With Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse dominating this past weekend’s box office the momentum does not need to stop at the movie screen. There are a ton of comic books to read to continue your Spider-Verse fix. Marvel has certainly been stepping up their production of alternate universe Spider-Men and Spider-Women since Into The Spider-Verse came out. From multiple crossover events to self-contained alternate universe with different versions of Spider-Man and Spider-Woman there is plenty of content out there. Coming out of Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse here are the comic books to continue the experience of the Spider-Verse
EDGE OF THE SPIDER-VERSE 2022
Comic Book Issues: Edge Of The Spider-Verse (2022) #1 – #5
Writers: Dan Slott, Alex Segura, Karla Pacheco, Dustin Weaver, DJ Byant, Mallory Rosenthal, Ramzee, Chris Gianrrusso, Nikesh Shukla, Sanshiro Kasama, Zack Davisson, Jordan Blum, David Hein, Tee Franklin, JM DeMatteis, Steve Foxe, Phil Lord
Artists: Martin Coccolo, Caio Majdo, Pere Perez, Dustin Weaver, DJ Byant, Chris Gianrrusso, IG Guara, Ruairi Coleman, Paco Medina, Mark Bagley, David Baldeon, Gerardo Sandoval, Abhishek Malsuny, Michael Shelfer, Luciano Vecchio, Ty Templeton, Jethro Morales, Bob Mcleod, Kei Zama, and David Lopez
Inkers: Paco Medina and Walden Wong
Colorists: Brian Reber, Rico Renzi, Edgar Delgado, Israel Silva, Andrew Crossley, Erick Arciniega, Hikaru Uesugi, Chris Sotomayor, and Jim Campbell
Letterers: Joe Caramagna and Chris Eliopoulos
With the latest edition of Edge Of The Spider-Verse Marvel went even more all-in on creating different versions of Spider-Man and Spider-Woman. This time around the 2022 Edge Of The Spider-Verse was treated more as an anthology series that gave us three different stories in each of the five issues. The focus was on both pre-existing versions like Spider-Man Noir and Araña along with new versions like a Felicia Hardy Night-Spider and Sakura-Spider.
To all of the creative teams credit they made the most of their allotted time to tell a story. Each story was self-contained that gives the reader a good sense of each version of Spider-Man and Spider-Woman that get the spotlight. By the end of each story you have a good sense of who each character is. And most importantly are left wanting to read more stories for each of the fifteen versions of Spider-Man or Spider-Woman featured.
This is definitely the place to start after watching Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse.
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN VOLUME 1
Comic Book Issues: Ultimate Comics Fallout #4 and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011) #1 – #5
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: Cory Petit
Miles Morales is the star of the Spider-Verse movie trilogy. To see where it all starts for him it goes back to his debut in the Ultimate Universe. Introduced by Brian Bendis and Sara Pichelli, the first volume goes over Miles Morales origin. With that we see how Peter Parker’s death indirectly acts as Miles Morales “Uncle Ben Death” moment. Gaining his Spider powers right before Peter’s final face-off against Green Goblin we see how Miles’ own guilt for not helping his predecessor, though they had no prior connection, weighed heavy on him. A conversation with Ultimate Gwen Stacy was key in pushing Miles forward to be the successor of the Spider-Man legacy.
Along the way we also see how Miles is different from Peter. Their background and dynamic with those around him is distinctly different. While both nerds Miles goes about things differently, like sharing his secret with his best friend Ganke right away. There is also more of a focus on Miles family dynamic with his parents and his culture as a half African-America and half Puerto Rican teen.
Adding to all this is the fact that this is the version of Miles Morales that has continued even as the character was moved over to the core Earth-616 Marvel Universe.
SPIDER-GWEN: MOST WANTED
Comic Book Issues: Edge Of Spider-Verse (2014) #2 and Spider-Gwen (2015) #1 – #5
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
As a slight spoiler to Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, the movie dives into the origin of Earth-65 Gwen Stacy, aka Spider-Gwen. What you see in the movie is more of a truncated version of what Gwen’s origin and life is in the comics. Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted collection expands on a lot of things about Earth-65 you see in the movie.
Specifically, we see how Gwen is part of a band named The Mary Janes and her Spider-Woman life makes it so even with her few friends she stays at an arm’s length. There is also a strong focus on Gwen’s relationship with her father, George Stacy. There relationship is kept distant because of Gwen’s life as Spider-Woman. It’s made complicated by the way George learns about Gwen being Spider-Woman. We see how that impacts their relationship and the way George goes about his work as an NYPD officer.
Earth-65 also features major changes to other Marvel characters. While certain villains are the same there are other heroes and villains whose role in Earth-65 are altered in intriguing new ways. The character who is the Kingpin of Crime goes on to be a long-term threat in the series.
