Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #13

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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: Mar 2015.

Background...

The Inheritors are seeming closer and closer to victory. Not only was Solus able to single-handedly dispatch of Captain Universe Spider-Man, but Morlun was able to get his hands on Benjy, who the Inheritors know as “The Scion”. Our Peter arrived too late to stop him, but the Spider-Army was able to meet up with Silk, who was stuck on Earth-3145, a world where everything has been destroyed by thermo-nuclear war. Everything except Spider-Man, who it turns out, is Uncle Ben!

In Detail...

"Spider-Men: No More"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #13
Mar 2015 : SM Title
Summary: Spider-Verse Part 5
Arc: Part 5 of "Spider-Verse"
Writer:  Dan Slott
Pencils:  Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker:  Cam Smith
Cover Art:  Olivier Coipel
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
Assistant Editor:  Devin Lewis
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Review

We open in Loomworld, where the Inheritors are bickering amongst themselves, which only happens every single time they appear together. This page though serves to catch people up on what is happening in any tie-in with an actual story (unlike, say, the Spider-Verse mini-series), with Jennix giving some exposition about Scarlet Spiders and Bora and Brix doing what they do best, which is complaining about Silk. Solus is not concerned because it has been foretold that The Other and The Bride will come to them, allowing them to complete their ritual and make it so there are “Spider-Men no more” (and bringing us to our first ham-fisted reference to another Spider-Man story).

Back on Earth-3145, Uncle Ben delivers shocking news: He quit being Spider-Man. This obviously doesn’t sit well with Peter, who asks for an explanation. As suggested in Spider-Verse #1, a universe where Uncle Ben arrives at the radiation demonstration responsible for Spider-Man results in a world where Ben was bit. Using Peter’s science knowledge, he becomes Spider-Man. Peter of course wants him to make money, but Ben has some ideas about power and responsibility (it sounds familiar). This of course makes enemies, who inevitably come after his family and kill them. Ben quits being Spider-Man (bringing us to ham-fisted reference number 2 to “Spider-Man No More”), but unlike Peter, Ben never takes the mantle back up. He does of course get approached by Ezekiel warning him about Morlun and takes him up on the offer to hide. But more shocking is the reason why the world is a nuclear waste-land: Because no one stopped Otto Octavius from using his nuclear ransom (I suppose a reference to Ends of the Earth). This momentarily upsets Superior Spidey, until Pete gets everyone back on track.

The Spider-Army turn their attention to the scrolls, but are unable to actually read them. Silk feels guilty Jessica risked her life for something they can’t use and decides to head to Loomworld. Spider-Gwen stops her and the two discuss how frustrated they feel being told to “play it safe”. Of course, they decide to head off and save Jessica themselves. Meanwhile, Spider-Man India has a moment of legitimate existential crisis, as he wonders if he’s just a strange “echo” of Peter Parker and just “expendable” in this whole thing. Spider-UK tells him how he himself is one of thousands, yet knows each world is important and unique, suggesting that maybe even Peter is just an echo of Pavitr.

SpOck grows tired of everyone standing around and attempts to use his 2099-tech to have her read the scroll. Peter questions why he didn’t mention it sooner and why he modeled it after Anna Maria. Of course, this proves to be a mistake, as Doc Ock silently realizes that the man he mistakenly believed to be a past version of Parker MUST be from his own future, as Peter had never met Anna Maria. This also means that Ock knows now he’ll die and lose everything. Before we can get more on that, Anya Corazon realizes she can read the scrolls, because of her powers being tied into the cult that worships totems. The scroll says the Spiders will wipe out the Inheritors 1,000 years from now, but that this can be prevented by a ritual which will wipe the Spiders out of existence and prevent any NEW totems from existing. And what does the ritual require? The blood of The Scion, The Bride, and The Other. It’s at this moment the Spiders realize that Silk has once again left them. For a room full of people with Spider-Sense, they are pretty easy to sneak by. When they attempt to contact Silk, her teleporter is broken (again) by a “multiversal pirate”.

