EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4 by Aaron Kuder and Will Robson
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
In the vast worlds of the Multiverse, Aaron Kuder's version of Spider-Man stands out for his villainous identity. With a spy thriller plot and a unique story premise, EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4 is one of the best issues in the now-concluded series.
90 %
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With great power must also come great responsibility. These are the words that Spider-Man’s late Uncle Ben shared with the boy before his death. They are the words that nearly every Spider in the multiverse clings to in their fight for good. Yes, some Spiders stretch that idea of good to the extreme. One has a gun built into his web-shooters, but nevertheless, he is still a hero. There aren’t many villainous Spider-Men, which makes EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4 that much more surprising.

What if Peter Parker never got bitten by the radioactive spider? What if that spider never left Norman Osborn’s lab? On a distant parallel Earth, this question has become the reality. Years ago, Osborn was bitten by the spider destined for Peter. Instead of using his powers for good, he used them to power the rise of his super-corporation. For the last several months, Osborn has become obsessed with the concept of the multiverse. This obsession forced Peter Parker, an Oscorp scientist, to stand up to his boss, only to die at his hands. Now, the only hope for the world and for the multiverse is Harry Osborn, the all-new, all-different Kobold. But will a fancy high tech suit be enough to stop his super-powered father?

A Unique Take

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4
EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4 Page 1. Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

In EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4, writer/artist Aaron Kuder illustrates exactly what I love most about multiversal stories. He explores the most important aspects of this unique world, placing the focus squarely on the Goblin/Spider relationship. More importantly, he flipped that relationship on its head, giving readers an interesting surprise. Kuder does a fantastic job of building the world of this universe’s Oscorp, and Peter, Harry, and Norman’s place in it. I especially loved the pacing of this issue. It takes a lot of cues from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, sending Harry on a stealth mission through his father’s business. The pacing is methodically slow, with a palpable tension from page one.

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4 isn’t perfect. Some of the plot points aren’t explored completely. I would have loved to see more specifics about Peter Parker’s death. Kuder manages to make that character really stand out despite a lack of physical presence, but I still want to know more. I also felt that some of the early pages were a bit confusing. Once Kuder revealed that Osborn was, in fact, this world’s Spider-Man, everything cleared up. Until that point, though, I couldn’t tell what was going on. These aren’t story-breaking mistakes. Of the EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON stories, this issue is by far my favorite. These are just points that could be improved upon.

A World Without

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4
EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4, Page 2. Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

It interests me that the most interesting character in EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4 never makes an appearance. Aaron Kuder does something really spectacular with Peter Parker. His narration throughout the piece is directed at Harry, meaning there is this emotional, personal quality to the text. Not only do we get a chance to learn more about the world through this narration, we also get to build a bond with this character and by proxy Harry. To be fair, Harry Osborn in this book is not an interesting character. No matter how cool his Kobold suit may look, he simply doesn’t get enough dialogue personally to truly matter. Still, I felt myself connecting to his character all the same. Through Peter’s description of their friendship, I grew to care about Harry’s fate more than I should have.

The same can’t necessarily be said about EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4’s Norman Osborn. He has the same problem as his son, with none of the supporting factors. He has very little dialogue in this issue, and his intentions aren’t particularly clear. We can tell by design and through Peter’s letter that he is an evil character, but we never fully get a sense of how evil. Also, while Harry has Peter’s letter to do his characterization for him, Norman doesn’t have that outside source. We simply have to rely on his appearance in the story, which doesn’t do quite enough for my taste.

Amazing Duo

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4
EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4, Page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Aaron Kuder and Will Robson share artistic duties in EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4, though Robson only illustrates the last two pages of the issue. Nevertheless, this team could be no better. Their styles are perfectly in sync, with very little visual difference between the sections. Kuder is a master of character movement. The subtle variations in character stance for Harry alone are incredible. When he switches from his suave business suit to the stealthy Kobold, there is an obvious difference in how he moves on page. This makes the fight scene at the end all the more exciting when Norman makes his appearance. We don’t see a whole lot of Robson’s work. What I can say, though, is that his visual effects, his depiction of the multiversal web, is fascinating!

EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4: Final Thoughts

As I said, EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON #4 may be my favorite story in this short-lived series. On the one hand, Aaron Kuder infuses the entire issue with a simple cool factor. There aren’t many villainous Spiders in the multiverse, and the opportunity to see how that affects this world is fascinating. While Peter’s loss feels tragic, his presence is never truly gone, as his narration adds a whole new level of interest to the story. While Kuder could have pushed the world-building and the characterization just a little bit further, I still really enjoyed this issue.

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