Anyone who read Spider-Verse already knows how they will feel about Spider-Geddon. If you found the initial multiversal event to be a lot of fun and just the right level of “Clone Saga”-like confusion, then Spider-Geddon is waiting to be enjoyed. If you were anything less than delighted by Spider-Verse, then Spider-Geddon will deliver more of the same, but with slightly worse quality and none of the appealing new superhero idea smell. It’s a sequel that reads like a continuation, trotting out everything familiar with nothing new. That can work for anyone who loves what is already there, but it’s bound to induce sighs from everyone else.
If you happen to be someone that never read Spider-Verse, then you shouldn’t possess any concerns about picking up Spider-Geddon #1. Dialogue is a blunt tool used to explain past events, character motivations, and any other details that may be required for comprehension. There is no subtlety to be found in its deployment as each new thought is voiced as much to the reader as its intended recipient, delivering exposition with all of the grace of Golden Age superhero comics.
Dialogue and cleverness is not the main course in Spider-Geddon #1, and, like grandma’s green bean casserole, it’s something that can be skipped entirely in favor of far better fare. This is an event that is all about flash, putting as many likable and interesting versions of Spider-Man together in order to watch what happens. That is an element the issue gets right immediately, selecting a team that is bound to make any Spidey fan’s eyes widen and using every opportunity to show them off. Motivations and plot be damned, this is a group that is simply fun to see together and that comes across both as they round up new members and crash into two big conflicts. Molina has each costume and design on point, and finds at least one opportunity for every Spider-person to remind readers why they have stuck around.
Spider-Geddon #1 is at its best when embracing the thrills and joy of having so many well-intentioned Spider characters, even the newly minted Superior Octopus, crashing into one another and causing chaos. The concept simply sparkles on the page and makes it seem obvious why a feature-length cartoon adaptation was created so quickly following Spider-Verse. One element absent from that feature is the Inheritors, and this issue makes it clear why that is. Even when their complex history is succinctly explained, they remain visual non-entities, dragging down every colorful page they enter. What is far worse is how they replace excitement with cringes and confuse random death with stakes. The moment the Inheritors return this series hits a brick wall, one from which it is unlikely to regain much momentum.
Every instance of death in Spider-Geddon #1 feels small and banal. It carries no weight, feeling as though it is simply dropped onto the page in order to remind readers that the Inheritors are a big, bad deal. There is a complete failure to recognize that this ugliness runs at cross purposes to the fun conceptual engine on which this event is running, and there's no real effort to weave the two together. Instead, it simply happens like so much in this issue and manages to weaken all of the strongest elements as a result. There is still fun to be found in Spider-Geddon, but it won’t appeal to anyone who wasn’t already excited about getting more Spider-Verse.
Published by Marvel Comics
On October 10, 2018
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Jorge Molina
Colors by David Curiel
Letters by Travis Lanham