There’s something special about huge Spider-Man events. They always go just that little bit further and deliver a little bit more, rewarding the wall-crawling faithful’s devotion to their hero by serving up just a little more world changing bang for their buck than the rest of Marvel Universe events usually do. Spider-Geddon has been a while coming, with the heroes of the arachnid powered universe uncontrollably spiralling toward their very own version, as the title suggests, of Armageddon. Which would be all well and good if the promised destruction actually happened and if the fates of all of the spiders were cast to the four winds, but it doesn’t quite play out that way.
Don’t get me wrong, Spider-Geddon is a full steam ahead, damn the torpedoes Spider-centric adventure in which an army of Spider-Men from across the Multi-Verse gather to finally confront and take care of the Inheritor problem once and for all that delivers every bit of, and more, Spideriffic action than you could ever want. It’s fast, brutal and a number of Spider-Men make the ultimate sacrifice in order to ensure that the legacy of the web lives on, including a number of unexpected heavy hitters, but it never feels like the end is in any doubt. It never feels like there’s an overwhelming threat to the continued existence of the multi-verses various Spider-Men and women. To be fair to Gage and Slott though, that might be due to the fact that to get the whole, over-arching and complete picture of everything that’s also happening behind the curtains that separate the stage of Earth 616 from everywhere else, you need to read at least another three tie in titles, which I haven’t managed to do yet. And to be doubly fair, not being familiar with those missing chapters doesn’t really have on the narrative flow of Spider-Geddon, but it does lessen its impact somewhat. So if you’re not already steeped in Spider mythology and history, this isn’t the book to start your Spider journey with, as you’ll end up lost and confused somewhere around page ten. It’s a book by Spider-Man fans for Spider-Man fans.
That said, the central premise of Spider-Geddon, that two separate factions of Spider-Men, one led by Miles Morales and the other led by Otto Octavius, with diametrically opposed ideas about how to face and deal with their enemy is not only different, it’s also incredibly engaging, especially so as Peter Parker, that’s the 616 one, is conspicuously absent for most of Spider-Geddon’s duration. Splitting the Spider forces in twain, adds a sense of urgency to the story and deals with the idea that lies at the heart of Spider-Man’s ongoing mythology, that with great power, comes great responsibility in intriguing fashion by questioning what the responsible, correct, moral and logical way to handle the Inheritors is. Do they imprison them again, hoping against hope that they won’t escape and return to wreak their vengeance on Spider-Kind or do they take them off the board once and for all and wipe them out completely? Fortunately, this being Spider-Man, a consensus is eventually reached, albeit one that’s surprising and opens the door to a multitude of possible future encounters with the ancient enemies of the heroes of the web.
While it’s not going to challenge the raft of other recent Spider-specific events for the top spot on the thrill-o-meter, Spider-Geddon is still a pretty hard hitting, adrenalized slab of Spider action, whose artistic pedigree is beyond criticism. Spider-Geddon looks incredible and while the story is captivating and lightning quick, I can’t help but wish that it delivered a little more Geddon than it actually does. But hey, sometimes titles can be a little misleading, and if you can get beyond that (which let’s face it, isn’t exactly a big ask) and you know who the Inheritors are and a little about the multi-versal history of Spider-Man, then you should dive straight into Spider-Geddon. There are far worse ways to spend an afternoon. Tim Cundle