Edge of Spider-Verse #1 Review: Caught in Its Own Web

Lead ins for event series can be interesting things. Given that they frequently have to do a bit of world building and plot establishing before getting to the real story, they generally have the freedom to introduce some big concepts but also have a higher risk of being too tedious – a risk that grows when dealing with corners of the comic book landscape that are both well-established and popular. It's that situation which Edge of Spider-Verse #1 finds itself in and while the issue offers up some interesting ideas and characters, the result is a little bit of a mixed bag hampered by the large scope and lack of forward-motion propelling detail.

Edge of Spider-Verse #1 features four individual stories with a touch of narrative overlap and it's that connective tissue that gives the issue its greatest strength. The four stories have four very different approaches—which makes sense, given the differing creative teams—and those approaches have different results. Dan Slott's opening story featuring Spider-Laird is easily the simplest of the four-pack and is a bit of fun, easy, light storytelling that feels fresh while also setting a tone that something is decidedly not right in the Spider-Verse. From there, we move right into a story featuring Araña and while Alex Segura does a good job of making the character interesting, this chapter is bloated and bogged down by it pacing. The story functions both as sort of polishing up Araña while simultaneously squeezing into this nebulous larger narrative and this is where we slide into the idea of things being too tedious, especially since the follow up, for comparison, is a wild story featuring the new character Spider-Rex.

It's that whiplashing tone shift that makes the issue a little hard to read in a single sitting, even though Segura's story connects very directly with Karla Pacheco's Spider-Rex. While it's clear that hard shift is something deliberate, it doesn't quite serve the story – particularly since we don't really know what the story is at this point. The real standout though, and perhaps the tale that pulls the issue back together is our visit with Spider-Noir in Dustin Weaver and D.J. Bryant's "My Dame… My Destiny." This is the most tightly constructed entry, offering both gorgeous art and a real sense of the danger coming for the larger Spider-Verse. While all of the stories are obviously introductions, this one offers a bit of rich complexity. Even though the issue leaves a bit more in the way of questions than answers overall, it's this story that makes you want to find out what's next.

Overall, Edge of Spider-Verse #1 isn't a bad comic. The art throughout is solid, if at times very "Marvel" in style save for the Spider-Noir story which is just exquisite. The issue also doesn't exactly cloak its threat to tease you along. You get a sense of what is coming even if the full story isn't fully formed, which makes sense given that there are a few more issues to go and more characters to introduce into the chaos. The real challenge here is the approach of having brief, separate stories that often get lost in the tediousness of these event things. Lead-in series have a lot of ground to cover and that means a lot of risk of being too much. That's the case here. Hopefully, things will improve going forward.

Published by Marvel Comics

On August 3, 2022

Written by Dan Slott, Alex Segura, Karla Pacheco, Dustin Weaver, and D.J. Bryant

Art by Martin Coccolo, Caio Majado, and Pere Perez

Colors by Brian Reber

Letters by Joe Caramagna

Cover by Josemaria Casanovas