The Inheritors have cut quite down the Spider-Army pretty drastically and countless other Spider-Men have fallen off-panel as well. However, this won’t stop the Marvel House of Ideas from giving us a few more Spiders who we’ve never seen before/won’t see again! Let’s take a look at what our second book has to offer us…
It’s Showtime! - On Earth-30847, Spider-Man faces down with Morlun, unleashing his “familiar” attacks: Web-Ball, Spider-Sting, and Maximum Spider! Morlun unleashes his own attack, instantly downing Spider-Man in a “PERFECT” attack…this bringing an end to Marvel vs. Capcom Spider-Man.
Anansi: A Spider In Sheep’s Clothing - We open to this universe’s Spider, Anansi, running from Mr. Mighty, a giant rock creature. The latter had hired Anansi to watch his flock, but the sheep have now gone missing. Anansi denies knowing what happened, using the name of Shango to illustrate his seriousness. This summons said God of Storms, who immediately turns his attention to Mr. Mighty. Anansi escapes in a calabash (an urn), mentioning something about an accidental rhyme (maybe I missed it).
Following his successful escape, he is approached by Spider-UK, but Anansi doesn’t want to leave in the middle of his story. He agrees to go, if UK will help him. Dressing UK like one of the sheep, Anansi warns him that he must remain quiet or risk the end of all. Spider-UK is immediately carried off by a tiger.
Anansi calls Mr. Mighty and takes the opportunity to nap. That night, after Mr. Mighty has fallen asleep, the tiger convinces Anansi that Spider-UK has cooperated enough and that he should help. When Anansi “relieves” him of his duty, Spider-UK is annoyed to discover that the sheep can talk and that he could have as well. Anansi says that this was all a lesson to teach Mr. Mighty to do his own work. Now that Spider-UK played his part, Anansi will play his. Before leaving, Anansi lets the tiger take some sheep, then runs off. The End!
The Anarchic Spider-Man - America is under the rule of President Osborn. Spider-Punk leads an army (including a Captain America). Osborn uses his Variable Engagement Neuro-Sesnitive Organic Mesh (V.E.N.O.M….or V.E.N-S.O.M?) one an army of policeman and himself. Also, Osborn kind of looks like Ronald Reagan, which is either because this is supposed to feel 80’s-ish, or the writer has got a long standing grudge.
As Osborn’s army starts to charge Spider-Punk’s small stand, Spider-Punk sets up his guitar amps. Just as the pseudo-symbiotes close in, Spider-Punk uses his guitar to unleash a massive sonic blast. As Osborn’s “Venom” struggles to re-form itself, Spider-Punk crushes his head with his guitar (wow). Spider-Punk celebrates his victory, freeing America and revealing that in this world, he is actually Hobie Brown. The end!
The Spirit of the Streets - In Mexico City, this universe’s Spider-Man takes down two low-level gang members, asking for their boss. He is immediately attacked by the rest of the gang, who I guess was hiding off panel? After dispatching them, he grabs one of the sharper dressed guys and asks to see the boss.
We then get a flashback to his origin. This Spider-Man’s father was a wrestler whose back was broken in a fight when his partner, the Scorpion, was paid off to…throw the fight? Let Aracnido die? Either way, it motivates young…whatever his name is…to become Spider-Man.
Back in the present, we get a hint that “the Boss” hangs out with the President, but Spider-Man takes out the guards before they can finish that sentence. Spider-Man promises to find “her”. In the compound, Spider-Man rescues a young girl. With her help, they take out the Boss. Spider-Man makes the third Mexican food joke of this story and thankfully we’re at this story’s end.
It’s the Little Things - We cut to the final battle on Earth-001, the “Loomworld”. Spider-Man and a Black Suit Spider-Man both run out of web-fluid. Taking a moment to refill, they discuss what they’ve seen…Spider-Men singing, teaching English, Japanese Spider-Men, Tobey Maguire Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield Spider-Man…references! They then run down what makes them different…but can’t find one. They shrug it off and re-join the right.
If you’re hankering for Spider-Men that mostly don’t matter in stories that don’t fully make sense, then you are in for a treat! I am not a fan of these kind of issues, but since this even intrigued me enough, I gave it a try. I don’t know if this qualifies as buyer’s remorse, but yeah, feeling that.
Anansi is not important because we haven’t seen him until literally just now. Why did he show up now? His story makes sense, but it’s not exactly interesting. It’s just light fluff to bring some humor to this event and it manages to do that. But don’t expect any detail into anything that’s been happening elsewhere.
Spider-Punk’s story is cool in that it FEELS like a punk story from the 80’s in its style and presentation. It’s a little short and tries to cram as much information as possible in 8 pages. It’s a little rough and the obligatory Venom and Osborn appearances feel forced, but at least we FINALLY get some information on who Spider-Punk is. And he does something besides swearing and standing in the background. It is in stark contrast to the rest of the book, which is pretty humorous overall. They even have a self-referential “This ain’t MAX, pal!!” covering Spider-Punk’s vicious murder of the president.
The Spider-Man of Mexico is….well honestly, just sort of confusing. The dialogue is just sort of disconnected and you never actually have any clue as to what’s happening. This is another character who’s never actually appeared in the series before, so we’re not really given a reason to care. Spider-UK doesn’t even show up to recruit him.
And the final story is just for fun. A way for Slott to acknowledge that Spider-Man he can’t or hasn’t shown still exist.
Honestly, I am tired of Spider-Man alternates for now. I love a good mini-series or spin-off every now and then. But at this point, we’ve had so many thrown at us it’s just too much. And after awhile, whenever a new Spider-Man is introduced, the need to introduce variants of classic villains feels forced and kind of tired. I really wish this entire series had focused more on established alternate universes and less on the newly created ones just to make a point about how many there are. It would have made them being hunted seem more dire and it would have made the story more interesting to me. The ones who got the main focus I don’t know or even really care about. But that’s a discussion for another review….
It’s amusing at times, but the stories are just sort of weird and confusing. And there’s a lot of focus on characters who don’t matter/we won’t see again. They probably should have combined this with the last issue or something, because two separate issues for this was a little much.