WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel's Spider-Verse #1 by Jed MacKay, Juan Frigeri, Carlos Lopez, Stacey Lee, Arthur Adams, Federico Blee, James Harren, Dave Strewart, Dike Ruan, Carlos Lopez, Sheldon Vella, and VC's Joe Sabino, on sale now.
The Spider-Verse stories have always been a great way for creators to introduce a whole new slew of Spider-Heroes from around disparate new realities.
The new Spider-Verse event is no different, introducing a new collection of allies to team up with Miles Morales, ranging from characters plucked from cyberpunk realities to post-apocalyptic, ruined worlds.
As Miles is thrown across the multiverse by Spider-Zero, he lands in the cyber-punk future of the Spider-Gang. Earth-192013525 is home to Manhattan 2.0, a massive and seemingly technologically advanced version of New York City.
There is more than just one Spider-Hero in this reality. In fact, there's an entire gang of teenagers swinging together. They catch a dazed Miles and help him up, telling him to put his mask back on or risk being "pinched by the Ironmen." That suggests this is a world where Tony Stark helped found a privatized police force. Unfortunately for Miles, he arrived just in time for a rumble between the three shown members of the Spider Gang and their rivals, the Goblin Gang.
The reality has a visual similarity with classic dystopian anime like Akira, showing the teens wearing a mix of modern fashion and spiked body armor. The fact that all three are on the warpath with the Goblins suggests that they may not be the outright altruistic heroes that many of the other Spiders across the multiverse are, but they at least seem to be wielding far fewer weapons than the more cavalier Goblin Gang, hinting they might still be the more heroic of the two gangs.
Lord Spider also hails from a very different version of New York, although his reality is far grimmer. Earth-10113519 is a post-apocalyptic ruin, with Miles landing somewhere in the Queens Crater atop a ravaged Spider-Buggy.
It's revealed the car is being driven by the mysterious Lord Spider, who explains that this world was destroyed in a nuclear war. Miles finds him on the run from a heavily mutated version of the X-Men, who wants to stop Lord Spider because he possesses the last sample of non-irradiated human DNA in existence.
Although Miles tries to help this Mad Max-esque Spider-Man, Lord Spider bids him good luck when he's taken from this reality by Spider-Zero. Lord Spider seems unusually calm and collected for a Spider-Hero. There are no quips or even small talk, just a plain explanation as to what's happening and some hopeful words for Miles as he continues to be zapped around the multiverse. It's probably a result of the hellish world he calls home. However, he still notably has the "never say die" trait that can be found in most Spider-Heroes, meaning he might have a chance of escaping the people chasing after him.
Earth-1411319 may be the most peaceful world that Miles lands on -- though not completely stress-free. This is the world of "Monsterhattan," where everything (and everyone) are actually large, monstrous figures. Miles is terrified by the populace, but they're just as scared of him. Miles swings away, eventually running into Spider-Monster, the giant protector of this city, and isn't long until he's whisked away yet again to another corner of the multiverse.
One fun element of this reality is that the monsters are so easily surprised and scared. There's no apparent evilness to them, it's just that they look radically different to normal humans. Spider-Monster even comes across as a pretty level-headed and reasonable version of the hero. This could turn out to be the Marvel equivalent of the world from Monsters Inc., and possibly the perfect way to do a stealth Marvel/Pixar crossover. Easily worth a second visit.
Miles ends up visiting two previously introduced worlds in the issue, one of which is Earth-138, home to the former Spider-Punk, Hobie Brown, who protects the Bronx as Spider-Man. After helping Hobie deal with the Universal Church of Truth, Miles is shunted off to Planet Spider on Earth-51778, home to Takuya, aka Supidāman.
Although Miles initially thinks he's Spider-Zero, it's revealed to actually be a young girl who's never appeared before. She's barefoot and wearing a damaged teal and red Spider-suit. She also seems to be close with an abnormally large spider that she carries around with her, and is capable of web-shooting through the multiverse, with each time Miles is dragged into other reality accompanied by a trademark "THWIP" sound effect.
Spider-Zero reveals that she was previously working with Anna May Parker, aka Spiderling, to try and repair the Web of Life and Destiny. While Annie was meant to create a new web, Spider-Zero was chosen to "be at the center" and serve as the new protector of the web as Karn once did.
But Spiderling has apparently gone missing and the web has begun to become corrupted. Spider-Zero (wanting to use the next generation of Spider-Heroes to try and protect the new version of the web) decided to recruit Miles instead of Peter Parker, officially recruiting Miles to her mission.
Not much else is revealed about Spider-Zero, leaving open the possibility that there's more to her than she seems. She can be seen wearing a "Mary Janes" patch on her jacket, though, suggesting she's either from the same reality as Ghost-Spider or at least knows of the band.