WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Superior Octopus #1 by Christos Gage, Jed MacKay, Mike Hawthorne, Mark Bagley, Wade von Grawbadger, Craig Yeung, Jordie Bellaire, Dono Sanchez-Almara, Protobunker and VC’s Clayton Cowles, out now.
We’re still a week away from the release of Spider-Geddon #1, but already we’re seeing the pieces of the next major Spidey event falling into place. One of the biggest questions going into it was just how the villains escape from their confinement and are allowed to unleash their own brand of horror across the multiverse again. Now, thanks to this week’s Superior Octopus #1, we know exactly how they break free.
Spider-Geddon is the spiritual follow-up to 2014’s Spider-Verse, the event that not only brought together every alternate hero with spider powers from across the multiverse but is the inspiration for the upcoming animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The reason behind the biggest gathering of spider-heroes ever assembled was the multiversal threat of the Inheritors, who are back once again for Spider-Geddon.
Hailing from Earth-001, the Inheritors are totemic hunters, meaning they travel the multiverse hunting any being possessed of spider-based powers. Their race feeds off the energy within spider-heroes, and they are perpetually hungry for more, leading them to kill more and more heroes for sustenance. The first appearance of the Inheritors was in the form of Morlun in 2001’s Amazing Spider-Man #30, who arrived on Earth to hunt and torment Peter Parker.
Morlun’s first visit came at a time when Spider-Man was just learning about the totemic aspect of his powers. The mysterious Ezekiel Sims arrived in Peter’s life and, sharing similar spider powers as Spider-Man, told him that the accident that gave him his powers was no accident, but a conscious decision by the spider gods to pass on their powers to Peter Parker. Spider-Man was, therefore, a totem, a bridge between man and beast, and just as the universe was filled with totems, it was also filled with totem hunters, known as Inheritors.
After Morlun was defeated (not before nearly killing Spider-Man in the process), it was another 13 years before he returned to comics, this time with his whole family of Inheritors in tow. In their attempts to kill the Spider Gods, they captured Master Weaver, a being whose inter-dimensional web could allow travel throughout the multiverse. Using the Weaver, the Inheritors reach expanded, and their greatest hunt began.
It took the effort of nearly every Spider hero across the multiverse to stop their hunt. Gathered together by both Spider-Man and the Superior Spider-Man from Earth-616, the entire Spider-Verse came together to defeat the Inheritors, including Spider Gwen, Spider Punk, Miles Morales, Jessica Drew and many more. Taking their fight directly to the hunters on their home of Loomworld, the Spider-heroes defeated the Inheritors and -- because heroes don’t kill -- exiled them to Earth-3145, an irradiated planet where they were forced to take shelter in a bunker and live off nothing but radioactive spiders.