Rating: 3/5 – Great Art Isn’t Enough to Make Up for a Superficial Story.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Each issue of Edge of Spider-Verse not only focuses on a different Spider-Man from a different earth, but each issue has also had a different creative team. In the third issue of the series, Dustin Weaver takes on both the art and writing chores and introduces us to Aaron Aikman, a Spider-Man that’s similar to Peter Parker, but uses a more mechanized suit that feels more like it belongs in a Manga themed Marvel Universe. This third issue is heavy on the artistic detail which is a plus, but it’s also heavy on the exposition which makes this a tougher read.
Artistically, each page caused me to do a double take as Weaver’s rendering of Spider-Man and the city in which he operates is tremendous. After an opening origin sequence, we see Spider-Man leap into action. Weaver details the intricacies of the suit which includes propulsion boots and a helmet with an array of sensors cleverly drawn as multiple eyes. Weaver gives the suit life by showing how each part is connected and how it all works. The backgrounds are just as impressive as the pencils in his character design work. The city scape is packed with buildings, the lab in which Aaron works is full of tools and equipment, and the villains all look unique with their creative design. Weaver even goes so far as to incorporate and illustrate the old Marvel trading cards from the 1990s to tell the villain’s origins. Weaver’s art impresses, but his writing isn’t on the same level.
This issue feels dense with it’s amount of word balloons and exposition. Weaver doesn’t have a lot of writing credits, so it’s a bit understandable that this issue reads the way it does. The dialogue feels forced at times, and the relationship between Aaron and his love interest lacks emotion and because of the dialogue feels awkward. Weaver’s origin scene only shows how Aikman got his powers, but fails to define what his motivations are. Why is he driven to choose the life of Spider-Man and risk his life day in and day out. Not only that, but the issue ends on a cliffhanger that may or may not get resolved considering each issue of Spider-Verse is a done-in-one, and the next issue introduces us to a new Spider-Man
Overall, the beautiful art isn’t enough for me to recommend this issue. Given more time and future issues, Dustin Weaver may have been able to be more patient, slowly building this character up, allowing him to capture the reader’s respect and attention. Instead, Weaver throws a lot at the reader and doesn’t allow any one idea or concept to really connect. Weaver’s art is beautiful throughout, packing the pages full of detail, but unfortunately his writing fell short for me and at the end of this third issue I wasn’t connected with this version of Spider-Man.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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