SPIDER-VERSE was a one-of-a-kind Spidey story. It was the kind of story I never really wanted to see replicated. Leave it to Marvel to mess that up, though. Going into the recent SPIDER-GEDDON event, I was expecting a bare-bones copy of the SPIDER-VERSE. But much to my surprise, it was a pointedly unique and fun story, even if it wasn’t wholly original. But with that said, between SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON, which of the two is the bigger hit?

We’d seen team-ups between Spider-People before, but never on the scale that SPIDER-VERSE presented to us. Sure, the Inheritors were a somewhat tacky threat, but they were mostly believable and helped make the event feel more epic. SPIDER-VERSE was appropriately scaled and insanely fun, front-to-back.

SPIDER-GEDDON sought to repeat the scope of SPIDER-VERSE, with mixed results. It plays off of one too many familiar story beats from SPIDER-VERSE, but has enough mix-ups to keep you interested. Some notable twists were the twisted Norman Osborn Spider-Man and the Spider-Man made of many spiders (yes, the one that possibly eats people). SPIDER-GEDDON also works well because it pulls the focus away from Peter Parker and lets Miles Morales and many of the other Spiders shine instead.

SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON are two stories so clearly cut from the same cloth. But, there’re enough differences between the two that you might draw preference for one over the other. So, let’s take a look at both SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON and determine which is truly the superior Spider-Event (yes, that’s the tagline I’m going with, deal with it).

The Stories of SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON

SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON practically tell the same story. The stakes are nearly identical, as the Spiders of the multiverse are threatened by the vampiric, seemingly-immortal Inheritors. That about covers the gist of both events, barring specific details.

SPIDER-VERSE features Peter Parker banding together a massive army of Spider-People to take down the Inheritors. The story hardly gives you a minute to breathe, between the Spiders jumping between colorfully vivid worlds and the absolutely epic fight sequences.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #9
From AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #9. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

SPIDER-GEDDON mostly follows the same arc. Rather than focusing on Peter again, SPIDER-GEDDON features more infighting between the Spiders, rather than them fighting the Inheritors. The team is divided on whether or not they should kill the Inheritors. The event drags out this inner conflict a bit longer than it needs to, but it does pose a fairly valid philosophical question at the heart of this cantankerous event. Ultimately, SPIDER-GEDDON trades out bigger action sequences for more intimate character work.

Between the two, SPIDER-VERSE tells a more well-rounded story. Though it never goes too in depth with any of its character, SPIDER-VERSE is more focused, and has a stronger sense of identity. SPIDER-GEDDON fumbles a little too much; it’s not sure which conflict to really focus on, and features a few too many convenient twists. Also, SPIDER-GEDDON seriously lacks anything related to the “Geddon” (implying Armageddon) half of its title. Two people die, and that’s it.

For those reasons, between SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON, SPIDER-VERSE wins the storytelling round.

The Characters

Jumping off the aforementioned point of character work, SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON handle their characters very differently.

SPIDER-VERSE plays it a little safe in putting Peter Parker on the leader’s pedestal. The story gives him more moments to shine than any other character, which may seem appropriate, but really shouldn’t be. In a story that just introduced Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman, you’d think there’d be more content featuring her. And Cosmic Spidey was sorely underwhelming.

SPIDER-GEDDON doesn’t make the same mistake as its predecessor. We get a lot of great character moments in this event. Again, Norman Osborn Spidey and the Spider-Man version of Million Ants from RICK AND MORTY are respectively dramatic and hilarious standouts. Miles Morales also really comes into his own as a leader in SPIDER-GEDDON, which is great to see. And a lot of the other newly introduced Spideys, like the new Spider-Ben and Petey, really shine as well.

SPIDER-GEDDON
From SPIDER-GEDDON #3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Of course, the EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON books gave us some interesting background on a lot of the newbies as well. But, in terms of the events themselves, it seems obvious that SPIDER-GEDDON is the standout winner. SPIDER-VERSE may juggle its pieces better, but SPIDER-GEDDON lets those same pieces shine in a far superior manner.

The Tie-Ins

SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON are both good examples of stories with proper tie-ins. When I refer to the tie-ins for these events, I’m referring to the big ones. I’m talking about SCARLET SPIDERS, SPIDER-WOMAN, and SPIDER-MAN 2099 for SPIDER-VERSE, and SPIDER-FORCE, SPIDER-GIRLS, and PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN for SPIDER-GEDDON.

And no, I’m not counting the new SPIDER-GWEN for SPIDER-GEDDON; it hardly affects or is affected by the event. And the small one- or two-issue books for both series aren’t really worth mentioning; they’re fun for the most part, but don’t substantially play into the core events.

