More Spider-Verse, more Spideys. Including one we’ve never seen before (in our second story) and a couple from the world of TV.
At the Daily Bugle from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon, J. Jonah Jameson tells Peter Parker that two Spider-Men have been seen in the city. Meanwhile, the Ultimate Spider-Man from the current TV series and Miles Morales web-swing through ’67 TV Manhattan. “Hey, Miles,” says Ulty, “haven’t we passed the same block, like, six times already?” “The whole city looks the same to me,” says Miles. Just then the ’67 Spidey shows up, using his two handed web-swinging. “Wallopin’ websnappers! It’s true!” he says, “I don’t know if you’re Charles Cameo or Mysterio or someone new but you made two mistakes. You got the costume wrong and you forgot that even a guy who does whatever a spider can, can’t be in two places at once!”
As the Spideys confront each other, Ulty thinks he’s figured out this world’s language. “Get hep to this, daddy-o,” he tells ’67, “There’s a heavy scene goin’ down, and we ain’t got time for a lot of rama-lama-ding-dong, dig?” This doesn’t work. ’67 webs him up. (“Is this a web or a blanket?” Ulty says.) Miles quickly explains that “We’re Spider-Men from other dimensions” and ’67 believes him completely. “I met a bunch of spider-people from another planet once,” he explains. Wriggling out of the webbing, Ulty does one of his “breaking the fourth wall” asides to the audience. “Who’s he talking to?” asks ’67. “I’m starting to think even he doesn’t know,” replies Miles.
Miles and Ulty invite ’67 to join them against the Inheritors but ’67 says he can’t leave because “Dr. Noah Boddy escaped prison again.” Even as Ulty is wondering if that is a joke, a quartet of ’67 villains, Green Goblin, Electro, Scorpion, and the Blackie Drago Vulture, appear. The Spideys appear to handle them easily but there is a fifth villain there; the invisible Dr. Noah Boddy, who shoots them all with his “Uranium-powered future-rifle.” Miles thinks this means they will all die of radiation but Boddy tells him it is called “Uranium” because it is “powered by a meteor that fell to Earth from Uranus.” Before Boddy can finish them off, the Goblin intervenes. “The glory of finishing Spider-Man must belong to the Green Goblin,” he proclaims. While the bad guys bicker, Ulty shoots out a web that trips up the Goblin who falls into Boddy who retaliates by using his rifle on Gobby and Scorpy. The Spideys mop up the rest and leave them for the police.
Later, the ’67 Peter Parker goes to tell his Aunt May that he’ll be away for awhile, while Ulty Peter Parker goes to tell JJJ. The two Peters are amazed at the other’s appearance but JJJ doesn’t seem to notice any difference. Miles unmasks to reveal that he is not Peter Parker at all. ’67 is shocked when he sees Miles and Ulty is afraid that ’67 may be racist but ’67 is only surprised that Miles is a High School kid. “You just seem to really know your stuff,” he says. The three prepare to join the other Spideys against the Inheritors. Ulty does his “break the fourth wall thing” and tells us, “Continued in Spider-Verse, as if I had to tell you.”
Just like last time, Christos Gage has all the details right but doesn’t give us much of a story. All of the riffs on the ’67 TV show are wonderful. The title panel looks like the title screen of the TV show. ’67 says “Wallopin’ websnappers!,” and references Charles Cameo and the spider-people from another planet (seen in Double Identity, Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 19 (Story 2), and Home, Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 2, Episode 14, respectively). Dr. Noah Boddy, an original from the show (Spider-Man Meets Doctor Noah Boddy in Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 12 (Story 1)) appears. And fun is had with imagining that the bland city and odd webs of the ’67 series are part of a real universe. Ulty takes his lumps too with the others wondering who he is talking to when he breaks the fourth wall. And Miles gets a little lesson when he assumes that the Spideys from cartoony worlds don’t have to deal with life and death issues as ’67 tells him how he lost his Uncle Ben.
All of this is great but what really makes this story is Dave Williams’ pencils and Dexter Vines’ inks, perfectly recreating the city, Spidey, villains, and JJJ of the ’67 show, then inserting the other two Spideys, in their own styles, into that world. The first time we see them together in the page 2 full-pager, the styles clash but by the very next panel, we buy into it. I was one of the kids watching that show back in 1967 and I love returning to it. I also love the idea that it’s another dimension in the Marvel Universe.
Without the artwork, this amusing but routine story wouldn’t quite crack four webs but with it, I have to give it more. Call it four and a half webs.
And check out Kevin Hollander’s Reviews of the 60s show. He’s reviewed every episode.