We’re already well on our way down the road to ‘Spider-Verse’ and thanks to the limited series ‘Edge of Spider-Verse,’ we’ve met some of the craziest versions of Spider-Man we’ve ever seen. I mean, Clay Chapman’s Patton Parnel from issue four was a downright creepy throwback to classic horror comics from back in the day. But now we have one last Spidey to meet before this event gets kicked into full gear, courtesy of former My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way.
In the final issue of ‘Edge of Spider-Verse’, the Eisner Award-winning writer of ‘The Umbrella Academy’ and ‘The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’ introduces us to Peni Parker, a young orphan that is adopted by her aunt and uncle and learns that she is the only one who can successfully participate in an unorthodox government experiment involving spiders that protects a futuristic New York City.
Right from the start of the issue, the story sucks you in thanks to the intense caption boxes and letters from Clayton Cowles, Jake Wyatt’s up close and personal splash page, and Way’s very unique take on the web-slinger. As you continue through the panels, the visuals are just so striking. From the design of SP//dr to the new versions of Mysterio and Daredevil, there are so many things that kept me reading, but probably nothing was more effective than the overall style of the book. I love the Japanese influence of it all. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that there’s a little bit of a resemblance to one of my favorite recent films, ‘Pacific Rim’ (except in this story, the pilot is drifting with a spider).
In terms of the story, I really liked the reveal of Mysterio. It almost seems like Way was providing his own commentary of today’s fans and the general fan culture that leads some people to do some crazy things. I’m sure that he has dealt with his fair share of that sort of thing during his career in music, so it was interesting to see him somewhat touch on it with his Spider-Man.
Speaking of music, I really liked how he incorporated the song “Love Is Just A Crime” by Cult Summer into that pivotal action scene against Mysterio because I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of music and comics going together. Based on a quick Google search, this song doesn’t seem real, but that almost makes it better because then it combines Way’s two art forms, music and comics, into one excellent mash-up. Maybe one day he’ll record it and then we’ll have a soundtrack to this issue when we inevitably reread it in the future.
Basically, ‘Edge of Spider-Verse’ has done an excellent job in building up excitement for ‘Spider-Verse’ and this issue is no different. Gerard Way has created a Spider-Man that was certainly memorable because it’s unlike any version of the wall-crawler we’ve seen before. Judging by the ending of the book, we haven’t seen the last of SP//dr either, so I’m looking forward to seeing where Peni pops up next.
EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #5
Written by Gerard Way
Art by Jake Wyatt & Ian Herring