Spider-Man Unlimited #4
Marvel (March, 2000)
“What Lies Beyond The Edge Of Manhattan?’
WRITER: Eric Stephenson
PENCILER: Andy Kuhn
INKER: Harry Caldelario
COLORIST: Mark Bernardo
LETTERING: Sharpefont & PT
EDITOR: Ralph Macchio
Peter is curious about what’s beyond the city, neither Naoko or the Goblin have left the city thanks to the ID chip. Since he doesn’t have one, Spider-Man decides to check it out. He stumbles across a village in the trees where human and Beastial live side-by-side in secret. He also learns that there are other cities where different experiments take place. However, the village leader, Brixton, doesn’t want to let anyone leave and demands Spidey stay. Helped by a woman named Astrid, who loves living in Harmony but doesn’t think people should be forced to stay, Peter returns to Manhattan with even more questions.
What they got right: This is where these stories can stand out, exploring more of the world that the show doesn’t have time for. The concept of Harmony is pretty interesting as far as Counter-Earth goes.
What they got wrong: But why is Astrid a Counter-Earth version of Gwen Stacy? The only continuity that hasn’t had a Gwen since Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends went off the air and they have to shove her in, when the TV audience has little idea who she is, and she’s not even Gwen, she’s Astrid. Nothing about her character demanded she be a Counter-Gwen and all these Counter-parts (see what I did there) feel unnecessary. We’re even getting a Counter-Wolverine next issue.
Recommendation: It’s an okay story if you’re following the continuity but if not there’s no rush to pick this issue up.