Spider-Verse was one of the biggest Spider-Man stories in quite a while. It did, after all, pack in every spider-themed hero in the entire Marvel Multiverse, so it was a pretty big deal.
If you want a deep dive into Spider-Verse, then read this. That’s where I gave a primer on Spider-Verse and gave my thoughts on if it worked or not. For the next several hundred words is simply to share with you the new characters that Spider-Verse gave us.
The Main Characters from the Spider-Verse Event
Having his origins in Marvel Ultimate Earth 1610, Miles Morales is now a part of the Earth 616 mothership.
Miles returns Spider-Man to his teenager roots and has his own monthly comic title now. He looks up to Peter Parker and has the same “with great power comes great responsibility” ethos.
Peter Parker still has his own monthly title, but he now has a more global feel, having started his own technology corporation, a la Tony Stark. That leaves Miles Morales to protect the little guy in New York City and he does the job while balancing the pressures of teenaged life.
Proving that a simple and iconic story can be retconned to have a thousand layers, Cindy Moon was added to Spider-Man’s origin story. The story goes that Cindy was bitten by the same radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker many, many years ago, which gave her similar powers. But she was hid in a bunker to protect her from the Inheritors (again, read the Spider-Verse recap).
Spider-Man frees her from the bunker and she becomes the super-hero known as Silk. Interestingly, she emits a pheromone that drives Peter Parker absolutely nuts, so it’s nearly impossible for them not to get all smoochy smoochy when they are near one another.
Despite the ham-fisted origin story, Cindy Moon is an interesting and engaging new character in the Marvel Universe and is worth a look if you are even remotely a Spider-Man fan.
From Earth 65 instead of the mainline Earth 616, Gwen Stacy, was bitten by a radioactive spider as a teenager and names herself Spider-Woman to become a costumed vigilante against the wishes of her police captain father. On Earth 65 Peter Parker becomes the Lizard, only to die in battle and further motivate Gwen to be a hero.
She was recruited into the Spider-Verse events by Spider-UK of Earth 833, but it was difficult for Earth 616 Peter Parker not to be incredibly over-protective of her, being that she is an alternate universe version of the girl he so dramatically was not able to save.
Gwen is a drummer of a band called The Mary Janes. After the events of Secret Wars and the collapsing of the multiverse, Spider-Gwen is now a part of Earth 616 and has her own self-titled monthly comic.
I list the three characters above as they would be the ones who would be new to Spider-Man fans who aren’t current with today’s comics. But most fans know Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, who also has a monthly title.
Kaine, Ashley Barton, Spider-Man 2099, and more…
Kaine is a clone of Peter Parker who has a much more base nature and featured predominating in Spider-Verse. He went by Scarlet Spider and had a monthly title for a while.
Ashley Barton is a spider-themed character that rolled out of the Old Man Logan story and is the daughter of Hawkeye.
Spider-Man 2099 is Miguel O’Hara a geneticist from the future. He’s had his own title off and on since 1992, the year he was created by Peter David.
While there were dozens more spider-themed characters in Spider-Verse, perhaps the last notable one was May “Mayday” Parker, the character created by Tom DeFalco in 1998 as the teenage daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, who first appeared in a What If? comic. She later had her own ongoing comic book, Spider-Girl. After the events of Secret Wars, she’s now swinging around the 616.
Marvel comics are confusing, never more so than today, as they attempt to launch and relaunch titles at a furious pace. But I tried to do right by you and give you a look at some of the fresh Spider-Man titles that you can pick up today in your local comic shop, even if I fully admit I get confused by Marvel myself and may have mixed up what tiles are currently running.
Dan Slott had a historic run on The Amazing Spider-Man, which still stars Peter Parker, but ‘ole Pete has some wonderful new characters who are trying to use their great power with great responsibility. And the current run on Amazing Spider-Man is excellent. It’s a great time to be a Spider-Man fan.
Spider-Verse is collected in a hardcover. You can get that huge volume plus the Edge of Spider-Verse preview together for about $60 on Amazon. That might seem like a lot, but it’s a skull-crusher of a story and well worth it. I binged it on Marvel Unlimited, which I highly recommend.