This week I read the final parts of Spider-verse – the big Marvel event for Spider-Man for 2014-15 coming off of the last big Spider-Man event which was the whole Superior Spider-Man event. As I have written before, Spider-Man has long been my favorite character and I really enjoyed both Superior Spider-Man and Spider-verse as story arcs. I mostly stopped reading comics for 25 years and found it fairly easy to plug in again to what was happening with Spider-Man. Unlike with the X-Men, the Avengers, and other heroes I read about as a kid – whose story lines had become far too convoluted for me to pick up again – I had no real trouble jumping in to what Peter Parker (or Otto Octavius) was doing. I read every tie-in issue for Spider-verse and even though at times the story seemed to be spinning in too many directions I felt that the authors pulled it together well in the end (though it’s not really the end since there is still an epilogue and many of these characters are going to continue at least until the summer).
In spite of how well this story hung together I am glad to know that Marvel is planning some significant universe reordering with this summer’s Secret Wars. The cast of characters across the Marvel comics universe has become too large to keep track of. When I was a kid I read the one X-Men book and the one Avengers book and I knew what was going on with both teams. Now there are multiple books for these inter-twining characters, sometimes multiple versions of the same character with time travel and cloning, and it gets hard to know who is ‘inverted’ or reformed or replaced or what. It’s time to simplify things I think without throwing away core continuity for the characters. I think Spider-Man has done that well (though I know some fans have objected to different story lines in the past few years). I hope Secret Wars can make the rest of the Marvel universe accessible again.
Of course, in truth it’s not that simple.