Too Many Spiders
By David Nieves
Amazing Spider-Man #12
Written by Dan Slott Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Justin Ponsor
(NO ASM 12 SPOILERS)
We all know the cliché about too much of a good thing. Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott probably hasn’t heard it, which is far from a bad thing. The latest chapter of the ongoing spider-vent Spider-Verse continues the break neck pace and suprising intrigue using a smorgasbord of Spider-People
For the benefit of those without google, Spider-Verse is a war for the survival of the spiders of all realties because a terrifying vampirey family called the Inheritors is hunting around the multiverse devouring the life essence of Spider-People. Amazing Spider-Man #12 picks up right after the father of the Inheritors killed the cosmic Spider-Man in the dimension which had up to that point been a safe zone for the spiders of all realities. So far every Spider-Verse issue has pushed the story in a manner that does make ASM the only series you need to read to enjoy Spider-Verse. However issue twelve doesn’t do as much for readers who have been following all the tie-in books. The audience drops in on Jessica Drew with the Inheritors along with Spider-Man 2099’s autopsy of one of their enemies. In fact the only thread of the web not seen in this issue are the Scarlett Spiders in the clone factory. Once you get to the end of the issue, if you’ve managed to avoid the Internet spoilers, you will be in for a big moment at the end of the ASM 12.
Each ASM issue of Spider-Verse has introduced an alternate reality Spidey that’s stood out among others. Though his time was deliberately short, Spider-Banner from ASM #9 remains my favorite thus far. Chapter four has a spectacular run in by Takyua Yamashiro, the Spider-Man of Earth-51778. I hope we can call him Spider-Voltron without being sued.
Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli’s work can best be described as busy. For a story where the sheer number of characters on a page borders on gluttonous; very little space feels wasted. Slott works very well with Camuncoli’s art by keeping the dialogue necessary and letting the visual unfold the story. If there is one criticism that could be offered to the overall arc, it’s in the color work. While colorist Justin Ponsor does a solid job; the shifts to different dimensions feel too similar in tone. For a reader on the stand just flipping through the book it would be difficult to understand that these Spiders are in vastly different places.
As a stand-alone issue Amazing Spider-Man 12 has to be looked at in two ways. Readers who have been strictly sticking to Amazing Spider-Man have to pick up this issue to keep going on Spider-Verse. You’ve come this far and if this is the lull of the event then it did a horrible job of being boring. However should you be one of the die hard readers who’s kept up with every tie-in; you almost don’t need ASM 12 because much of the meat of the issue is simply keeping readers apprised on what’s going on in the other series. Overall, Spider-Verse as an event is doing the same magic for Spider-Man as a character that Sinestro Corps did for Green Lantern. It continues to prove you don’t need a company wide crossover to make an extravaganza that resonates.