One of the most exciting and well-written Spider-Man events was “Spider-Verse” which involved a spider soul-eating super-villain named Morlun. Thanks to Peter and a treasure trove of Spider-Man characters, they beat Morlun and his family, but it appears he’s back to torment Spider-Man characters in Spider-Geddon. In this tie-in collection, Sean Ryan and Juan Frigeri lay down the hurt as Peter Parker and Morlun fist fight and more or less it’s Peter trying to stay alive.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
SPIDER-GEDDON overwhelms the life of Peter Parker! Only a few of his deadly foes fill the spectacular Spider-Man with fear at the mere mention of their name, but Morlun and his family of Inheritors top the list! Now they’re back, and Morlun has set his sights on Peter — and Peter alone! The relentless killer won’t rest until he has destroyed the one Spider who has ever bested him. There’s no cavalry coming for our friendly neighborhood hero, and desperate times call for desperate measures — but how bad must it be for Spidey to ask J. Jonah Jameson for help? And can his last-ditch plan possibly be enough to prevent Morlun from bringing Peter Parker to the end of his road?
Why does this matter?
This collection also houses the first ever video comic for Spider-Geddon Noir and Spider-Geddon which is an interesting touch. It also contains a mostly self-contained story pitting Morlun vs. Spider-Man, so no Spider-Geddon reading necessary.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
At the start, artist Frigeri and colorist Jason Keith make it clear Morlun is not just a super-villain, but a very scary one. He’s on the hunt for Peter Parker due to him evading his grasp three times. The action cuts from this opening to Spider-Man fighting crime and looking good doing it. Frigeri draws a clean and realistic Spider-Man, and the colors on the suit help make it look real with a nice sheen. Without skipping a beat Morlun vs. Spider-Man kicks off and the art team does a great job. There’s a lot thrown at Spidey in this battle, from jackhammers coming at his head to kicking Morlun while trying not to be eaten by a bear. Explosions go off without a hitch and there is even a new look for Spider-Man (with green paint around his eyes and his mask pushed down like a bandana around the mouth). There’s a lot to visually like in this collection.
Without a doubt, this is mostly a fight comic. Ryan mixes in J.J. Jameson — who is now friends with Peter — nicely, making him try to help even when it’s not working. He’s like a father to Peter and it’s fun to see him try even when he knows he can’t do anything. The use of Miles is good too, especially when the exhausted Peter is short with him and hurts his feelings, but it rolls off. Since Morlun is basically an unstoppable force, Peter goes through some heavy internal monologuing via well-written captions. Ryan conveys the exhausting nature of Peter being beaten nearly to death over and over, and yet he continues to carry on. The idea of luck is brought in that’s a unique look at Peter’s nearly constant battle of never giving up. There’s also some great one-liners that will give you a chuckle.
As mentioned above, this collection also contains video comics adapted for print. The Spider-Man Noir story is pretty damn cool, integrating a 40s Shocker and Black Cat. The visuals are sharp and look great from Paco Diaz. The second video comic story goes full Spidey cartoon and has plenty of laughs.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The main story can get repetitive. See Spider-Man get decked, evade another attack, get chased, repeat. There isn’t a lot of complexity to the battle. It’s somewhat unique, taking place in a zoo although it doesn’t go too crazy with clever ideas. A nitpick, but it seems odd one of the cops proclaims they need to get rid of Morlun since the zoo is opening soon. Dude, Spider-Man and Miles blew up the zoo cafe, there is no way they are opening on time!
The video comics that end the issue are definitely tacked on, but it’s neat to see them adapted for comics. That said, the visuals are clearly a bit muted since they were made for video consumption.
Is it good?
I enjoyed this collection for how it gave Morlun yet another chance to kill Peter Parker, but thanks to never giving up Peter prevailed as always. It’s a bit repetitive and doesn’t quite mix things up enough to make it truly great, but it’s fun nonetheless.
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