This article contains spoilers for Edge of Spider-Verse #3Both Spider Man and the avengers tell the exact same story in Marvel Comics, but while one story is fresh and genuinely suspenseful, the other frustrates readers with slow pacing and a vague plot that squirms more than marches. The two franchises are among Marvel’s most popular (a group of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and arguably the most recognizable superhero ever put on the page), and both are often led by talented writers with many years and even decades of experience in the comic book industry. . But Edge of Spider-Verse #3 proves that the stories in both books vary wildly, and that makes all the difference.
The Spider-Verse is a relatively new concept in the Marvel Comics universe, which was introduced into the books in 2014 with the storyline of the same name. Multiple Spider-Men from different realities cross the boundaries of space and time to work together to take on an all-encompassing threat. The concept of the Spider-Verse became quite popular with fans and regular readers alike, so much so that in 2018 Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse released in theaters (and a two-part sequel will be released in 2023 and 2024 respectively).
Run by veteran writer Dan Slott, Edge of Spider-Veres #3 continues the plot of the previous two issues: multiple Spider-Men including Spider-Man of India, Sakura-Spider, the Night-Spider (a variant of Spider-Man and Black Cat) and more work together and are linked by Madame Web, travel through reality to collect the Spider-Heroes. Meanwhile, Jason Aaron’s avengers run shows an almost infinite number of Mephisto variants in their attempt to conquer all of reality, and the Avengers must have multiple variants of himself to resist the attack of the demon.
Marvel may be leaning too hard on its multiverse
The (proverbial) devil is in the details; the Spider-Verse story introduces the bridging element (Madame Webb recruiting other heroes) early in the story, while the avengers books introduce not just a character variant, but an entire universe to go with it. While the settings are imaginative, readers know that many will never be seen again. Additionally, Spider-Verse was advertised as an anthology series to begin with, while the avengers run continues to introduce more and more Avengers with little or no appearance from the 616 characters themselves.
Both books tell the same story and relate to the multiverse, but avengers shows the pitfalls of leaning on the Multiverse trope at the expense of character development. The series focuses on introducing Avenger after Avenger, but does little to bring them into the larger cast of characters (and again, many may be more interesting because ideas than real people). Spider-Man’s book, on the other hand, focuses on fewer characters but develops them equally (and with less time too), showing that the webslinger’s use of the multiverse may be more efficient than the avengers run in current comics.
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