Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Mark Bagley, John Dell
Colors by: Edgar Delgado
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: Mark Bagley, Edgar Delgado
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: February 15, 2023
Spider-Man #5 relives the early days of Peter Parker’s life in a universe where Peter Parker never became Spider-Man. How would the world be different if all Peter Parker ever became was Silk’s I.T. guy?
Is It Good?
Yes, you read that description correctly. Dan Sloot takes the entirety of Spider-Man #5 to imagine a universe where Peter Parker never became Spider-Man, and instead, becomes so enamored with Silk (the only one to be bitten by a radioactive spider) that he semi-stalks her enough to become her gadget-creating sidekick. Slott makes an unusual creative choice, but it’s not clear if it was the best one or one that was even necessary.
When last we left all Spiders, the group was devastated to learn Peter Parker/Spider-man, aka the “Chosen One,” was stabbed with the mystical dagger that severed his connection to the Web of Life and wiped him from existence (Hey, kids. Remember when Spider-Man used to beat up bad guys? Good times.). Now, we visit another Peter Parker in a universe where the radioactive spider never bit him, and he devotes his life to becoming a top-notch scientist with a courageous heart.
When a costumed hero named Silk becomes the city’s hero, Peter devotes his time to discovering all about her and developing gadgets he hopes to one day gift her to aid her in her mission. The issue ends with Peter’s daytime work with Norman Osborn leading him to invent the machine that can tap into the space connecting dimensions.
In execution, this issue is an exciting one-shot about a world without a Spider-Man. It could act as an entertaining “What if…?” story where Peter discovers he has the makings of a hero, with or without powers.
However, the most confusing aspect of this story is the one unanswered question – “Why is this story here in the middle of this arc?” In fairness, Slott writes a solid “What if…?”, but this issue has no bearing on the plot of the arc other than introducing an alternate Peter Parker to the conflict. Slott could have introduced the powerless Peter and explained his backstory in a page or two without devoting an entire issue to explaining Peter’s life. You can’t help but wonder if Slott created this issue as filler to bide time.
Bagley and Dell’s art is solid in this issue. The little homages to Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spidey’s first appearance) are fun. The figure and line work are excellent. Delgado’s colors are fantastic, and the book has a fun retro vibe as Peter relives his earliest challenges from a different perspective.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Spider-Man #5 takes an odd detour in the Spider-Verse-ending event to visit a pocket universe where Peter Parker’s life turned out very differently. The story makes for an intriguing “What if…?” but the detour kills the momentum of the main plot for a story that could have been covered in a couple of pages.