We cut to the Scarlet Spiders, who have just finished their mission at the expense of Ben Reilly. Kaine is, of course, over-come with rage at the seemingly expendable death of yet another clone and decides he’s going to Loomworld alone to put a stop to this. Which now means the Inheritors have all three of the pieces they need right on their doorstep! They immediately sense Kaine and Silk and head out to get them. Back in the bunker, the Spider-Army breaks into two groups: one to head to Loomworld and one to take care of what is written in the other scroll (requiring you to read Spider-Verse Team-Up #3 to find out more). Peter calls in the rest of the Spiders who are spread across the multi-verse.

The Inheritors descend upon Kaine, who mutates into The Other, again depicted as a humanoid spider-monster. Because he is in the “center of reality” and facing such a threat, he has grown to an incredible size and form. Solus attempts to fight him, feeling invigorated by the prospect of such a worthy opponent, but he is immediately cut down by Kaine. Without their cloning facility, this is truly the end of Solus. Morlun goes into a rage and kills Kaine with his own limbs, stating they only need his blood for the ritual to work. Daemos is upset because the Master Weaver always said he would outlive Solus (though I believe it is implied otherwise in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #9. Morlun, though, only cares about the ritual. Meanwhile, the Spider-Women are attacked by Goblins and the boring Inheritor twins.

In the bunker, Uncle Ben is doubting his usefulness. But Peter gives a fairly predictable speech about how much one man can mean and how Ben actually kept his costume. His talk is doing little to help, until SpOck arrives to give Ben a more “stern” lecture. He manages to convince Ben to fight one last time and the Spider-Army heads to Loomworld.

In General...

In my opinion, this issue was definitely better than last. I enjoyed the first two issues of this story, but I found myself getting a bit bored, especially with last issue. The concept seemed to be collapsing on itself as we went from “Every Spider-Man Ever” to “some new guys we made punch some guys and then run”. Thankfully for the most part, this issue gives us some more story and progress. However, with only one issue left, I think we may have run out of time on this one. There’s still so much to cover and only so much time to do it.

As I said, I still feel like this issue was an improvement. We finally get some detail as to why the Inheritors are looking for Kaine, Cindy, and Benjy, but it’s not exactly like there’s a threat of “No More Spider-Men”. Whatever Marvel is actually planning for their multi-verse, writing off the possibility of more spin-offs and such isn’t exactly what they’re known for. I was also glad to see the threads from all the various tie-ins start coming together, but I think there was still not enough focus on some Spiders (Ultimate and Noir come to mind first).

I also really liked the scene with Spider-Man India. It gave time to a Spider we know and it addressed an issue that seemed like a human reaction. I only wish more time was given to this or that this was a theme that was addressed throughout the story. The single page it got felt a little rushed.

However, I still have my complaints. I think the whole “Uncle Ben” thing feels forced. He needs to have his “Spider-Man no more” moment, he needs to have the Green Goblin be his villain…but at least we got to see some “familiar” stuff like Ezekiel and “Ends of the Earth”. I do wonder if that story would even happen without a Spider-Man to come after, but eh, whatever.

The other thing which made me pause was the part about Ezekiel. This story has established that Morlun is NOT tied to a single dimension and can pop up anywhere he wants essentially to come after whatever Spider he wants, whenever he wants. So how come he lets Uncle Ben have an opportunity to run and hide? It at least made him have the same feel as his first appearance, when he was still interesting.

My final question is about this whole ritual. Once Silk made her presence known, what was the point of the hunt? Or what was the point to hunt from the beginning? The Spiders only became concerned or aware of the Inheritors once they started killing so indiscriminately. And how exactly DID Cindy hide? Sure her “scent” was hidden, but Ezekiel’s fall-out shelter was also hidden from the Master Weaver, the guy who weaves and sees all of reality? That’s some solid construction!

Overall Rating...

A better issue than last time, but still not perfect. The more I think about it, the more I nitpick. Not sure if that’s just a problem with comics in general and I’m just too cynical, but I guess I feel like this story is making me scrutinize a bit more than usual. Still, I’m glad we’re getting more detail, though I really wish we didn’t get ANOTHER new Spider.