Friday, February 6, 2015

Spider-Verse #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Ho boy.  I wish I could say that this issue was high/low, but it's really more mediocre/low.

The Anansi story is the nadir, because it doesn't make a lick of sense.  I read it twice and still have no idea what Immonen was trying to say.  How did Anansi pretending that the tiger stole Mr. Mighty's sheep get him to learn how to take care of them by himself?  How did that lesson (even if it did make sense) serve as a metaphor for Spider-UK and his request that Anansi help him?  What the hell happened at the end with all the baa-ing sheep and the jug?  No idea.

The Mexican Spider-Man story was OK, but it's really only remarkable for the fact that it's in Spanish.  This version of Spider-Man watches his luchador father get killed by another luchador, though we never get any explanation of why he'd want him dead (or how he somehow escaped going to prison for murder).  He rescues a girl here, but, again, we never really learn why she was kidnapped.  Maybe we do, but my Spanish isn't good enough to understand the explanation.  The art is pretty great, but, given how many times we've seen alternate Spidey origin-stories at this point, you've got to do something more than nice art to justify taking up space.

Similarly, the Punk Spider-Man story is OK, but not great.  It's not exactly the Spider-Gwen issue of "Edge of Spider-Verse," where Latour managed to create an entire world in just a few pages.  I'm not saying that it's not creative in its own way.  For example, I liked Mackay re-imaging the Venom symbiote as a type of armor that "President" Osborn created to empower his soldiers to keep order.  Spidey doesn't even actually use his powers in this story; he simply uses his guitar (and a lot of amps) to save the day.  But, it's a fairly contained story that doesn't really hint all that much at a complicated world; we all know a fascist empire when we see one.

Finally, Slott gives us a story involving banter between two Spider-Men, but it's unclear how important it is.  They try to figure out the difference between them, can't, and decide that it's probably a small one.  It seems rife with portent, but, if it is, it's too subtle for me to get.  Instead, it got me thinking about how Slott is pretty much defining "every Spider-Man ever" as every second of every Spider-Man's life creating a different Spider-Man, and it's just too much thinking for a Thursday night.

** (two of five stars)

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