It’s been a good long while since we’ve heard from Morlun, the ultimate enemy of spiders first introduced way back in part one of the Marvel reading order, during J. Michael Straczynkski and John Romita Jr.’s run on Amazing Spider-Man. Defeating him once nearly cost Peter Parker everything. In a world of Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, Morlun is still possibly the toughest enemy Spider-Man’s ever faced.
It’s no suprise, then, that Morlun (and his family of inheritors) would threaten every Spider-Man, in every reality, ever. It’s an insanely ambitious event from writer Dan Slott and company, but for a Spider-Man fan, it’s a goldmine. Every incarnation of Spider-Man you’ve ever seen, from comic book versions, to superior versions, to TV fan favorites, they’re all here.
Although it was published concurrent to Avengers vs. X-Men: Axis, Spider-Verse is contained to the Spidey titles, meaning there isn’t a whole lot of overlap with the Marvel Universe at large. If you have any questions about the reading order below, be sure to let me know in the comments, on twitter, or directly!
Spider-Verse Trade Reading Order
Spider-Verse (Hardcover main series)
Thank Leopardon, the full event trade collections are back in full swing with Spider-Verse!
Prelude to Spider-Verse (Edge of the Spider-Verse)
Amazing Spider-Man #4 – #6
From the Comic Book Herald review: “The plot of this issue takes us through what happened to Superior Spider-Man during those 24 hours he was missing in the time stream. This is also the tip of the spider iceberg (spideyberg?) that will be the new Spider-Verse event.”
Edge of Spider-Verse #1
From the Comic Book Herald review: “For those of you not following this Spidey-centric event, I will help you along a little. Back in Superior Spider-Man, there was an accident that made Spidey kind of ‘blip’ out for a few hours. When he returned, Doc Ock/Superior Spidey was happy to be back in his own time, though could not remember where he was, as that would be a story for a different day. That day is now, as the events that are unfolding in Edge of Spider-Verse titles are explaining just what happened our brain-swapped hero at that time.”
From the Comic Book Herald review: “Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse adventure hit us with an unusual and fascinating idea: that somewhere in all the multiverse, it was Gwen Stacey who was bitten by a radioactive spider, and that Gwen has taken upon herself the mantle of Spider-Woman! ‘Edge of Spider-Verse #2’, introducing readers to this character, has a lot of hype to live up to.”
Edge of Spider-Verse #3
Edge of Spider-Verse #4
Amazing Spider-Man #7
Edge of Spider-Verse #5
Spider-Man 2099 #5
From the Comic Book Herald review: “It fits in nicely with the rest of the Edge of Spider-Verse up to this point, ramping up the stakes for all the various versions of Spider-Man, but in this book it represents a hard tonal shift. It’s dark, and it might have worked better in one of the other tie-in books. If you are a fan of Spider-Girl you should probably read this for yourself.”
Spider-Verse Reading Order
From the Comic Book Herald review: “This issue is mostly exposition as all the other Spider-Men and Women that have previously appeared in Edge of Spider-Verse all converge on Earth-616. They’ve all been drawn there, along with other Spider-Family heroes like Spider-Woman, and they spend most of the story getting our Peter Parker up to speed on the situation. We also learn that Morlun has been avoiding Earth-616 because of the beatings he has previously received there. A lot of information about the Inheritors is finally revealed in this issue, and a few more mysteries are seeded too.”
From the Comic Book Herald review: “I didn’t know until this week that Spider-Verse #1 was going to be an anthology. I want to mention up front that I expected for a long time that this book would be a major chapter within the Spider-Verse story. It isn’t that. Instead, it’s six stories of varying shortness that either flesh out a Spider-Person we’ve seen on the edges of the event, introduce us to a new character, or parody some aspect of the Spider-Man mythos.”
Spider-Verse Team-Up #1
From the Comic Book Herald review: “Dan Slott’s script in this issue does what it needs to do, which is spin off the Spider-Teams into smaller, more marketable Spider-Teams. There’s just too much that’s trying to happen in this book. He does make some space for some genuinely great gags, though, like when Spider-Monkey meets Spider-Ham for the first time.”
Scarlet Spiders #1
From the Comic Book Herald review: “ Even though this story isn’t pushing the main Spider-Verse narrative forward, it is a good read. If you’ve been reading Spider-Man 2099, you’ll enjoy this comic. If you wanted more of Lady Spider, like I did, this comic is very good news for you.”
From the Comic Book Herald review: “We’re about a third of the way through this event, and there have been some really cool moments and characters so far. I just wish it was shaping up to be a more consistent read. I will say that this one is a slight improvement over the last one, because at least something happens, but it suffers from sloppy execution.”
Spider-Verse Team-Up #2
Scarlet Spiders #2
From the Comic Book Herald review: “While this issue lacks a vignette as good as the Lady Spider story from the first, my vote for the best of this group is the one featuring Spider-Punk. Just like a punk anthem — raw, short, and powerful — this story gets right to the point and drives it home with defiant violence. Written by Jed Mackay, this short makes good use the villains and offers a clever twist on one of the weaknesses of the Venom symbiote. It involves amps. And the prerequisite joke about cranking it to 11.”
From the Comic Book Herald review: “Now that there’s a few more solid hints to how the heroes might be able to deal with the threat of the Inheritors, I feel like I can finally settle in and enjoy the story. This was an ambitious undertaking to say the least, and it’s been a bumpy road, but overall I have been enjoying it. Seeing “every Spider-Man ever” may have been too much to tackle, but seeing them interact together with Slott’s trademark humor thrown in is fun most of the time.”
From Dave’s office, echoing down the dimly lit skyscraper of a Chicago night: “Leopardon! LEOPARDON! LEOPARDON!!!!!!!“
Spider-Man 2099 #7
Scarlet Spiders #3
Marvel’s checklist has this issue after Amazing Spider-Man #13, but you’ll definitely want to read it before to avoid spoilers.
Amazing Spider-Man #13
Note that this is part 5 of 6 in the Amazing Spider-Man Spider-Verse saga, and the action really heats up in this issue. The die is cast!
Spider-Verse Team-Up #3
Spider-Man 2099 #8
From the Comic Book Herald review: “We’ve got one more chapter to go before we can really put this saga to bed. It has been pretty fun to throw every version of Spider-Man into one big pile at once and see them interact with each other. We got some new characters that have been very interesting out of the deal as well, and in the case of Spider-Gwen at least, some that might stick around. I’ll hold final judgement on the series as a whole until after the Epilogue. I don’t know if any lasting changes will come out of this, especially with Secret Wars on the horizon, but maybe it’s ok if there aren’t any.”
Amazing Spider-Man #15