The Spectacular Spider-Ma’am Returns In Spider-Verse #2

by James Ferguson

With the Spider-Verse in trouble, Miles Morales is hopping through dimensions searching for Annie May Parker, the one person who can repel the corruption spreading through the Web of Life and Destiny. His travels bring him to the earth where Aunt May got spider powers instead of her nephew Peter. Get ready for another adventure of the Spectacular Spider-Ma’am!

The spider-powered Aunt May was a fun character introduced in Spider-Geddon. At the time, it was little more than a joke. Spider-Verse #2 fleshes her out a bit more, adding some depth to not only her heroics in costume, but her relationship with her husband and nephew. They work as a team to fight crime, although Ben and Peter desperately want to get in on the action.
Peter’s story is particularly interesting here as he’s a smart kid who just learned of a multiverse where all kinds of Spider heroes exist, most of which are different versions of himself. Imagine realizing that you drew the short straw and got stuck on one of the few worlds where you can’t climb walls. You’re just a normal kid being constantly reminded of all the amazing things other versions of you are doing out there. Under other circumstances, this would be the makings of a super villain, but not here.  Writer Ryan North plays with this idea in interesting ways.

Speaking of villains, we do see a twisted version of this happy family. If the multiverse exists to play out every possible answer to every decision, there has to be one where Aunt May turns bad. This leads to the appearance of Aunt May Carnage which is something I never thought I’d type, but here we are. Artist Pere Perez presents a rather unsettling version of May, twisted by the insanity of the Carnage symbiote. Her teeth are jagged points. Her hands end in razor sharp claws. She’s a monster.
The symbiote swirls and changes around May’s body, like it’s pulsing with evil and rage. Inker Jordi Tarragona Garcia captures this sickly feeling perfectly.

Letterer Joe Sabino adds to this terror with scratchy black word balloons, conveying a gravely tone. I’m trying to juxtapose May’s warm elderly voice with what is coming out of this version’s mouth.
While Aunt May Carnage is pretty horrifying, her husband has a truly disturbing look about him, highlighted by colorist Marte Gracia. His sweater vest is covered in dark dried blood. We don’t know how it got there or whose blood it is, but it’s enough to get your mind racing. Gracia contrasts the two versions of the family well, with the evil ones shown in shadow and the heroes in the light.

Spider-Verse #2 presents an interesting look at the Web of Life and Destiny. We’ve been so focused on the Spider heroes of the multiverse that we haven’t really thought of the more sinister side of things. If there are all these good guys, there are bound to be some bad ones out there wreaking havoc. What does this mean for Miles’ quest? Where will his adventures take him next?
Spider-Verse #2 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

%d bloggers like this: