The Spider-Verse is here! After months of build-up Dan Slott has unleashed the biggest Spider-Man story ever, containing every Spider-Man ever! The build-up for this has been great fun to see the spiders starting to come together (not to mention bringing my beloved Superior Spider-Man back for 2 more issues) and some of spider totems already killed off before the series has even got going but, has all this build up been worth it?
This first issue kicks off this story arc in a great manner for fans new and old serving as a great introduction for some of the more eclectic corners of the Spider-Man universe or (in my case) reminding me of some favourite storylines and characters from the past. This whole issue is pure set up for the inevitable war between the Spiders and Morlun and his family (who have now been given the name “The Inheritors”) introducing us to the main spider characters that will have important roles to play in the battle to come and once again showing us just how great a threat The Inheritors truly are. Slott once again shows just how great his grasp on Spidey’s continuity truly is with some of the characters he is bringing to the fore and if anything this series will be remembered as a pure celebration of all that is Spider-Man.
The only negative with this book is the price point and the back-up story in the issue, of course a $4.99 book seems to be the industry standard now when big events kick off however, this does not mean for a bigger opening shot. Instead we get a backup story delving deeper into the Inheritors and just what it is that makes them tick. Whilst it does provide some much needed background on a new group of villains and allowing us to see what one has been up to since JMS’ run on the book however, I feel that this could have been explored in the edge of the spider-verse issues that came before instead of in this book, the story itself was quite interesting however, I felt a little short changed when I sat down to read the book.
Coipel makes this book look absolutely stunning, even just saying that does not do the art any justice at all. It is a departure from series regular Humberto Ramos however, Coipel’s style fits in anywhere and for an event as big as this it really did demand an artist of his calibre. The quiet character moments that open this issue are so charged with sexual tension and it really does show through with the way the scene is framed and not just Slott’s words. Likewise the action scenes are beautifully framed and leap off the page with every blow landed.
ASM 9 really is the a great opening shot for this series the main story is awesome and kicks things off in real style and has the potential to become another instant classic like Spider-Island, the backup story also provides some much needed information about the villains of the piece are and just what their motivations are and why they are hunting the spiders that niggles about placement aside make this an awesome book to behold that any fan of the Spider-Man franchise will be happy with.
By Matt Deery