A new year, a new installment of Spider-Verse! Last time, the Spider-Friends ‘Safe Haven’ was made considerably less safe once Solus, the head of the Inheritors, showed up and killed Captain Universe Spider-Man. Things are looking bleak for the Spider-Verse, but the story is finally kicking into gear with this issue.
The formula of this series is coming into focus: tease the side-plots happening within the other spider-books, loosely tie them together with some action, drop some major revelations and season with a dash of surprising guest stars. In my opinion, the total enjoyment one can derive from each issue depends on the outcome of that algebra.
Amazing Spider-Man #12’s math comes out ahead for the most part. The series is getting stronger despite not really juggling all the Spider-People well. The infamous Japanese TV Spider-Man makes a grand entrance, and that’s really awesome. But all of the characters just don’t have enough screen time. The total despair of the Spider-Peeps is balanced out by what might be a glimmer of hope, as a potential weakness of the Inheritors is revealed. Dan Slott is moving the story along, and I’m glad, but it feels like it’s taken a long time to get here.
Guiseppe Camuncoli takes over penciling this issue, and to be honest, the transition from Coipel is so seamless, I almost didn’t notice. His pencils are a bit more illustrative, but this issue still looks great. The colorist Justin Ponsor really makes this issue look great, too. I especially liked the effect on Old Japanese Newsprint Manga Spider-Man.
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.
And there is a huge and shocking reveal at the end of the issue, and to say much more will push us into spoiler territory, but I will say that after I thought about it for a while, I was less impressed than when I first read it. Your mileage may vary.
One small quibble, Spider-Punk’s costume design changed from last issue to this one. There is now a white trim around the red web-field area. It might just be because of the colorist making different choices with Camuncoli’s design, but it is strange and I’m probably the only one who noticed. Despite my own warnings, I like Spider-Punk and now I’ve ensured that Dan Slott will brutally murder him in the next issue.