This issue features two stories, the first being Spider-Island, and the second about Spider-Girl, now going by the name Spider-Woman after the events of Spider-Verse.
Much like the "Renew Your Vows" storyline, the first story takes place on Battleworld, a place where fragments of different worlds exist.
In this world however, the Spider-Island story line did not end the same way as that of the 616 universe.
Part One: Altered States
In this world, the Spider-Queen took over Manhattan and Spider-Man and the other heroes were unable to stop her. Spider-Man died in battle, while almost everyone else transformed into spiders, including the superheroes.
We learn that the virus mutated so that it was able to affect super humans. As such, heroes like Captain America, The Hulk, Ms Marvel and etc all bent to the will of the Spider-Queen.
The remaining rebels include Agent Venom, Spider-Woman, The Vision, and Jack Russel - man by day, werewolf by night. In this situation however, Jack Russel becomes a Spider by day, and Werewolf by night. During the night, he is able to take control of his mind and is, as such, acting as a spy for Agent Venom to try to learn what the Spider-Queen is planning.
The issue starts with Venom and Vision on a mission to get supplies for the remaining human civilians. By nightfall, Jack Russel turns to his werewolf state and helps Venom fight the spiders while Vision escapes. After the battle, before the two part ways, Jack Russel informs Venom of a vague memory he recalls from his spider state about a cure being held at Horizon Labs.
Back at the hideout, Agent Venom informs Spider-Woman and Vision of what Jack Russel told him. He also fills Spider-Woman on his last resort plan which he had been secretly working on for a while now. Despite having suspicions that the "cure" might be a trap, the heroes decide that they no longer have anything to lose and should try to get the cure if it does exist.
Later than night, the three heroes and a handful of military men head to Horizon Labs to try to extract the cure. At Horizon Labs, Agent Venom makes a quick detour to get a vile of something. As it turns out, Jack Russel was working as a double agent and the "cure" was indeed bait to trap them. The three are soon faced against Spider-Hulk, Captain Spider-America and Ms Spider Marvel.
Fortunately, Agent Venom had planned for such a situation. Both he and Vision quickly place and inject the Godstone and Dr Michael Morbius blood into both Cap America and Ms Marvel respectively, while Spider-Woman used her pheromones on the Hulk to calm him down. Vision then feeds the Hulk Dr Connors Lizard Serum, in hope to rewrite the DNA of all three former heroes and possibly release them from the Spider-Queen's mind control.
After having their DNA compromised by the special objects, Capt America, Ms Marvel, and the Hulk turn into a Werewolf, Vampire, and giant Lizard respectively.
The story ends on a cliffhanger as Agent Venom and his team wonder if their plan to release their friends from the Spider-Queen's control worked or if they simply made their enemies even stronger than they already were.
Personally, I think its pretty obvious that Venom's plan is going to work. The logic is not flawed. All three of the former heroes will certainly break free of the Spider-Queen's control. Whether or not they will be able to control themselves or become mindless beasts is another question.
Ms Marvel and Cap will probably very soon begin craving for blood, while the Hulk will probably follow his Lizard instinct to become the dominant species and destroy all the spiders.
The thing about alternate universe's is that the writer realizes the readers are not quite as attached to the characters as in the cannon stories. As such, he is free to make drastic changes and kill important characters ( like Spider-Man in a series called Spider-Island).
Capt A, Ms Marvel and Hulk are most likely going to live in their new forms permanently as there is really no cure for their transformation that we know of. If anything like this was to happen in the cannon Marvel universe, fans would go crazy, not to mention the drop in sales. These alternate universes provide a platform to experiment and try something new with major characters without having the side effects.
As such, being a reader myself, I don't really share too much connection to these characters thus reducing the anticipation to know what will take place in this alternate world.
The star of this story is Agent Venom more than anyone else. If you're an Agent Venom fan, then this would probably be a good book to get. For Spider-Man fans, it wouldn't hurt to save some bucks and skip it.
Mayday Parker: Spider-Woman in Shattered
The issue begins with Mayday, now as Spider-Woman, using her father's old costume design, fighting crime. No one seems to notice the change however and everyone still refers to her as Spider-Girl.
She wonders if she did the right thing in allowing Daemos to live as part of her still wishes she had killed him, against all that her father would have wanted her to do. ( Her father, Peter Parker was killed in the events of Spider-Verse)
Spider-Woman confides with Cassie, also known as the Stinger about her troubles. Over at the Avenger's Mansion, Henry Pym Jr, aka Big Man comes storming in to warn Scott Lang that Cassie, his daughter is in serious trouble.
Jumping back to Spider-Woman and Stinger, the two are sitting on a roof chatting when they are attacked by the "Dream Team," led by a woman in a Captain America Costume going by the name American Dream.
In a separate scene, that I'm not sure why is in this comic, we randomly see Mary Jane, with Uncle Ben and Baby Ben, running a shop selling Spider-Man merchandise. Uncle Ben makes a passing comment about telling May they can share the burden since he too has spider-powers.
Finally, returning to Spider-Woman for the third time, we see her holding her own against her attackers who claim that she is an imposter who killed Spider-Man. Things are all going okay until Stinger is suddenly compromised and begins attacking Spider-Woman as well, calling her an imposter too!
This issue is definitely a must read for Spider-Girl fans. I'm not sure why it did not just appear in a separate issue as this has absolutely nothing to do with Spider-Island. As we all know, her series has been discontinued for a while now, and the last we saw of her was in Spider-Verse. Here we have a new original story, by the original team keeping us updated of the latest developments with Spider-Girl, after she has adopted the name Spider-Woman.
As for the story, I can't say I was too impressed. Up to this point, the whole thing seems a little messy and confusing. It should clear up a little by the next issue though. Not being a huge fan of the MC2 universe also doesn't help. If there is one gripe I have with this universe, it is that every other character is someone's daughter, or son from the 616 universe.
Regardless, for fans of the MC2 universe, this is highly recommended!