The sequel to the excellent 2014 crossover Spider-Verse (which provided inspiration for the phenomenal Into the Spider-Verse movie), Spider-Geddon had a lot to live up to. Though not as satisfyingly constructed as the movie it inspired, Spider-Verse nonetheless had some brilliant touches, including the introduction of several now-iconic characters such as Spider-Gwen (aka Ghost Spider) and Peni Parker. Not only that, but the inclusion of characters such as the Spidey from the 1970s Japanese TV series – amongst many, many others – was incredibly exciting and added in just about everyone’s favourite Spider-Man, no matter how obscure.
Spider-Geddon attempts the same trick with the same villains, but it can’t help feeling underwhelming. The Inheritors are a boring set of villains in my opinion, with little more than ‘they’re strong and they eat Spider-people’ to their characters. They look boring and there’s not enough to differentiate them from each other either.
It does try and spice things up by killing off a few fan-favourite Spider-people, but even this happens in such an offhand and sudden manner with little in the way of fallout that it just feels unfair to those characters who’ve been built up and become beloved for so long.
It’s taken me a while to get around to it, but I managed to read every single tie-in issue too, which was probably not the best idea. Though there were some expectedly off-the-wall additions to the Spider-Family (Spider-Ma’am was a good one!), none feel like they’re proper breakout characters like the aforementioned, hugely popular Spider-Gwen. Not only that, but the story flits about between so many different locations with so many different groups of heroes that it just becomes a bit frustrating and dull.
It was fantastic to see the version of Spidey from the PS4 game – along with his white spider-adorned Advanced Suit – appear though. And there’s a lot of fun to be had in seeing the different Spiders react to the universes of the other heroes they encounter.
Big crossovers like this are rarely very satisfying though – and Spider-Geddon is no exception. The plot is set in motion through the laziest of set-ups and little of real interest – beyond the aforementioned, almost glossed-over character deaths – even happens.
Despite the success of the cross-universe fun in the Into the Spider-Verse movie, the filmmakers at least had the sense to realise that Spidey – whether it be Peter Parker, Miles Morales or anyone else under the mask – works best in stories that have more personal stakes even when the universe is in danger. Spider-Geddon tries, but fails, to introduce much of interest in this respect and just feels quite dull as a result. It was a real slog to get to the end, even though the artwork is often very good and the writing perfectly serviceable, if nothing else.
I genuinely hope we’ve seen the last of overpowered, Victorian cosplayers The Inheritors. There was no real reason for Spider-Geddon to exist except to cash in on the excitement for the then-upcoming Into the Spider-Verse – and it unfortunately shows.
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