Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #15

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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: Apr 2015.

Background...

When things seemed there most desperate, the Spider-Army finally succeeded over the Inheritors. Morlun attempted to complete the ritual which would have prevented anymore Spider Totems from ever appearing again, as well as mean the end of the Spiders, but the ritual was cut short by Peter Parker and his crew. The “web of life” had begun to heal, but Dr. Otto Octavius, the Superior Spider-Man, took what he considered to be the best course of action- killing the Master Weaver! Morlun attempted one last desperate gamble and attacked 616 Spidey, but before he could win, Peter dropped him off in the thermo-nuclear war world. With Morlun gone, the Spiders were able to take care of the Inheritors, all of whom are now trapped on the destroyed world.

In Detail...

"Spider-Verse: Epilogue"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 3) #15
Apr 2015 : SM Title
Summary: Spider-Verse Epilogue
Arc: Part 7 of "Spider-Verse"
Writer:  Dan Slott
Pencils:  Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker:  Cam Smith, Roberto Poggi
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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On Loomworld, the many Spiders are saying their good-byes to each other now that the battle with the Inheritors is over. Mayday attempts to apologize to Peter for ever doubting him, but he lets her know that he is proud of her and that her brother is safe. When she arrives back on her world, she finds Spider- Uncle Ben, along with her mother and Wes. After killing that world’s Peter Parker, Daemos seems to have left the rest of May’s family and friends alone. Uncle Ben asks to stay in this world, since he has literally nothing left in his and he wants the chance to be a grandfather to Benjy. Mary Jane pulls out the only surviving Spider-Man costume, which Mayday takes to become Spider-Woman.

Back on Loomworld, the rest of the Spiders use the Great Web to travel across dimensions and return home. Some are still distrusting of Karn, but this is cut short as everyone’s Spider-Sense goes off, signaling danger to the Great Web. When they arrive at the web, SpOck is destroying the web and, therefore, the very fabric of reality. Knowing what’s in store for him, SpOck is trying to create his own future by severing the strands of fate. We get a cut to a scene from long ago, where Julia Carpenter lost her ability to see along the Great Web.

Peter asks that the rest of the Spiders (Gwen and Miguel particularly) return home before SpOck makes that impossible, while the 616 crew handles this. Miguel tells Gwen that Ock is beaten in the end, thus comforting her enough to leave. Peter, Jessica, Anya, and Silk are left behind to deal with SpOck. Anya grabs Morlun’s knife from Superior and reads the symbols on it. The writing states that there will always be a Master Weaver at the center of the Web. Silk begins to consider that this may mean her, as Morlun and Co. called her “The Spinner at the center of the web”. However, further reading reveals that only death will release her from that duty. When Silk removes the mask from the Master Weaver, his face is revealed to be that of an aged Karn. Also, the weapon he made as a child is revealed to be a key which opens the mechanical orb attached to the Master Weaver. Karn realizes this is his destiny and accepts his position as the Master Weaver.

Meanwhile, while all of this was going on, Peter and Ock continued to fight. However, Peter seems to gain the upper-hand and prevail. SpOck eventually yields, but now before initiating a secret protocol with his digital Anna assistant, with her entering sleep mode for 100 days. Ock continues to rage about his fate, but the new Master Weaver sends him to his rightful place in time, telling him that crossing the time stream will cause him to forget everything that happened. How convenient! SpOck swears revenge (as is his usual) and is sent back to Superior Spider-Man #19. As was told, he has no memory of the events of the Spider-Verse. (or so he claims).

Karn manages to repair the 616 strands and the Spider-Crew is ready to head home. However, when it comes time to send Spider-UK home, they find his dimension is gone. UK realizes that this is due to the “cosmic phenomena” that’s been destroying entire realities and blames himself for not being there to help his fellow Captain Britain Corps members. Spider-Man offers some small condolences about UK helping them fight against the Inheritors, which is surprisingly more effective than one would imagine after hearing “Your entire universe has been destroyed.” Silk, apparently unfazed by the idea of entire dimensions being destroyed, wonders whether the Inheritors can be held where they are and not die, especially because they need to eat Spider Totems (that’s an argument for later). Karn explains they can feed on any Totem (again, see below) or any animal for that matter…and thankfully the bunker where the Inheritors are held down is filled with radioactive spiders…which again, shouldn’t happen.

