The Spider-Man universe is getting an exciting addition to its roster. Earlier in 2022, Marvel Comics announced (via Polygon) the return of the Spider-Verse in Edge of Spider-Verse, a five-part story coming in August 2022 from the minds of comic creators like Mark Bagley, Dan Slott, Steve Foxe, Alex Segura & Karla Pacheco.
The run will bring new variants into the Marvel fold, including Night-Spider (Felicia Hardy), Hunter-Spider (a spider-powered Kraven the Hunter) and Spider-Laird. The event will lead up to what's being billed as the last Spider-Verse adventure, appropriately titled The End of Spider-Verse.
Earlier in June, one of Edge of Spider-Verse's writers revealed Marvel's first-ever gay Spider-Man variant, Web-Weaver, who's set to debut in the event. The character's co-creator, Steve Foxe, made the announcement on Twitter:
The character's civilian identity has not been disclosed.
Foxe also shared a screenshot of a document that described the new hero as follows: "A not-so-mild mannered fashion designer at Van Dyne gets spider-powers and shows us a very different kind of Spider-Slayer."
The writer posted a follow-up tweet on the matter some time later, discussing Web-Weaver's characterization and the hero's standing in representing the LBTQ+ community:
"Something I realized immediately when conceiving Web-Weaver is that he can't — and shouldn't —represent ALL gay men. No single character can. His fearlessly femme identity is central to who he is, but it's not the STORY... which you can experience for yourself in September!"
Web-Weaver's look was conceived by Kristafer Anka, who designed the aforementioned Night-Spider and was also a character and costume designer for Sony's Across the Spider-Verse — the sequel to 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — coming to theaters on June 2, 2023.
Regarding his inspiration for Web-Weaver's appearance, Anka stated on Twitter: "From the jump, I looked at a lot of McQueen and Mugler for this as inspiration. I cast a wide net for the original designs while also looking at new and unique spiders that [Steve Foxe] has recommended, which eventually paired down to this look."
To get a clearer idea of what to expect from Edge of Spider-Verse, Polygon released the synopsis for the event's first issue:
"The end of the Spider-Verse is coming!
edge (’ej) noun - 1. outermost limit of an object - 2. the sharp side of a blade
The leading edge of the Spider-Verse brought you Spider-Gwen and Peni Parker. This final edge will introduce you to some of the most important characters in the future of the Spider-Verse…but it will also slice the final strand of the web.
In this issue: Spider-Man Noir! Araña’s new status quo! Spider-Rex and more!"
Web-Weaver will make his debut in issue #5 of Edge of Spider-Verse, which, as previously stated, is expected to be released in September 2022.
The Spider-Verse will then return to the big screen in Across the Spider-Verse, swinging into theaters on June 2, 2023.