Comics : Web Warriors #4

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This story is part of an Arc: "Electroverse"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

This review was first published on: 26 Feb 2016.

Background...

During the events of Spider-Verse, Morlun and his family (The Inheritors) sought to rid the Multiverse of Spider-People. Because of this imminent threat, a group of Spider-Men and Women from across the various universes worked together to defeat Morlun and his fellow vampires. Many Spider-People died because of The Inheritors and now a small group of heroes has formed to protect the worlds of the fallen Spider-Men...they are the Web Warriors!

There are six members of the Web Warriors: Spider-Gwen, Spider-UK, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man: India, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Girl (Arana Corazon). Together they work to protect the Multiverse...

The Web Warriors aren't alone with their universe-traversing skills, an evil Electro (as if there's any other kind) calling himself The Battery, has been traveling across the multiverse amassing an army of Electros with the hope of ruling all worlds.

After being overrun by a horde of Electros, the Web Warriors escaped to Earth-803, a world without electricity where they were greeted by that world's Spider-person...a steam-punk Spider-Lady!

On Earth-982 (Mayday's home world), Spider-Gwen and a spider-powered Uncle Ben work together to take down The Battery...

In Detail...

"Electroverse Part 4: Resistance"
Web Warriors #4
Apr 2016 : SM Spin-Off
Arc: Part 4 of "Electroverse"
Writer:  Mike Costa
Pencils:  David Baldeon
Inker:  Walden Wong
Cover Art:  Julian Totino Tedesco
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  Antonio Fabela, Jason Keith, Matt Yackey, Will Quintana
Executive Editor:  Nick Lowe
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Devin Lewis
Staff Only
Issue
Review

Strap on your seat-belts and put on your helmets because this story jumps back and forth multiple times between Gwen and the rest of the Web Warriors...so hold on tight, things may get bumpy!

As the Web Warriors regroup in the rather lavish abode of Lady Reilly (the steampunk Spider-Lady), Spider-UK immediately begins devising a counterattack plan against the army of Electros. Lady Reilly informs Braddock of a recent silver heist perpetrated by the Black Cat. The team soon sets out to track down the thief.

Back on Earth-982, Spider-Gwen and Uncle Ben (uh...Spider-Ben?) decide to deal the Electros a crippling blow by destroying their base which holds their maps of the Multiverse. They use their hostage, an Electro, to locate the universe...the villain has no choice but to cooperate.

Meanwhile on Earth-803, the Web Warriors quickly snare the Black Cat.

Back now to Earth-112255, where Gwen and Ben have located the Electros' map-hub and they soon find themselves swimming in a sea of octopi...Doctor Octopi to be precise! After proclaiming the captive Dr. Octopi' freedom, Gwen is surprised to find herself under attack by the people she just 'freed.'

Flipping back over to Earth-803, the Black Cat explains to the Web Warriors that she perpetrated the crime after two men (presumably Electros) suggested she do so in exchange for a glowing-green bauble.

Gwen and Ben are not having much luck fighting off the Octopi on Earth-112255, luckily though they receive some much needed assistance from Octavia Otto. The short, portly young gal was an Avenger on the Earth from which she originates, however she was forced by the Battery to work (basically as a slave) with the rest of the Doc Ocks. She leads Ben and Gwen out of the facility, but not before Gwen spots a 'tele-consciousness rig'...which gives Gwen an idea.

After returning to Lady Reilly's house on Earth-803, Pavitr and the rest of Web Warriors soon realize that the bauble given to the Black Cat is actually a bug-sized Electro, which they use to power their dimension-hopping bracelets. Braddock quickly establishes contact with Gwen, who tells him she needs a distraction in order to carry out her plan. Braddock, using a device created by Pavitr, sends a message across the entire multiverse to all the Electros...he tells them where the Web Warriors are and how to find them!

In General...

This issue was the most difficult book for me to comment on in this series to-date, simply because there were a handful of really cool things going on...at the same time, there's a few head-scratchers as well. Let's dig in.

First of all, the flow to this book is horrendous. I tried to make that obvious in the prior section, but the hopping back and forth between Gwen/Ben and the Web Warriors gives this book an incredibly disjointed feel. Moreover, the consistent breaks are not even necessary. For instance, after the Web Warriors snare the Black Cat, why did we have to leave that scene? The story flashes back to Gwen but there's no plot-driven reason to do so (ie, there's no information flowing between those locales that makes reading scenes in this order relevant). The disruption of flow is a negative trait, but not a death-blow to the book.

Let's shift gears and cover the intriguing new characters. I can't explain it, because there's no obvious reason for me to be intrigued by Octavia...but I can't deny that I really want to know more about her. Perhaps its the fact that in her world Peter Parker is a dangerous killer. Or maybe its the fact that she seems like a genuinely altruistic Octo-Lady...which would be a first (Superior Spider-Man doesn't count because Ock was still a pretty big jerk in that run). Maybe because I still have a crush on Lady Octopus/Carolyn Trainer from back in the 90s and this character is her doppelganger. Who knows!? But I want more!

And the steampunk Spider-Lady carrying the last name Reilly...is her first name May? Is she a clone?? Who knows...but I'd love to see more of her story told as well.

Clearly Karn has a bigger role to play. There were a few panels that intentionally focused on Karn and all he does is groan in said panels. My gut is telling me Karn is going to attack the Web Warriors (out of a need to feed) and they may not be able to stop him...

Of course there were some other minor issues that bothered me. For example, I couldn't quite understand the rationale behind the Black Cat's distraction/silver theft. When this story was first introduced in the epilogue of Web Warriors #1, it implicated Norman Osbourne (that's how he spells his name in that universe) as the person responsible for tasking the Black Cat with creating a diversion. Yet, clearly this story suggests it was a pair of Electros responsible. Was this just a continuity flub or an intentional misdirection?? Either way, Osbourne nor the Electros seem to have any leverage over her and she came off too independent to be coerced into participating in something like that. So, I'm just confused as to her end game being a mere bauble...makes her come off a bit simple. Moreover, the Electros' leaving the key to defeating them (ie, the green bauble) out there for the Web Warriors to find wreaked of plot device or stupid criminals (or both!).

As a random (and final) aside, I'm sure someone's already coined the name Spider-Ben...if not, trademark!

Overall Rating...

Not enough plot development to get a higher score, but still moving in a good direction from the previous issue. Also the introduction of two new and intriguing characters helps foster the momentum developed in part 4 of this story arc...