Writers: Christos Gage (“New Players”), Jed McKay (“Check In”)
Artists: Clayton Crain (“New Players”), Javier Garrón (“Check In”)
Colorists: Clayton Crain (“New Players”), Israel Silva (“Check In”)
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Clayton Crain
Publisher: DC Comics
Review by Nico Sprezzatura
WARNING — Spoilers for PS4’s Spider-Man.
It’s been nearly a month since Insomniac Games’ long-awaited Spider-Man hit PS4, and this week’s Spider-Geddon #0 officially brings the Spider-Man of Earth-1048 into the broader Marvel multiverse. But, is it worth your time?
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few years, you’re probably aware of how huge the PS4 Spider-Man title has been. As Marvel’s first major foray into AAA console gaming in quite some time, it’s completely won over gamers and even non-gamers alike. It was only a matter of time until Marvel sought ways to milk their newest cash cow in other mediums — but I don’t think anybody (myself included) could’ve expected how soon the turnaround would actually be.
Some context first. Spider-Geddon, the sequel to 2014’s uber-event series Spider-Verse, officially begins next month, with Spider-Geddon—as well as the current Edge of Spider-Verse anthology series, and next week’s Superior Octopus one-shot— essentially serving the appetizer course. They’re not required reading for the storyline proper, but they definitely give a sense of scale to the proceedings.
As you can probably assume, the game’s Peter Parker is among the great many Spider-People who will appear throughout Spider-Geddon, and this issue in particular is mostly concerned with setting it up. When the Superior Spider-Man of Earth-616 —better known as Otto Octavius, AKA Doctor Octopus, AKA the fallen mentor of Earth-1048’s Peter Parker— arrives to recruit Peter for the impending doom, the reformed(?) Otto finds himself struggling to convince Peter why they’ll need his help.
The deftness of Spider-Geddon #0 is kind of impressive. Not only does it need to follow up on Spider-Man, but it also needs to help set up Marvel’s next big event series. Considering writer Christos Gage also co-wrote the game himself, there’s definitely a sense of a through-line that unites the two, which makes it feel cohesive to both the world of the game and the greater comics multiverse.
Pairing Peter off with Otto —or another version of him, anyway— is clever, considering how fraught their relationship becomes in the game. The Peter of Earth-1048 notes his awareness of quantum physics, but being thrust into a multiversal plot like the Spider-Geddon (which he, cheekily, inadvertently ends up naming himself) is a whole other thing. Their rapport throughout the issue is just a whole lot of fun, which you’d hope for in a comic book, right?
Artist Clayton Crain’s visuals do a pretty remarkable job of translating the ultra-photorealistic aesthetic of the game into a 2D format. While it’s not a perfect 1-1 recreation —there’s a painterly quality to his art that differentiates them— it has a similar enough sensibility that doesn’t ring false to what you might see in the game. Also, his rendition of classic Spidey rogue Tarantula (in the style of the game, obviously) is another fun worldbuilding aspect of Earth-1048, since he doesn’t actually show up in the game itself.
Spider-Geddon #0 also contains a short back-up story starring Pavitr Prabhakar —Spider-Man: India— and Spider-Punk —the Hobie Brown of Earth-138— as more of a direct prelude to Spider-Geddon, written by Jed McKay and drawn by Javier Garrón. Though mainly there to justify the 4.99 cover price, it’s an entertaining bite-sized story featuring two popular figures of the Spider-Verse.
The Verdict: Buy it.
Though not essential by any means, Spider-Geddon #0 provides some extra face-time with PS4’s Spider-Man that fans of the game will undoubtedly enjoy.