Part two of “Spider-Verse” spins into “Amazing Spider-Man” #10, written by Dan Slott and drawn by Olivier Coipel, with inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors from Justin Ponsor and Chris Eliopoulos on letters. Slott name-checks a bunch of Spider-People and gives more than a few of them a chance to strut their stuff — or, rather, swing their webs.
Slott marks time in this issue, shifting the focus from one group of Spiders to another and connecting the dots between the two so readers can more completely grasp the larger picture of “Spider-Verse.” This affords more space for name-checking, produces scenes for Coipel to shine and gives readers moments to “Oooo!” and “Ahhh!” over. The writer also squeezes in some humor, like Spider-Monkey having issue with Spider-Ham and “Amazing” Spider-Man (Peter Parker) trying to explain “Superior” Spider-Man (Doc Ock in Peter’s body from the past) to “Ultimate” Spider-Man (Miles Morales). Slott packs in plenty of action as the Inheritors attack while Superior Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man bicker about where all the Spiders should be.
For all of the action and name-checking, the inconsistencies and holes in the story become more distracting. Verna of the Inheritors has a convenient exclamatory outburst to remind readers of who she is, but was conveniently off-panel for a handful of Spiders to introduce themselves to one another, despite the fact that nothing should have removed her from attacking her foes. Additionally, the name-checking is inconsistent. Yes, the issue would be littered with meaningless nametags all over the place if Chris Eliopoulos identified each and every Spider upon first appearance, but at least there would be some consistency. Another option would be to identify all of the Spiders up front, like in Hickman’s “Avengers” issues.
Olivier Coipel’s art is, as expected, magnificent. “Amazing Spider-Man” #10 is filled with lots of dramatic poses, which look great, but don’t do much to imbue the story with action or energy. That is appropriate, as this issue has a great deal more talking than action. The action sequences are tight, but Coipel’s true strengths in this comic book lie in detailing the differences between Miles Morales, Miguel O’Hara, Peter Parker and Otto Octavius-controlled Parker. Inker Wade Von Grawbadger helps detail the differences and makes a difference with the other details in setting and backdrop. Justin Ponsor pours out the purples, as the portals between universes are activated. With most of the characters clothed in some combination of blue, red, white and/or black, purple seems like a strong fit, rounding out the visuals just as Ponsor helps complete the few drawings that Coipel leaves less polished.
It seems as though “Spider-Verse” has been running for a long time at this point, but in reality this is the second chapter of the saga in “Amazing Spider-Man.” As “Spider-Verse” is ratcheting up the speed, a mind map would treat this as the hub with spokes going off in no less than four directions. While a great deal of what happens next doesn’t happen here, it is happening in the various “Spider-Verse” spinoffs as noted in the editor’s boxes throughout “Amazing Spider-Man” #10. In the meantime, readers are treated to such highlights as one of the characters actually saying, “It’s a clone thing. You wouldn’t understand,” while Old Man Spider-Man warns the Spiders to protect “The Scion. The Other. The Bride.” There’s a lot going on here other than crazy variations on Spider-Man, and it is really just starting to ramp up.