Meet The New Best Spider-Man: Spiders-Man, A Man Made of Spiders –
This year’s big Spider-Man crossover event series, Spidergeddon, is all the things a big Spider-Man event should be: fun, weird, and doesn’t take itself too seriously (lookin’ at you, Clone Conspiracy!). Essentially, it’s just Spider-Verse Part 2 – the Inheritors are back, Spider-characters from across the multiverse are working together, and LOTS of new Spiders are being thrown into the mix. But let’s focus on one in particular.
Or, uh, several thousand.
There’s been a lot of new fun characters thrown into the mix – Web-Slinger (aka Cowboy Spider-Man) has a larger role, the ‘Renew Your Vows’ Spider-Family’s there, and even the PS4 Spider-Man has a nice-sized role! But let’s focus on something important: Spiders-Man, the Spider-Man composed of thousands of spiders, who definitely don’t want to eat everyone
Something should be clarified, for those not super-familiar with Spider-Verse: it’s silly. The writers and artists know it’s silly. It’s practically fanfiction, except…ya know, actually canon. Spider-Ham’s there, Supaidman (the Sentai Japanese Spider-Man) has a sizable role (and there’s a fair amount of meta-gags about sentai tropes), and DID I MENTION THERE’S A COWBOY SPIDER-MAN?
But Spiders-Man represents the goofiest and silliest and most creative Spider-Man of the bunch – after Spider-Verse and several issues into Spidergeddon, I was fairly convinced I couldn’t really be surprised by new Spider-characters, but the idea of a hivemind of spiders working together to barely hide the fact that they mainly want to eat everyone gave me a good guffaw.
And then it got even better.
See, not every Spider totem (don’t ask) involved in the storyline is meant to be a Peter Parker replacement (although there are PLENTY of those) – there are Spider-characters who were Aunt May, Uncle Ben, Hobie Brown, and…Norman Osborn, representing a 6-armed Spider-Man from a universe where he didn’t go insane under the Goblin serum. Instead, he became a hero, but a PRAGMATIC hero
Something that certainly didn’t happen in Spider-Verse was Spider-characters on the side of good actively seeding dissent and working against the interests of the others (although Superior Spider-Man and regular Spider-Man sure had their differences). But this is where things get interesting – the Inheritors aren’t the only villains of the story: now Norman Osborn’s Spider-Man is working against the rest, in an attempt to save the rest of the multiverse by sacrificing Earth-616…
And who’s gonna help him with this devious scheme to give away an entire reality to a group of bloodthirsty super-strong crazy people?
And that’s what really impressed me. Spiders-Man could have been a one-off joke character, but nah – they decided to make him one of the two key subversive enemies of Spidergeddon. And between that, not making Peter Parker the star of the series (Miles Morales and Otto Octavius are!), and the huge amount of creativity and weirdness going into every issue, I am verrrry onboard with Spidergeddon.
And now, apropos of nothing, here’s Doc Ock-in-the-cloned-body-of-Peter-Parker teamed up with PS4 Spider-Man talking to the 1970’s Japanese Spider-Man inside his giant robot Leopardon to convince him to join them in their quest to murder a family of interdimensional spider-hunters (BECAUSE COMICS ARE SO GODDAMN WEIRD):