WARNING: this article contains spoilers for Spider-Geddon #0, from Christos Gage, Clayton Crain, Jed MacKay, Javier Garron, Israel Silva and VC’s Travis Lanham, out now.
The debut issue of this year’s big Spider Event is here, and it brings us not one but two stories packed with Spider-Men. The main story in Spider-Geddon #0 is all about arguably the most popular version of Spider-Man this year: Peter Parker from the blockbuster PS4 game, Spider-Man! He is, however, accompanied by another fan-favorite character -- one who may have his own agenda beyond merely saving the multiverse.
“New Players,” the main story in Spider-Geddon #0, continues the adventures of the PS4 Spidey, as he deals with J. Jonah Jameson’s slanderous podcast at the same time as confronting new villain the Tarantula. Employing his tricks from the game -- the electric webbing, the web bomb -- to trap the villain, Spidey is doing well until he’s interrupted by none other than the Otto Octavius. Declaring himself the Superior Spider-Man of Earth 616, there’s no doubt that he is our version of the popular anti-hero, though the last time we saw him, he was going by a very different name.
First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #697 (although he wouldn’t get his title until a few issues later) the Superior Spider-Man started life as Otto Octavius, aka one of Peter Parker's biggest foes. Following a scheme to cheat his imminent death due to his failing physical form, Otto body-swapped with Parker, trapping the latter in his dying body and leaving Otto free to assume the body, name and life of Spider-Man. His life as a superhero lasted for 31 issues of Superior Spider-Man until the day came when he realized he could no longer compete with Peter Parker, and sacrificed his consciousness so that the original Spider-Man could return.
During the Spider-Verse storyline though, in which Otto had been pulled from a point in time before his death, he joined Peter Parker in the battle against the Inheritors and learned of his upcoming demise. Utilizing technology acquired from 2099, Otto was able to duplicate his consciousness and store it in his gauntlets for 100 days, at which point it would “wake up” after his death, and he would be reborn. Once this happened, a series of events led to Otto using the cloning processes of notorious villain the Jackal to make himself a new body, one cloned from his old body but also using Peter Parker’s DNA.