Peter Parker was able to save his Uncle Ben’s life with a blood transfusion that gave him spider powers too. Now Spider-Ben and Petey are cleaning up the streets. You might think this will be a fun story of a super family, but there are a few more layers at work in Edge of Spider-Geddon #3.
I thought I knew the formula for this prequel series, but this issue threw me for a loop in the best possible way. While I’ve enjoyed the first two chapters, they were mainly fun one-shots that re-introduced some characters and not much else. This one is on an entirely new level. I don’t want to spoil the twist that sets this issue apart, however I will say there’s a point in this issue that reframes the entire story and it hits like a punch to the gut.
The relationship between Uncle Ben and Petey is very touching. Here’s a gruff old man and his rebellious almost teenage nephew fighting crime. Their personalities clash hard, but there’s real love between them. You can tell that Ben cares deeply for the boy and wants to do what he can to keep him safe, even while the two of them go out to fight super villains together. This is very reminiscent of Batman and Robin.
Edge of Spider-Geddon #3 is balanced between laugh-out-loud comedy and somber drama. Writer Jason Latour takes us on this incredible and touching journey. We’re guided through a number of adventures of this duo, ranging from the carefree and silly to the deadly serious.
One example of the latter is a gorgeous sequence where Ben fights Kraven the Hunter. The page is broken up into over a dozen panels, each focusing on a brutal attack. Artist Tonci Zonjic does a brilliant job here with both the artwork and the colors, along with Ian Herring. Each panel is shown in a vibrant color with the red emphasizing the violent images such as a close-up of a fist or Ben’s rage-filled face. It’s like a flashing red light over the scene.
Petey’s design is very childlike. His costume is practically a onesie. As a parent, I just want to protect the kid, which is probably another reason this issue hit me as hard as it did. I can easily identify with Ben and how he’s looking out for his nephew. It looks like this started out fun and as a great way for the two of them to share something special and spend time together. Then it grew out of control and got deadly. A line was crossed and it shocked the system.
Every aspect of Edge of Spider-Geddon #3 works together to tell a brilliant story. Even Cory Petit’s letters emphasize the quiet moments of reflection or the bombastic hilarity. There are subtleties to the font size and word balloon placement that work as the perfect final piece to the puzzle.
Every issue of Edge of Spider-Geddon to date has made me desperately want an ongoing anthology series focusing on a different Spider character with each issue. This one is no different, however it sits head and shoulders above everything we’ve seen so far. This is truly something special. In the scheme of things, it was intended to introduce Spider-Ben and Petey before Spider-Geddon started up. While it accomplished that task, it also delivered so much more.
You have an idea of what a tie-in mini-series is supposed to be like. It can often be a quick cash grab leading up to the main event. This is not that at all. This is on another level. To get right to the point, this is one of the best comics I’ve read this year.