As the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #10 suggests, the issue is principally focused on introducing the time-travelling Superior Spider-Man and his team of violent Spider-Men to the “Spider-Verse” event proper. Otto has been busy in the 2099 timeline building devices to cloak the Spider-Men from the Inheritors and building a strategy to fight back against them. As was true of the events in the final issues of Superior Spider-Man, #32 and #33, it is a joy to read Otto at his peak level of egomania.
When Peter Parker and his team decide to leave the shielding of the Cosmic Spider-Man to track down the gathering alternate army of Spiders, they are not only confronted with a conflicting ideology of how to deal with the Inheritors but also with Daemos himself. Much of the issue focuses on the incredibly dynamic action between this lone Inheritor and all the Spider-Men, from cyborg to monkey.
There is also a wonderful reveal here that admittedly should have been obvious; hindsight is always 20:20. This reveal ties this story back in with not only what Slott has been doing since Amazing Spider-Man #4 but to what J. Michael Straczynski has been doing since his Amazing Spider-Man #30.
Between Dan Slott’s dialogue and Olivier Coipel’s pencils, the gathering of all these characters is fun, richly dynamic, and chock full of clearly delineated action, just as it was in the issue prior. There are a lot of moving pieces here and yet through the dialogue and visual layouts everything is clearly presented and logical. If this issue is focused on anything, it is setting this story up for a future conflict between the Superior and regular Spider-Man over how to handle the Inheritors.
Coipel’s facial work and varied layouts capture this tension wonderfully. Peter is portrayed as small in the frame while Otto is powerful and towering, commanding the space. Perhaps the moment where Peter seizes his rightful status over Otto that we all wanted from the ending of Superior Spider-Man will finally happen in the pages of this story. This is a welcome step in the right direction, if it comes to fruition, as the previously unsatisfying ending of Superior and Peter’s strange characterization has really dragged the previous issues of Amazing Spider-Man down.
Here Otto is handed a piece of humble pie as his only victory is revealed to be against a clone. That five lettered c-word makes me a bit nervous, as constant cloning can lead to diminished drama as every victory could lead to just another clone reveal. This revelation sends a series of Spider-Men off into different directions that will be covered in other “Spider-Verse” spinoffs, including Spider-Woman #1.
These moments with all the other Spider-Men going off on their own do well to fill in information on the motivation for all these characters but diminish the conflict that is rising at the core of this story. Instead, the final pages are stuffed full of editorial notes and directions about how to follow the story from this point on.
Here’s hoping that this is the last that readers will have to focus on these alternate stories, allowing them to continue to their own conclusions until they all come back together again for the inevitable ending of “Spider-Verse.” Amazing Spider-Man #10 is another set-up issue of “Spider-Verse” but it hints at some wonderful moments to come. “Spider-Verse” is proving to be a strong event, like “Spider-Island” before it, mainly because of Slott’s incredibly ability to pull for every era of Spider-Man comics while still finding a way to fit them all seamlessly together. Scott is guiding this story in the right direction so far, hopefully the following issues will bring this conflicts to a boil and bring back the villainous Morlun for a third tussle with Peter Parker.
Amazing Spider-Man #10 brings the Superior Spider-Man and his team into the fray for some wonderful characterizations and actions. The story is mainly set-up for future conflicts and spinoffs but the art and dialogue are so expertly handled that readers will likely accept a momentary bump in "Spider-Verse"'s momentum.