When it comes to tie-in issues, Marvel Comics is king. Spider-Geddon was proof of that, with many three issue tie-in series to capitalize on the many Spider-centric characters that were involved. Case in point, Spider-Geddon: Covert Ops, which is the latest trade paperback containing tie-in goodness. I had a good time reading Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 5, but how does the latest tie-in hold up?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
KAINE & SPIDER-WOMAN lead a rough and ready crew of Spiders on a mission to save the multi-verse that will almost certainly lead to their deaths! Spiders you love and a few new ones will risk it all to stop the Inheritors from unleashing the ultimate foe! All hands are needed in the fight to defeat the Inheritors-this time for good! Meanwhile: Anya Corazon leads a hopeful team of young heroes to investigate a legend of the Spider Society that may hold the key. If science brought the Inheritors back, maybe ancient magic can
Why does this matter?
I was a huge Spider-Verse fan, but never had the time to dip into the sequel, Spider-Geddon, until now. We here at AiPT! liked the event, and it was a fun way to celebrate the various spider characters. This collection offers two very different stories that help reveal how this event allowed for various types of storytelling.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first half of this collection houses Spider-Force #1 through #3 written by Priest with art by Paulo Siqueira, Szymon Kudransky, Ibraim Roberson, and Marcelo Ferreira, which is a darker story set on a radiation-filled alternate Earth. The story eventually jettisons the heroes to space where they meet up with J.J. Jameson’s son who, in this universe, has Spider-Man powers of a sort. Verna is the central Inheritor of this story and serves as a super-powered vampire well enough. She’s basically a monster with her fangs and animalistic quality, giving the book a horror vibe that works. The art overall is sharp, detailed, and captures the horror angle very well.
The second half of the book is devoted to Jody Houser and Andres Genolet’s Spider-Girls #1 through #3. This tie-in is devoted to the Spider-Man/Mary Jane/Spiderling trio from Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, who are drawn into the Spider-Geddon event thanks to Mayday Parker and Anya Corazon. The narrative explores a six-armed Harry Osborn, his work at a lab that draws Inheritors in, and the very important spider-sense power of Spiderling to see the future. This story shows how more Spider-Man characters can make a job easy — unless, of course, an Inheritor is involved. The emotional element is strong with this story thanks to Mayday realizing the family Spiderling has is one she could have had and that she is a lost sibling of sorts to the family. The story not only holds Spiderling up as important but helps show inter-dimensional stories reveal things about the characters.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The Spider-Force story is at times confusing, hard to follow, and tiring in its narrative style. It opens near the end of its story, then flashes back to how we got there for much of the three issues. It does well enough to introduce the characters, but you’ll be hard pressed to care about any of them. A threat of radiation poisoning early on seems to be forgotten midway through and characters say more than they do. Much of the dialogue seems half baked and unfinished to the point where you’ll stop caring. Then there’s your usual reluctant hero cliche like Spider-Woman not wanting to help due to her son, then choosing to do so. Then later, we’re reminded over and over how the Inheritors prefer babies. I can’t tell if this three-issue arc needed more issues to really breathe, or if it was lazily put together and never fully finished in the scriptwriting process.
It’s no doubt obvious, but don’t read this without reading the main event. A lot of the weight and stakes in play require you at least know of the bigger picture to enjoy this story.
Is it good?
A pretty good time when it comes to Spider-Man characters fighting a bigger battle. The coolest aspect of this collection is how you can get a horror story with a lighter superhero story all in one. It’s a reminder of how tie-in series allow for different takes utilizing the same rules and mechanisms.
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