In this installment, we will look at the prelude issues leading up to the Spider-Verse main event.
Edge of Spider-Verse
Our first real taste of Spider-Verse came on Free Comic Book day 2014. Marvel’s contribution included a story that would hearken us back to the Neil Gaiman created world of Marvel 1602. Marvel 1602 was an 8 issue mini-series that ran in 2003/2004 that re-imagined the Marvel universe in the Elizabethan era. Definitely a recommended read, though I can’t speak to it’s sequels.
In this story we find Peter Parquagh, The Spider of Earth-311 performing in a play in full costume. Morlun arrives and easily dispatches him.
Deaths: Peter Parquagh, The Spider, Earth-311. (First appearance Marvel 1602 #1)
Superior Spider-Man 32 – Story 1 – After getting sucked into the time-stream in Superior Spider-Man #19, Spock ends up in 2099. In trying to get home, Spock builds the vortex from Sliders and it works just as well. He ends up on multiple different earths, each time shortly after their version of Spider-Man has been killed by Karn (Morlun’s brother and the first of the other Inheritors we meet). By the end of the issue, he has started arriving ahead of Karn and recruiting Spider-Totems for a rebellion.
There is a long list of deaths in this story:
- Reed Richards, Human Torch, The Thing and Spider-Man from Earth-772. This Earth is from the very first issue of What If? that asked “What If Spider-Man Joined The Fantastic Four?”
- House of M Spider-Man Earth-58163. This Spider-Man is from the popular Marvel House of M event that occurred when the Scarlet Witch lost her marbles and tried to alter reality to bring back her children. It will be interesting to see how Secret Wars treats this death (and others) since we know there is a House of M zone on Battleworld.
- Iron Spider Earth-TRN443. You would think What If? Civil War would be the Earth that this Spider-Man hails from, but no. Spider-Man does appear (and dies!) in that issue, but not in the Iron Spider suit. This is one of those cases where Marvel basically needed to find a way to get in any costume changes that 616 Peter has had over the years. The first appearance of the Iron Spider suit in 616 continuity was Amazing Spider-Man #529. It was built for Spider-Man by Tony Stark fittingly after The Other.
- Spider-Armor Earth-TRN442. Similarly, created this issue just to allow them to off one of Peter’s other suits. First (and only) appearance of the Spider-Armor in 616 continuity was in Web of Spider-Man #100.
Story 2 – Spock recruits Spider-Man-8351 aka Assassin Spider-Man. This story technically takes place during the first story of this issue. Assassin Spider-Man first appeared in What If? Spider-Man vs Wolverine.
Edge of Spider-Verse 1 – Spider-Man Noir – takes place during Superior #32. Karn comes looking for Spider-Man Noir, Spock saves and recruits him. No deaths.
Amazing Spider-Man 7 – Story 2 – In Otherworld, the omniversal hub of all cross time, Billy Braddock aka Spider-UK, can observe the multiverse and track The Inheritors. There is also talk of incursions for you Secret Wars completists. Spider-UK is given a talisman that allows him to travel along The Great Web.
Deaths: Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, Earth-1983: Spider-Man, Firestar, Iceman. Spider-Cat Earth-999 (First appearance Spider-Island: I Love New York City #1). Spider-Man Earth-7831. (There is some confusion over who this Spider-Man is, though he appears to wear the suit of the Spider-Man Unlimited cartoon, but his mask is blue instead of red.)
Edge of Spider-Verse 2 – Gwen Stacey: Spider-Woman (henceforth known, including the title of her solo title, as Spider-Gwen). First appearance of a Gwen Stacey Spider-Person and a Peter Parker lizard. No Inheritors. Spider-UK makes a cameo at the end as he has been watching Gwen in action and prepares to recruit her. No deaths.
Superior Spider-Man 33 – Story 1 – The Spiders battle Karn but are outmatched when Brix and Bora arrive. The Spiders manage to escape as we first learn of the sibling rivalry between these Inheritors. No deaths.
Story 2 – gives us background on the Inheritors, notably Karn and why he wears the mask. Deaths: Ai Apaec in his first and only appearance.
Edge of Spider-Verse 3 – 1st and only appearance of Aaron Aikman: The Spider-Man.
Deaths: Not shown, but implied that he is killed by Morlun at the stories conclusion.
Edge of Spider-Verse 4 – A very alternate and dark telling of Spider-Man’s familiar origin featuring Patton Parnell as the boy who gets bitten by a radioactive spider.
Deaths: Patton Parnell killed by Morlun.
Edge of Spider-Verse 5 – 1st appearance of Sp//dr a robot piloted by school girl Peni Parker. She is recruited to fight the Inheritors by Spider-Ham and Old Man Spider (who wears the costume of “Last Stand Spider-Man”). No deaths.
Spider-Man 2099 5 – Morlun is killing Miguel O’Hara’s (Spider-Man 2099) across the multiverse. We also learn that Morlun is “afraid” to return to the 616 because of his defeat at the hands of “our” Peter Parker. Though he claims he is just saving it for last. Sure Morlun, sure.
Deaths: Miguel O’Hara Earth-98120 (First appearance Avengers Forever #12), Miguel O’Hara Earth-6375 (First appearance Exiles #75), Miguel O’Hara Earth-96099 (And his non Spider father, first appearance Timestorm 2009-2099 #1)
Amazing Spider-Man 8 – (Story 2) In a nod to MC2 Spider-Girl’s popularity, her back up story actually gets 75% of the cover real estate. In the last Edge of Spider-Verse story, Old Man Spider and Spider-UK save Mayday and her brother Benjy from Daemos but are too late to save the original MC2 Spider-Man. (The MC2 Spider-Family made their first appearance in What If? Vol 2 #105 They would prove so popular that Marvel would launch an entire alternate future line of comics based on this issue, dubbed Marvel Comics 2 or MC2 for short.)
Deaths: Spider-Man/Peter Parker Earth-982, Mary Jane Watson-Parker Earth-982 (assumed)
Up next in Part Four: Spider-Verse!