EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 331
album: Spider-Man – Spider-verse! (Panini)
stickers: 192 (1-163, F1-F20, F22-F30) + 55 cards (C1-C50 + 5 limited)
starter pack: album + 5 packets + 3 cards limited 4,90€
box: 24 packets (4 stickers + 1 card per packet) 1,00€ each
blister: 5 packets + 1 card limited random 4,90€
hard cover standard 16,90€
hard cover limited + 3 packets + lithography 49,90€
It’s not easy to tackle a collection like this if you grew up especially with the superhero comics of the legendary Editoriale Corno or even more recently Star Comics, then Marvel Italia. The multiverse is nothing new in American comics, DC Comics got there well before, bringing the comic universe of Superman, Batman, etc., creating such a chaotic situation over the years that made it necessary to publish a “Crisis on Earth” saga infinite” to tidy things up a little and “eliminate the superfluous”.
As often happens with other sticker productions, trying to make a review as coherent as possible, while maintaining one’s opinions, the heart and memories must therefore be separated from the current context. Considering that we are talking about characters who are over 60 years old, there is therefore, perhaps, an editorial need to update them, sometimes transform them, to make them captivating for new generations of readers.
So make way for the variations of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, some even interesting, others unlikely, at least for us. The album is very standard, featuring not only the Spider in his versions but also the other protagonists. A formula that is repeated, in practice, page after page.
Exemplary and child of changing times, more likely because it is connected to the film, it opens with Miles Morales and not with the historical Peter Parker. 4 pages are dedicated to the main characters, in the first two the introduction to the hero/heroine with some references to iconic moments of the stories, in the following the most important enemies and allies are presented.
In this first part of the album we therefore find the original Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Man “2” (Miles Morales) and Ghost Spider, the revived Gwen Stancy, protagonist of the symbolic story of the 70s who in another world, parallel to ours, Earth-65, is not only alive and well, but also fights crime. Among alternative comics, certainly the most successful.
Afterwards, the space available per character is reduced to 2 pages and here, as written at the beginning, we can get to know various versions of our Spidey and new protagonists of the Spider-Verse and the Marvel universe who have also left their mark.
As far as Spider-Man is concerned, there is the 2009 version which dates back to the early 90s and was also very successful then, the ham, Indian, punk version and the very interesting comic stories, recommended reading, of the Spider-Man Noir set in the 1930s.
The space dedicated to female superheroes is appreciable, here is Silk, Spider-Woman (present for over 45 years in comics), Spider-Girl and Arana. Is the Black Cat missing? You leaf through the pages and you find her, sometimes among friends, sometimes among enemies and sometimes… among lovers. The Cat is everywhere!
The final part of the album is interesting because it is a quick summary of what can be found traveling in the Marvel universe, when it comes to the many alternative realities. This practically allows you to have infinite narrative possibilities by distorting the stories or simply starting from scratch. The positive message, which is appreciable, is to try to make the concept of superheroes universal, beyond social class, geographical origin, culture, religion, etc. Certainly more correct than the standards of 50 years ago (and beyond), but some doubts remain.
Central poster with F stickers as had already happened for the last album for the 60th of our wall-climbing friend, before and after a sort of wikipedia of the multiverse with some important narrative passages. The substantial difference between the F stickers and those in the final part of the album is that the former represent characters that go beyond Spidey’s stories, in his various versions. From the Avengers to the X-Men and others, here too with more or less unlikely and successful variations.
As usual, there is space for an unpublished story, very Italian style, where Peter and Miles discuss which is the best pizza in New York. Nothing particularly sensational, but given the little space available it is still nice and pleasant. Among other things, the only part of the album with a proliferation of stickers shaped the way we like them.
The album gives us the impression of being a missed opportunity, interesting, nice, but it really could have been more daring, both in content and form. Especially considering the incredible work done with the Disney album that just came out. The quality of the album’s paper is poor, the aim is probably for fans to purchase the two hardback versions, it’s a shame the same wasn’t done with the previous Spider-Man album, which remained only in its stapled version.
On the contrary, the stickers are really beautiful, in terms of images and graphic choice. As happened in the past, the specials would also appear in diaries and notebooks. The 50 cards are not a particular added value to the collection; considering that there is also the possibility of inserting them into the appropriate pockets in the limited hardback version, it was possible, for example, to create 9-card images that are transformed into a unique design. Experiment carried out years ago in the Frozen collection.
Among other things, in Modena they did the math badly, in the hardback there are 54 cards but in total there are 55 (50 + 5 limited edition). Another curiosity, the sticker F21 does not exist.