Comics : Edge Of Spider-Verse #1

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This review was first published on: Sep 2014.

Background...

In New York City, in 1939, upcoming journalist Peter Parker was bitten by a poisonous exotic spider that emerged from an ancient statue. He gained mystifying powers of strength, speed and a spider-sense and became Spider-Man!

Garbed in black and carrying a gun, Spider-Man has faced The Green Goblin, The Enforcers, Vulture, Kraven, Crime Master and Doctor Octopus. He has also formed a "relationship" with Felicia Hardy but she was badly scarred during her previous adventures and now wears the mask of a cat.

In Detail...

"Spider-Man Noir"
Edge Of Spider-Verse #1
Nov 2014 : SM Title
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Production:  VC's Clayton Cowles
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Nick Lowe
Associate Editor:  Ellie Pyle
Writer:  David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky
Artist:  Richard Isanove
Lettering:  VC's Clayton Cowles
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New York, 1939. The magician Mysterio (Beck) and his female accomplice watch news reel of Spider-Man in The Roxy Movie Theatre. Mysterio realises that he is the one who can give him the blood of Anansi and determine to lure him into the open...

Peter Parker, Aunt May and Mary Jane Watson visit The New York World's Fair. Peter feels a little disconnected to MJ since she returned from fighting for the Abraham Lincoln International Brigade so goes with her when she wishes to see some magic. They all take their seats to see Mysterio as he tries to escape from The Sphere Of Death! As he's trying to escape, Peter feels his spider-sense alert but nothing comes of it. Mysterio escapes and everyone gives him a standing ovation! As they leave, Peter speculates about how Mysterio was able to do it!

Backstage, Mysterio and his accomplice reveal that they are causing a mass hallucination through an Amazonian recipe of drugs. Mysterio is against using the drug on Wilson Fisk and wishes to pursue Spider-Man. Wilson Fisk enters and says that he's found someone for him to meet.

Mysterio interrogates Ox who tells him about the day he and the rest of The Enforcers were attacked by spiders. He also gives information about Felicia Hardy...

Mysterio and Fisk pay Felicia a visit. They kill her assistant, Eric Lippy, and demand that she removes her mask! She does so and they are shocked to see beneath. They leave with her, Mysterio knowing that the spider will now come to them...

MJ reads an advert to Peter and Aunt May about Mysterio's next act. He demands that Spider-Man save the Cat Lady by making a blood sacrifice. Later, Peter does his research and learns that Felicia is missing.

With his spider-sense pounding, he dons his costume and goes to the stage. As he alights there, Mysterio's accomplice releases a gas that causes him to hallucinate! This gives Mysterio an opportunity to knock Spider-Man out! He wakes up moments later, trapped inside a glass coffin that is filling with water! A vial of blood is taken from him and Mysterio closes the curtain on the stage so that the audience does not see his struggle. Spider-Man comes to in time to web a bubble of air around his mask, allowing him to escape when the curtain is pulled back! He kicks Mysterio down and frees Felicia. Suddenly his spider-sense pounds and Karn (the man hunting spiders across the multiverse - see Superior Spider-Man #32) appears on the stage! He is about to kill Spider-Man when Superior Spider-Man appears with Anna-Maria/Lyla and transports him away! As the audience reel from what they've seen, Felicia slips away with the vial of Spider-Man's blood...

Landing in 2099, Superior Spider-Man gives Spider-Man Noir the rundown on Carn and introduces them to the others: Six-Armed Spider-Man, Spider-Girl (from Old Man Logan), Spider-Monkey and Assassin Spider-Man!

In General...

There's so much to like about this issue.

David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky recapture the magic, detail, tone and emotion of the previous Spider-Man Noir stories with ease. There's time given to recapping, but more time given to developments and character interaction in a world I'd gladly read more of.

Then there's Richard Isanove's stunning art which is a perfect match for the dark, gritty reality of the Noir world. He's not called upon to do anything outrageous or difficult, but he delivers the necessary emotion, character and detail that make him such a master of the realistic.

Atop of all this goodness, is the bubbling excitement of Spider-Verse. What started with aplomb in Superior Spider-Man #33 is suitably referenced here and adds to fill in the back story. There's no surprise that Karn shows up but, because he's not the focus of the issue, his appearance is dramatic, intense and (importantly) brisk.

The final sounds of Otto's superior voice, the closing visual of the multiple Spider-Men/Women and the potential to mine the Noir universe for more makes this a great issue both with and without the Edge Of Spider-Verse banner.

Overall Rating...

Combine the build of Spider-Verse with the ongoing story of Spider-Man Noir, as good as the previous stories, and you have the superb issue that you simply should own.