SCARLET SPIDERS #3
From SCARLET SPIDERS #3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The SPIDER-VERSE tie-ins were pleasantly surprising. SCARLET SPIDERS was an instant favorite of mine, as it centered around three highly underrated characters, and featured brilliant artwork from Paco Diaz. SPIDER-WOMAN was equally impressive, with smooth storytelling from Dennis Hopeless and vivid art from Greg Land. SPIDER-MAN 2099 was the only disappointing one of the bunch.

SPIDER-GEDDON’s tie-ins were less enthralling, I found. SPIDER-GIRLS had tons of potential, but slipped up with its odd progression and underwhelming reveals and twists. SPIDER-FORCE was a fun read, if a bit hard to follow; I especially loved the Spider-Astronaut and Spider-Kid characters. SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN was the standout tie-in, with Peter Parker facing Morlun mano-a-mano in a colorful, flashy fashion.

Plus, that’s the book where we get to see Pete simultaneously kick Morlun and a bear.

PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #313
From PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #313. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON both feature tie-ins that add something to the core events, but SPIDER-VERSE’s tie-ins are far more entertaining and well-rounded. I found myself more invested in them, so I’m giving another point to SPIDER-VERSE.

The Consequences (or the Lack Thereof)

If there’s one problem I have with both SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON, it’s that both stories have little to no consequences.

The aftermath of SPIDER-VERSE, if you could even call it that, lasted all of one issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Then, Pete hardly ever refers to it again. Miles and Ultimate Jessica Drew don’t deal with anything in the aftermath, Spider-Gwen hardly refers to it in her own solo series, and just about everyone else is basically fine. You’d think a dimension-spanning war between the Spiders and Inheritors would warrant a bigger impact on the characters who survived.

And SPIDER-GEDDON isn’t much better. The biggest consequence of SPIDER-GEDDON is probably that the Superior Spider-Man is back. That’s about it. Granted, it’s a little early to say whether or not SPIDER-GEDDON will have anymore lasting after-effects, but frankly, I’m almost certain it won’t. It was an event seemingly written to, first, capitalize off the recent SPIDER-VERSE film, and second, relive the glory of a previously successful event. Regardless of how fun SPIDER-GEDDON was, I think it can be argued that it was a rather pointless book.

SPIDER-GEDDON
From SPIDER-GEDDON #2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Both SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON fall into the problem of feeling weak in the aftermath.  Everything just sort of goes back to normal for the characters in both cases. I don’t really know who to give a point to here. Maybe SPIDER-GEDDON, since it actually hints at some interesting stuff down the line. We’ll see.

Although, this lack of consequences brings me to my next point…

The Pitfalls of SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON

Far be it from me to call SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON perfect Spidey stories. They’re far from the sort. The first notable problem would be pretty much everything I just noted above about the lack of consequences.

Also, while both stories present clear and mostly believable stakes, they also feel sort of lazy. I was never worried the Spiders would lose anything. The atmosphere never felt dire enough. This, again, goes back to there being a lack of consequences in these stories.

In SPIDER-VERSE, I could slightly forgive this point, as it was an already massive event that had to close itself out in one clean way or another. I can’t forgive it in SPIDER-GEDDON, though. Again, it feels lazy; the same mistake was made twice. That shouldn’t happen.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #14
From AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2014) #14. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The deaths in SPIDER-GEDDON were also fairly disappointing. Spider-UK and Spider-Man Noir were killed purely for the shock value. There needed to be two or three other deaths, I think, riddled throughout the story to make those first two seem a bit more justified. Otherwise, it, again, feels lazy.

SPIDER-VERSE is ultimately the cleaner event, in terms of how its strengths outweigh its weaknesses. SPIDER-GEDDON can’t really excuse itself for making the same mistakes, plus whatever else the event failed to do.

And the Winner Is…

So, with all of that now laid bare, between SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON it feels fairly obvious which is superior. SPIDER-VERSE is just a better story. It’s more well-rounded and fun on just about every level. For the majority of SPIDER-GEDDON, I felt odd; hopping between the conflicting plotlines didn’t really help anything. So, when it comes down to it, I have to hold SPIDER-VERSE on a higher pedestal than SPIDER-GEDDON.

If I seem biased (which I sort of am), then I would recommend you not look at everything I’ve written here as factual. This really is all opinion-based. I did enjoy SPIDER-VERSE substantially more than I enjoyed SPIDER-GEDDON. Nevertheless, I enjoyed both events, and I’ve done my best to keep an open mind when considering the pros and cons of both stories and weighing them against each other.

And, while SPIDER-VERSE may ultimately be the better of the two, it doesn’t really matter in the end which you prefer. They’re still both incredibly fun stories. SPIDER-VERSE brought to life a story many fans had been dreaming of for ages. SPIDER-GEDDON took that one step further — for better or worse.

Although, if I had one recommendation for Marvel, I’d cut it with the multiverse Spidey stories. Leave it at SPIDER-VERSE and SPIDER-GEDDON, and call it a day.

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