Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #10

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This story is part of an Arc: "Spider-Verse"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7

This review was first published on: Dec 2014.

Background...

The Inheritors (Solus, Morlun, Daemos, Jenix, Verna, Bora, Brix and the outcast Karn) are traversing the Great Web to feast upon all Spiders in every dimension. There are three Spiders of particular importance to The Inheritors: The Other (Scarlet Spider, Earth-616), The Bride (Silk, Earth-616) and The Scion (identity unknown).

The Spiders are fighting back and some have gathered around Peter Parker (Earth-616) as the only one to have defeated an Inheritor before. They are currently being protected by Cosmic Spider-Man (Earth-13).

The Superior Spider-Man (Earth-616), currently trapped in the year 2099, is also gathering a force of Spiders.

Meanwhile, Miles Morales and Jessica Drew (both Earth-1610 (The Ultimate Universe)) are attacked by Verna and her hounds!

In Detail...

"Superior Force"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #10
Jan 2015 : SM Title
Arc: Part 2 of "Spider-Verse"
Writer:  Dan Slott
Pencils:  Olivier Coipel
Inker:  Wade von Grawbadger
Lettering:  Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist:  Justin Ponsor
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Nick Lowe
Associate Editor:  Ellie Pyle
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On Earth-1610, Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and Black Widow (Jessica Drew) are about to be killed by Verna and her hounds (Kraven, Silver Sable and Puma) when a portal opens and they are rescued by Assassin Spider-Man (Peter Parker, Earth-8351), Spider-Punk (Brown, Earth-138) and Superior Spider-Man (Peter Parker/Otto Octavius, Earth-616)! In the fray they kill the hounds but Verna destroys Miles mother's gravestone!

In the Safe Zone (Earth-13) Spider-Man (Earth-616) asks why he is so special but is interrupted when a signal from the second team of Spiders is intercepted. Silk (Cindy Moon, Earth-616) wanders around the group to get a "feel" for the other Spiders there. She gets a "hit" from Scarlet Spider (Kaine, Earth-616) presumably because he is The Other. Old Man Spider (identity unknown, Earth-4) gives Spider-Man a portal device and they select their associates to go to meet the second team. Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O'Hara, Earth-616), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew, Earth-616), Scarlet Spider, Spider-Girl (Mayday Parker, Earth 982), Spider-UK (William Braddock, Earth-833), Spider-Ham (Peter Porker, Earth-25), Old Man Spider and Spider-Man (Ben Reilly, Earth-94) all leave with Silk following them without permission.

They appear in 2099 and meet up with Assassin Spider-Man, Spider-Punk, Spider-Man Noir (Peter Parker, Earth-90214), Spider-Monkey (Peter Parker, Earth-8101), Ultimate Spider-Man, Black Widow, Spider-Woman (Ashley Barton, Earth-807128), Cyborg Spider-Man (Peter Parker, Earth-2818), Six-Armed Spider-Man (Peter Parker, Earth-92100), Spider-Man India (Paviitr Prabkahar, Earth-50101), Lady Spider (May Reilly, Earth-803) and their leader The Superior Spider-Man! Spider-Man is shocked that Superior Spider-Man is there but realises that it must have been when he was shoved out of time (in Superior Spider-Man #19). Spider-Man 2099 realises he is home but they all then have to focus on Superior Spider-Man's behaviour towards them. He is livid that they've interfered and believes that the Inheritors will be drawn towards them all. He has developed a cloaking device but it seems to not hide the "scent" of Scarlet Spider (The Other) or Silk (The Bride). Suddenly Daemos appears and attacks but the Superior Spider-Man is ready! He leads waves of attacks, but they lose Cyborg Spider-Man! Spider-Girl (Mayday) and Scarlet Spider have vendettas against Daemos but it is the Superior Spider-Man who delivers the killing blow, piecing his body with his robotic arms! Ultimate Spider-Man is confused about the two Spider-Men from Earth-616, but the killing blow makes him realise that Spider-Man is the true one. Daemos's body remains solid as it has been frozen using a stasis charge which means it can be studied. Superior Spider-Man realises that Silk is what drew him here but Old Man Spider tells him to back off. He is about to give them all more information on how to survive what is coming, when another Daemos appears with Bora and Brix and snaps his neck! In shock the Spiders flee, but not without losing Assassin Spider-Man! Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) and Scarlet Spider figure that Daemos has returned through cloning so they, along with Black Widow, leave through a portal. Spider-Man is called by Old Man Spider who, with his dying breaths unmasks as Ezekiel Sims and tells him to protect The Other, The Bride and The Scion at all costs! Silk steals Spider-Man's portal device and runs with the aim to lead the Inheritors away. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) and Spider-Man Noir head after her with Bora and Brix following them! Spider-Man 2099, Six-Armed Spider-Man and Lady Spider escape with Daemos's corpse but Daemos is hot on their tails!

The remaining Spiders return to the Safe Zone where The Superior Spider-Man readies himself to take charge!

In General...

This is another outstanding issue.

It is well paced, delivers double the Spiders and demonstrates with, all out action, the power of the villains. Dan Slott keeps the story moving with clues, hints, unexpected deaths and the right amount of possibilities so that (as he does best), we don't really know where he's going with this epic at all. I've not been emotionally involved with anything yet, but it is the mystery and scope that has me firmly gripped.

That, and the art. Olivier Coipel keeps things incredibly busy this issue, as his cast of characters is doubled, but tight on detail and clarity. The central action sequences could easily have become overcrowded, but it is drawn to perfection and establishes the right amount of background detail and eye-popping violence. There is no mistaking characters, no jerky movement between panels and certainly no inconsistency - each panel once again remains flawless and polished to truly high quality.

Slott delivers more layers to this story too. There are now these bubbling rivalries between specific Spiders and specific Inheritors which are bound to play out later. There is this surprising self-sacrifice from Silk (although is this self-sacrifice or the direction for the new Spider-Woman series, says the cynic in me!). Don't miss the importance of Spider-Girl's (Mayday) desperation to cling to her brother, nor the momentary sizzle between Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen. Layers and threads... as if Slott himself is the Master Weaver! There's a quotation for a TPB Marvel! ;-)

I rolled my eyes as the cast of characters took on in the direction of various tie-ins, but even the editorial notes make light of this and each storyline is motivated correctly and doesn't seem for the sake of it. I'm particularly interested in Scarlet Spiders and Spider-Man 2099 and where these go.

What characters Slott takes away with one hand he delivers more character with the other and slaps us in the face with Spider-Man vs. Superior Spider-Man to close the issue. It is a credit to Slott's hard work that the cover to #10 boasts the inclusion of the Superior Spider-Man and he's timed this first tense altercation/interaction between them as a nice character beat amidst total chaos. Bring on Part Three!

Overall Rating...

This would have been perfect had it not been for the set ups for the various tie-ins, but this is pretty close to a perfect Part Two.