Part of Spider-Verse’s fun is that we get to see so many different Spider-people working together against a common threat. Last week’s Spider-Woman 1 features several female spider characters running around (although I didn’t read it because of Greg Land), and this week had two more team-ups. Spider-Man 2099 (which I recommend) and this, a mini-series featuring three spider-clones. You have Ben Reilly, the original Scarlet Spider who is now acting as Spider-Man in his own universe, Kaine Parker, 616’s current irresponsible Scarlet Spider, and Ultimate Jessica Drew.
While most of the spider-people are trying to stay as far away from the Inheritors (multi-dimensional spider-killers) as possible for the time being, these guys are heading straight to a world ruled by the Inheritors. Sounds like a good setup for a comic, and for the most part this delivers. The world they sneak into is very creepy, with pretty much every civilian being clones raised for obedience. Even this world’s superheroes serve the Inheritors, throwing the spider-clones into several very dangerous situations.
Writer Mike Costa does a good job at exploring the differences between each of their personalities – showing Reilly’s heroic nature, Kaine’s chaotic fighting style and Jessica’s quick thinking. It’s a great setup for a spider team-up. That said, the narrating is a little excessive at times and doesn’t leave much room for the art to tell the story.
The art by Paco Diaz is slightly cartoony in a way I don’t like, but it’s usually good. The environmental detail when they first look at the city is great, showing off a city that’s surprisingly clean looking for such an evil world. Facial expressions show how mindless some of the clones are as they walk in groups done the hall, and they usually do a good job at showing people’s emotions. There’s one bizarre panel where both Ben and Jessica have their eyes shut while running, and maybe a few too many panels where characters pointlessly have their legs wide apart – although it happens just as much for the guys as it does for Jessica so it’s certainly not “sexist”.
Despite its flaws, this is a good comic featuring three spider-clones working on a clone problem. It takes place in a world that’s twisted in an interesting way, featuring three characters who are fun when working together. While Spider-Man 2099 is the better book of today’s Spider-Verse tie-ins, I would recommend both.