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Spider-Verse Story Arc Explained

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Thomas O'Connor
Across the infinite realities of the Marvel multiverse, there are few constants. But wherever evil rears its head, a man, woman, robot or pig in red and blue spandex will rise to meet it. Welcome to “Story Arc Explained”, the series that gets you up to speed on the comics you didn’t read. Today we’re recapping 2014’s “Spider-Verse” story arc, written by Dan Slott with art by Olivier Coipel and Giuseppe Camuncoli. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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"Spider-Verse" Story Arc Explained

Across the infinite realities of the Marvel multiverse, there are few constants. But wherever evil rears its head, a man, woman, robot or pig in red and blue spandex will rise to meet it. Welcome to “Story Arc Explained”, the series that gets you up to speed on the comics you didn’t read. Today we’re recapping 2014’s “Spider-Verse” story arc, written by Dan Slott with art by Olivier Coipel and Giuseppe Camuncoli.

It’s long been an accepted fact that the Marvel Universe we know and love is but one of an infinite number of alternate realities and timelines that form a neverending multiverse. Each of these realities varies in small or major ways, but given his status as one of Marvel’s flagship characters, a version of Spider-Man can be found in almost all of them. In 2014 an unprecedented crossover event brought together almost every one of these variations of the webhead from across 50-plus years of comics, television and more as the Spider-Men of many worlds found themselves united against a common foe.

The adventure begins when the Spider-Man of Earth-449 is attacked and killed by Morlun of The Inheritors, a race of well-dressed interdimensional energy vampires who feed on those touched by a force called the Spider-Totem. Meanwhile, on Earth-616, while battling some looters in the streets of New York, Spider-Man and fellow web-slinger Silk are confronted by a group of Spider-Men from a variety of universes and timelines. The spiders tell Peter that, because he fought and defeated Morlun in the past, he’s the only one who can lead the spiders against the threat. While the Spider-folks explain the situation to Pete, another Inheritor named Daemos attacks the New Warriors Headquarters and has the Scarlet Spider AKA Kaine, Peter’s brooding clone, against the ropes. That is until a group of Spider-People shows up, led by a Bruce Banner Spider-Man, and save him, losing another Spider-Man in the process.

The group head to Earth-13, where a Spider-Man who possesses vast cosmic power has set up a safe zone where the spiders can catch their breath. There, Peter meets the other spiders who have joined the fight against the Inheritors, including one especially surprising face. In the recent past, Doctor Octopus found himself in control of Peter’s Body while the real Pete took a brief dirt nap. Deciding to continue Peter’s work as a hero, Dock Ock spent a year or so as the self-described “Superior Spider-Man”. During his stint as the wallcrawler, Octavius was pulled through time to help fight the Inheritors. His arrival on Earth-13, leading a team of his own no-less, barely has time to register before Daemos shows up to cause trouble along with his siblings Bora and Brix.

The Spiders barely manage to escape with their lives, but the gang barely have time to catch their breath before The Superior Spider-Man tries to assert himself as leader of the group. This attempted coup doesn’t last long, as Peter fulfills many a fan’s dream and lays Ock out cold.

Meanwhile, more trouble is brewing as the Inheritor’s father, Solus, decides to take matters into his own hands. Solus attacks the so-called “Safe Zone” of Earth-13 with the help of Morlun, and another massive battle erupts, one that costs many spiders their lives, including the adorable Spider-Monkey. During the battle, Solus absorbs the energy of the Cosmic Spider-Man, and Morlun grabs Mayday Parker’s baby brother Benji before teleporting away.

The remaining Spiders escape yet again, thanks to the intervention of the Japanese Spider-Man and his giant mech Leopardon. The Spiders teleport to a random Earth and end up on a strange, dinosaur-filled world. While they consider their next move, they get a much-needed bit of information from Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. Jess has gone undercover in the Inheritor’s base and uncovered the truth behind their war on the Spiders. The Inheritors have enslaved the Master Weaver, a being tasked with maintaining the web that binds the multiverse together. The weaver prophesied that the Spiders would unite and overthrow the Inheritors, but that his masters could prevent this by sacrificing three very special spiders: Benji, Silk, and Kaine.

Yet again, the Inheritors manage to track down the location of the Spiders and invade, this time using twisted, alternate-reality versions of classic Spider-Man villains like Rhino and Hammerhead as their minions, and once again, the Spiders manage to escape.

The group then track Silk, who’s been leading the Inheritors on a chase to keep the group safe, to a world that may prove to be their salvation: a world that has been ravaged by a nuclear war. On this world, it was Uncle Ben who became Spider-Man instead of Peter, and he’s the only survivor of the war that destroyed his homeworld. Silk learned earlier that the background radiation on this world is lethal to the Inheritors.

Silk and Spider-Gwen decide to infiltrate Loomworld, the home of the Inheritors, to rescue Jessica. Kaine also decides to head to Loomworld solo in a rage after learning of Ben Reilly’s death. Neither Kane nor Silk realizes that they are playing into the Inheritor’s plan by basically delivering themselves to them. When the rest of the Spiders learn that all three of the Inheritors’ targets are on Loomworld, they have no choice but to go after them. The stage is set for the final battle between the Inheritors and the Spiders, and when the Spiders meet their enemies on their home turf, the battle is about as epic as you’d expect. After transforming into a giant Spider-creature, Kaine manages to kill Solus but is then killed by Morlun. The group barely manage to save Silk and Benji from being sacrificed. Thanks to some help from the Inheritors’ wayward brother Karn, the Spider-Army gains the upper hand. The Superior Spider-Man kills the Master Weaver, cutting the Inheritors off from their ability to hop from one dimension to another. The Peter Parker we know and love teleports Morlun to Uncle Ben’s irradiated reality in an act of sacrifice but is saved by Silk, leaving Morlun alone in a world that will slowly kill him. The Spider-Army dump the rest of the Inheritors on the war-ravaged Earth, putting an end to their threat once and for all.

In the aftermath, the Spiders say their goodbyes before heading back to their own realities. But before 616-Peter and a few others can head back, their Spider-Senses go off. They return to the Great Web to find Otto tampering with it in an effort to alter his destiny. After subduing Otto and preventing further damage to the Web, Silk offers to take the place of the Master Weaver, but it’s revealed that the Master Weaver had been Karn the whole time. We won’t get into the “timey-wimey” logistics of this big reveal, but basically, Karn then replaces his dead self as the new Master Weaver. Unfortunately for Spider-UK, while he was gone fighting the Inheritors, his reality had been destroyed by an Incursion, which he describes as “cosmic phenomena that’ve been wiping out whole realities.” With his reality gone, Spider-UK, along with Spider-Girl of Earth-616, decide to help worlds without a Spider-Man. Karn dubs them “Warriors of the Great Web.” With that, Karn sends the remaining Spiders back to their respective realities, marking the end of the conflict, and the one-of-a-kind arc.
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