Even though "Spider-Verse" and all of the ancillary tie-in books have wrapped up, writer Dan Slott and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli aren't done with "Spider-Verse," as readers will discover in "Amazing Spider-Man" #15. Branded an epilogue, this comic does more to finalize "Spider-Verse" than the final chapter of the event itself did.
Slott hits all of the highlights and questions the readers might be slinging his way: "How do all the Spiders get home," "What happens with Otto Parker now," "Will any of the Spiders ever be happy," "Will we see more of Spider-(fill-in-the-blank)?" The problem is that there are so many outstanding questions and loose threads that the issue seems to sprint to the conclusion of each of those. Slott tries to give each morsel attention and tucks in character bits around each, but some are more demanding of space than others, which simply compounds the frenzied focus of "Amazing Spider-Man" #15.
In the end, Slott hits the bases but leaves so many backdoor openings, teasing out so many new threads that this feels like less of an epilogue and more of an issue that is, simply, in the middle of everything. Sure, there are a few series to spin out of "Spider-Verse" with even more on the horizon as the Marvel Universe nears its 2015 "Secret Wars" event, but an epilogue should close a few more doors than it opens. The story is fun and filled with an expectedly larger helping of one-liners; Slott uses "Amazing Spider-Man" #15 as a turning point for Peter Parker, but the story simply lacks finality.
For a shadowy tale, Giuseppe Camuncoli is on target, as the doom and gloom that was so pervasive throughout "Spider-Verse" begins to crack a little bit, offering readers hope in the new threads Slott introduces. Although the scale is a little off between Uncle Ben and Mayday's little brother, Camuncoli links all of the Parkers together in Earth-982, showing readers that Ben Parker is related to Mayday, despite their origins stemming from different universes. There are some characters Camuncoli and his inkers Cam Smith and Roberto Poggi handle better than others but, for the most part, the artwork in "Amazing Spider-Man" #15 is solid. Camuncoli has some fun with "the" Spider-Man's eyes in a nice visual tribute to Steve Ditko's work, enabling the black outline of the mask's eyes to squint and dilate.
The storytelling is pressed for time and space throughout the issue, but Camuncoli does a fine job of keeping everyone moving and the story clean. Likewise, Justin Ponsor brings all the necessary colors, including plenty of reds, blues, purples and oranges. The latter two secondary colors are used to indicate barriers and passages between dimensions, and the difference in tone helps the reader recognize the point of origin. Letterer Chris Eliopoulos packs plenty of sound effects, but his use of "CHOP" for a karate block in the midst of a knife fight took a moment to properly discern. Otherwise, everything is appointed nicely with plenty of room for Camuncoli's art to shine through.
"Amazing Spider-Man" #15 closes the door on "Spider-Verse" as Slott and company look toward the future with Peter Parker clearly in control of his own destiny. There are plenty of threads to pick up but, for the first time in what feels like years, Slott will be able to tell a Spider-Man tale that doesn't revolve around Otto Octavius or build towards a universe-spanning event. For now, "Amazing Spider-Man" #15 is the first inhale for that breath of fresh air.