SPIDER-MAN 2099 VOLUME 1
Comic Book Issues: Spider-Man 2099 (1992) #1 – #10
Writer: Peter David
Artists: Rick Leonardi and Kelley Jones
Inkers: Mark McKenna and Al Williamson
Colorists: Tom Chu, Steve Buccellato, Noelle Giddings, Jerron Quality Color
Letterer: Rick Parker
Miguel O’Hara stands out as a unique version of Spider-Man in many ways. A big difference from Peter, Miles, Gwen, and others is that Miguel becomes Spider-Man as an adult well after already building a personal and professional life. The adult nature of Miguel’s character extends to how Peter David goes about his Spider-Man origin. There is a much darker turn taken with how Miguel gains his powers.
While Miguel has certainly been toned done in more recent incarnations of the character the original Spider-Man 2099 version does show some of the extremes we see in Across The Spider-Verse. Also taking place into the far future, Spider-Man 2099 is able to utilize some cyberpunk elements to the setting. And we see Miguel deal with the heavy corporate nature of the future Marvel Universe he lives in.
SPIDER-WOMAN: BABY TALK
Comic Book Issues: Spider-Woman (2015) #1 – #5
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Travis Lanham
While addressed as Jessica Drew in Across The Spider-Verse we see also merges Valerie the Librarian, who appeared in Spidey Super Stories who is the original Spider-Woman. That said, the Across The Spider-Verse version of Jessica Drew is heavily inspired by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez’s Spider-Woman run. That includes the costume Jessica wears and utilizing a motorcycle rather than webs to travel.
As in the movie, Jessica decides to continue being active as Spider-Woman while pregnant. This all comes with its own complications as Jessica is well aware other heroes take a break from superheroics. It does create a scenario where Jessica has to be much more creative when it comes to dealing with the threats she comes up against. Though the pregnancy doesn’t last long as Jessica gives birth by the end of the fourth issue. Still, this is the best starting point for the modern day version of Jessica Drew as her motherhood status quo has continued.
SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS – BRAWL IN THE FAMILY
Comic Book Issues: Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #1 – #5
Writers: Gerry Conway and Kate Leth
Artists: Ryan Stegman, Marguerite Sauvage, Nathan Stockman, and Anthony Holden
Colorists: Sonia Oback and Jesus Aburtov
Letterers: Joe Caramagna and Clayton Cowles
Continuing from Into The Spider-Verse, we see Peter B. Parker as a dad. There are several alternate universes where we see Peter as a dad. But the best of them is Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, were Peter is married to Mary Jane Watson-Parker and they are raising a young Annie Parker. At a young age Annie has already developed her superpowers as she is established as mutant. This makes the job of being a parent even more complicated for Peter and MJ.
With Peter and MJ’s daughter having powers we see the two along with Annie become a family of heroes. Even MJ gains her own superhero identity as Spinneret. It is a refreshing take on superheroes raising their kid as Peter and MJ quickly get over trying to keep Annie from using her powers for her own safety. Instead they are shown as supportive parents while still being protective as Annie grows to become a young adult hero, making Annie one of the most experienced Spider-Man or Spider-Woman in the multiverse.
Comic Book Issues: Spider-Man: India (2004) #1 – #4
Writers: Jeevan Kang, Suresh Seetharaman, and Sharad Devarajan
Artist: Jeevan Kang
Colorist: Gotham Studios Asia
Letterer: David Sharpe
The Spider-Man: India we see in Across The Spider-Verse is not the same one in the comic books. Other than sharing the same name of Pavitr Prabhakar they are distinctly different. Even their costumes are distinctly different as the comic sticks to the original Spider-Man look. Some of the initial set-up for Pavitr character are reminiscent to Ultimate Peter Parker, which isn’t surprising since Ultimate Spider-Man popularity surpassed Amazing Spider-Man at the time.
All that said, Pavitr Prabhakar stands out as an early alternate version of Spider-Man. The setting and background in particular make Pavitr a memorable character. Giving Spider-Man: India’s villains a more supernatural tone makes the threats Pavitr has to go up against take on a big event look. The final battles in the mini-series specifically have an epic scale to the way the fights go down.
SPIDER-PUNK: BATTLE OF THE BANNED
Comic Book Issues: Spider-Punk #1 – #5
Writer: Cody Ziglar
Artist: Justin Mason
Colorist: Jim Charalampidis
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Hobbie Brown’s Spider-Punk is a relatively new version of Spider-Man. Debuting back during the original Spider-Verse comic book event in Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #10, Hobbie didn’t get a major spotlight until the Spider-Geddon event in 2018. But it wasn’t until recently with Hobbie’s first solo comic book in the 2022 Spider-Punk mini-series where Hobbie got a full view into who he is and his world of Earth-138.
As with the movie, Spider-Punk is a rebel free spirit. Hobbie even leads a team called the Spider Band that includes versions of Captain America, Daredevil, Ms. Marvel, Hulk, and Ironheart of his universe. The band set-up leads to the Spider-Punk series being more of a team series that highlights how even as a rebel Hobbie is natural leader. That along with the with the Spider Band go up against various Marvel villains makes the 2022 Spider-Punk series a fun read.