Peter displays a surprisingly dark attitude towards the Inheritors’ fate, especially following the death (again) of Kaine. Spider-UK decides following the death of all the various Spider-Men, he will be the Spider-Man for those worlds. Anya decides that because there’s always another new Spider-Girl, that she too will stay behind and help Spider-UK (thus spinning into another new mini-series during “Secret Wars”).

Karn quickly tries to push the 616 crew back to their world, saying one will be needed shortly. They head home and Karn takes the remaining duo to their living quarters. Meanwhile, a human hand bursts from the remains of the spider-creature that was one Kaine (again).

Peter, Cindy, and Jessica part ways, with Pete full of new confidence. Of course, his thoughts are soon interrupted as he is called to stop a mugging and for the first time in a long time, receives thanks for his hard work. We leave on this nice scene and joke about this rare appreciation.

In General...

Well folks, here we are: the TRUE end of Spider-Verse. In my opinion, this was a much more fitting end than last issue. I still feel like the last issue and this one should have been one double-sized issue or that more time should have been spent on the events of the previous issue (such as the ritual and the final battle), but at least we’re getting some closure this time.

I liked the part where Doc Ock realized his fate and decided to fight against it, as to me it made sense he would figure it out eventually that Pete wasn’t from the past. And his reaction seemed fairly realistic, though killing the master of fate may be a bit extreme. I do think the whole “you won’t remember because time travel” is a HUGE cop-out, as everyone else remembered everything just fine, but I guess Slott needed excuses as to why SpOck had no idea Pete was coming back and was able to live his life normally following the events of issue #19. And he does it all in one event! I still think it’s ridiculous, but whatever gets this event over with, really.

I sort of liked the tie-in to the new Secret Wars series, with Spider-UK’s universe being destroyed. I do think it’s another cop-out answer that Anya says there’s always another Spider-Girl popping up, because it’s just acknowledgement that Marvel is over-printing characters. The conclusion to Mayday’s story was nice, as it gives the character a nice conclusion (assuming we won’t be seeing her again) and allows for her to mature. I’ve never read her series, so I can’t say how true to character this is, but to me, it seemed like something that would evolve naturally at some point (though I am surprised that she didn’t take the mantle of Spider-Woman in her own series when it concluded),

As for the Inheritors, it was established in Morlun’s first appearance he needed to “recharge” the different parts of his being- his blood contained DNA from all different forms of life. So this idea that the Inheritors now only needed to feast on Spiders is annoying. As is the throw-away solution of “Any animal works”, because then there’s no real reason for Morlun to have ever come after anyone. I guess Spider-Man gives a bigger spider charge than an actual spider? Also, in that same appearance, and throughout this event, it’s established that the Inheritors can’t handle radiation. And yet they can feed on radioactive spiders no problem? I guess we needed an explanation as to how the Inheritors can survive so that Spider-Man can continue to say he’s never killed anyone (though a quick search of Spider-Fan will also disprove that!).

Kaine also appears to be alive again…again…so that was pretty…something? I want to say good, but there’s only so many times you can kill and then not kill and then bring back a character. Thankfully he didn’t die, as that was a completely anticlimactic death for him, but why even bother pretending at this point? If only he had his own book to go back to, so my guess is he might play a role in this upcoming spin-off series?

I do wish Oliver Coipel had stayed on for the art in this story. I know Giuseppe Camuncoli has become a regular Spidey artist and has been for some time now, but I personally am not a fan of his art. The character faces always seem a little off to me. The eyes and mouths seem…weird. And everyone seems to have a flat face and the men in particular are very broad/square. It doesn’t really affect my enjoyment of the story here, but I still would have preferred another artist step in if they weren’t going to be using Coipel throughout the entire arc.

Overall Rating...

Overall, Spider-Verse was a disappointment in my book, but probably because I am a huge fan of Morlun’s first appearance. I do think this issue was a satisfying conclusion, as it did wrap up most of the story points from the last issue. For some reason, Slott seems to have an issue wrapping up the main parts of his story (thinking back to the last page of “Ends of the Earth” in particular and the lame last panel from the previous issue), so I’m glad Spider-Verse got a proper conclusion. If the story overall was better, I’d be so much happier.