EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3 by Jason Latour, Tonci Zonjic, Brahm Revel, and Ian Herring
EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3 excels at its characterization and its building of a realistic, noir version of New York City. While certain elements of the story needed to be touched on more concretely, overall this is a fantastic story with incredible art and character-building.
92 %
Emotionally Powerful
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Most people know Spider-Man’s story by now. On a school trip, Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and given incredible powers. However, it isn’t until the death of his Uncle Ben does this teenager become a superhero. In all of the multiverse, this is largely true. Nevertheless, as we see in EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3, there are a few universes where Ben Parker doesn’t die. But does this character return to comics with a bang?

On an alternate Earth, events play out much like ordinary. Peter Parker gets spider powers, becomes a menace to J. Jonah Jameson, and stops bad guys on a regular basis. However, on the fateful day of Ben Parker’s death, Peter comes to his uncle’s rescue with a blood transfusion. Alive and now fully powered, Ben Parker joins his nephew fighting crime on the streets of New York. All seems well. Why then does this story take place in flashback? Why is Ben Parker without his fellow Spider-Man, drinking alone in a bar?

The End of an Era

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3, Page 1. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Writer Jason Latour continues the SPIDER-GEDDON tradition of excellence with EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3. I loved this issue, mostly because of the tone. It is great to see a story set from a more jaded, cynical point of view. Ben Parker isn’t the hopelessly optimistic old man that we’ve seen before. He has seen the world pass him by, and he comes off as almost bitter. This leads to a really interesting story that feels more grounded than other Spider-narratives. I especially enjoyed the look at real moral dilemmas that Latour adds into the story. The “villains” of this story are simply members of the New York Hispanic community, forced to rebel against Norman Osborn’s forced gentrification. This acts as the backbone of the story, showcasing again Latour’s more realistic take on the Spider-Man mythos.

I really only noticed one spot in which EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3 stumbles. Throughout the story, we are forced to question why Ben is now alone. He is drinking himself stupid in a bar, and spilling his guts to the bartender. Near the issue’s end, we discover that something happens to Aunt May and Peter, though this subject is never breached in full. I felt like this needed to be touched on more concretely. Latour fast-forwards through so much of the battles and superheroics, cutting instead to the emotional, human moments between uncle and nephew. This is a brilliant narrative decision. I grew so attached to Pete and Ben that not knowing how their story ends simply kills me.

Old Man Spider

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3, Page 2. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

The true brilliance of EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3 is in its modernity. This story doesn’t feel like a parody of modern culture. It feels like a truly grounded take on a real American city. Ben Parker suffers from real issues, as does his community. Peter buries his head in his phone, and cares more about the views his antics get on social media than actually being a superhero. This is a real world, and because of this, this version of New York has a ton of personality on its own. Even the threats against it come from a place of compassion and protection rather than world-domination.

The true make-or-break quality of this issue, though, is the relationship between Ben and Peter. I loved the progression that Latour takes us through. We see them from the very beginning, unable to speak each other’s languages. They cannot connect, but somehow, through superheroing, they find a bond. They grow as friends and family in a way that writers rarely touch upon. Thus, when Peter is nearly badly hurt by Kraven near the issue’s end, you almost take Ben’s side. Ben panics and benches the poor kid, but we can’t fault him for this decision. We understand that Ben simply doesn’t want to lose that connection. As such, when all we have left at the end is a picture of them on Peter’s phone, your heart simply breaks.

Gritty Simplicity

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3, Page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Adding to this realistic feel is Tonci Zonjic‘s beautiful art style. He doesn’t have a particularly realistic style. Instead, he utilizes the almost pop art style that made Mike Mignola famous. It’s full of simple lines and a minimal amount of rendering. A style like this requires a master at coloring. Luckily, Zonjic worked with Ian Herring to build a very simple, desaturated color palette. Without these artists, as well as inker Brahm Revel, EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3 would not be the book it is. Together, these three artists absolutely brought this world to life.

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3: Final Thoughts

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #3 is a realistic, emotional story about a rather unique father-son type of dynamic. There are very few universes where Ben and Peter Parker have both survived. Not only has Jason Latour made this turn of events believable, but he made it impactful. There has never been a spider-story quite like this issue. Match that with Zonjic, Herring, and Revel’s incredible and simplistic art style, and you have a story that simply succeeds.

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