Written by Christos Gage and Jed MacKay
Art by Clayton Crain, Javier Garron, and Israel Silva
Lettering by Travis Lanham
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10
First there was Spider-Verse, but now comes Spider-Geddon, Marvel’s next big Spider-centric crossover event! Though this #0 issue only gives us fleeting looks at the incoming event, writer Christos Gage still delivers a pretty fun Spider-Man story as he fills the roster of Spider-people for this multiversal battle. As one of the co-writers of the massive hit Spider-Man video game on the PlayStation 4, Gage is uniquely qualified to bring the game’s protagonist, the Spider-Man of Earth-1048, into the fold. Gage even doubles down on the story potential of this new Spidey, pairing him with the Superior Spider-Man for a Tarantula hunt across New York. Breezy, but filled with engaging Spider- pathos, Spider-Geddon #0 might not be a blockbuster start for the event, but it is a fine debut for the new Peter Parker.
After captivating millions of players and selling an insane amount of copies, the Spider-Man of the recent hit video game now makes his way on the page. It was only a matter of time. But instead of reading like a cheap cash-in, Christos Gage’s time with both Spidey’s comic book incarnations and their new digital counterpart makes him the right person for the job. Gage delivers a really effective first adventure for the new Spider-Man, making this issue feel more like a new side mission for the game as opposed to some hammy new introduction for the sake of it. The world of the game transitions very easily to the comic page. Even better, Gages builds upon it by making Peter’s partner the heroic Otto Octavius, the man we know as the Superior Spider-Man.
Fans that have already burned through the game’s main story know how this Peter in particular’s relationship with Octavius turns out, which is why pairing him with the Superior Spider is such a canny and entertaining move. In order to recruit him to stand against the Inheritors, Otto must prove his heroism to this new Peter, and unluckily enough for them, Otto’s recruitment drive just so happens to coincide with a crime spree by the Tarantula. Gage finds a really fun dynamic between the two, Otto being Otto and our new Peter being a total dork and chatterbox, but he also brings the heart, having spent a lot of time with this Earth’s cast like Mary Jane and the eager-for-action Miles Morales. Honestly, the issue’s back-up story from Jed MacKay in which the Web-Warriors stand guard over the Inheritor’s quantum prison adds more in terms of actual hints to the upcoming event, but Gage’s Superior PlayStation 4 team-up is hands-down the better story of this #0 issue.
While the story side of this issue might be a little lopsided, the artwork for Spider-Geddon #0 is truly impressive throughout. Graced with the same metallic sheen that made his work in Valiant’s 4000AD pop so well, Clayton Crain’s art in the opening story really captures what makes Spider-Man’s movement, both on the page and in the recent game, so fun to look at. Crain keeps both Spider-Men constantly in motion, pausing only to banter and for Otto to deliver his “The die is cast!” catchphrase in a dramatic hero shot of the two. Crain’s shadowing adds a heavy shadow to the pages, a marked change from the look of the game, but it really suits the page. Artist Javier Garron and colorist Israel Silva take a more confined and static take on the Spiders, meanwhile, but it still looks great. Opting for more defined panel grids and intimate panel blocking, the pair deliver funny and hinting cameos of the Web-Warriors keeping their watch and annoying each other during the process. While I would have loved for Garron to get a bit more to do, his lithe, stringy pencils really suit the characters and their garish costumes, made complete by the rich colors of Silva.
Though not the most auspicious start to the upcoming event, Spider-Geddon #0 is still a fun, heartfelt introduction for the new Spider-Man. Fans of the recent game will find a lot to like here as will people wondering just what all the fuss is about surrounding this new Peter Parker. Light on set-up, but heavy on skillful characterizations and great art, Spider-Geddon #0 is a step in the right direction for this new Spider-Event.