hopping family of vampires that was trying to destroy every Spider-Man ever. Some of them are now back in this new title! Got it? Good.

The issue starts with the Spider-Verse’s breakout star Gwen Stacy aka Spider-Gwen taking out a trio of grave-robbers, with one of them rather neatly, given the original Gwen Stacy’s backstory, being The Jackal. This is a nice little callback to the fact that Gwen was cloned by the Jackal a long time ago.

Spider-Verse #1 2
Spider-Verse #1 2 /

We then see that Gwen is standing in front of the graves of her father, Captain George Stacy, and herself, Gwen Stacy. I believe this is the first time that Spider-Gwen has personally confronted the fact that in the 616 Universe (and apparently the Battleworld) an alternate version of herself, and her father are dead. Sadly the emotional weight of such a moment would be better served in her own comic book, as it’s lost in Spider-Verse #1 serving only as an introduction to the story.

We then see Spider-UK and Anya Corazon tackling the Enforcers in what is presumably a direct continuation of the way these two characters were left in the first Spider-Verse storyline, guarding the Great Web and using it to go to wherever needs help. Suddenly Ozcorp show up to round up the Spiders forcing a nearby watching Spider-Man India to intercede.

I’m glad that Spider-UK and Spider-Man India are back in a comic together as I thought that they were two of the Spider-Men in the Spider-Verse to actually resonate as characters, especially when together. Or at least I would be glad if it didn’t appear that none of the characters have any memory of why they’re here other than that they’re connected by a web.

Spider-Verse #1 3
Spider-Verse #1 3 /

We move on to Gwen Stacy who reveals that she googled herself and saw that she had died on the George Washington bridge. She’s then watching Norman Osborn give a press conference where he covers up the two seperate Spider-Man events we’ve just seen (at the graveyard and naval yard) and then we realise that Gwen has taken a job at Ozcorp in order to find out more about Norman Osborn, who might’ve been the one who killed her.

This entire sequence is brilliant, first of all I love that this comic clarifies the Gwen Stacy bridge argument by stating ‘George Washington’ bridge, secondly I love that Gwen’s alias is Miss Woodley, which has to be a reference to Shailene Woodley almost playing MJ in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 film and thirdly the idea that Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman is going undercover to investigate Norman Osborn is just flat-out interesting.

We then see Gwen break into the Ozcorp Special Projects room where she discovers that there are others like her and eventually finds Spider-Ham in a bed and an expectant Norman Osborn who has been waiting for her. Now, I’m going to make an estimated guess that Norman Osborn covered up the Spider-People’s involvement in the two kerfuffles because Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man UK, Spider-Man India, Anya Corazon, Spider-Ham and Spider-Man Noir are his ‘Sinister Six’ which is why they’re kept in the Special Projects room.

I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that Norman Osborn is actually a good guy in this comic, and that he is the normal looking Spider-Man that supercedes the six Spider-Verse spidey’s mentioned above on the front cover. But time will tell how correct I am on that matter.

Other than that, we get a small Spider-Ham mini-story that reveals how he ended up property of Norman Osborn and that’s about it. It’s a decent starting issue that introduces the main characters aptly, gives us one or two mysterys to solve and once again brings back Spider-Man’s greatest nemesis Norman Osborn. What more could you want?

Next: Click here for all of our Spidey Secret Wars coverage so far