For those of you who didn't know, a few years ago Dr. Octopus completed what could be the greatest plan a villain has ever put together. In a dying body, he put his consciousness into Peter Parker's body and Peter Parker in his. Doc Ock realized that all the time he was fighting Spider-Man, that he was actually the villain and after realizing his folly, Doc Ock became the "Superior Spider-Man". Dedicating his life to being a better Spider-Man and a better Peter Parker than the original could ever be. For a while it seemed like Octavious really was the better Spider-Man and Peter Parker until he got a little too ambitious and it came back to bite him in the tuchus. After realizing he didn't have what it took to be the better Spider-Man, Doc Ock brought Peter Parker's consciousness into his body and Parker went on to live his life again, but there was much damage done while Peter was away. While Doc was running around, he broke up with Mary Jane for good, beat the holy Hell out of Black Cat and turned her into a villain, and caused Jonah to hate him more than he ever has. One good thing did come out of this. Peter Parker finished college and opened up his own science business. Ups and downs.
During "Original Sin" Peter finds out that the spider that bit him also bit another person by the name of Cindy Moon and she was being held in an adamantium cell for her protection against an outside force looking to kill her. Spider-Man breaks her out and the second she is out, the danger that she was being protected from immediately felt her presence. That danger is Morlun the totem eating almost indestructible madman and he has a family that may be more deadly than he is. Morlun and his family began searching the multiverse for every spider-man, woman, or child so they could consume their essence. Anybody who had the spider totem was in danger. So, Captain Britain Spider-Man went looking for Earth 616's (the regular Marvel Universe) Peter Parker because he is the only one who has fought him and survived. So Peter Parker along with Silk (Cindy Moon the woman he freed), his two clones two clones of Peter Parker Ben Reilly and Peter Parker (Kaine), Spider-Woman (Jessica Jones), and Spider-Woman Anya Corazon traveled through the multiverse to take on a seemingly unstoppable force that has been killing spider totem after spider totem. Even with an army of Spider toems willing and able to fight, it may not be enough to take out a family of unstoppable killer beings.
When the idea was put on the internet, I was ready to hate and love this all at once. First, the idea of multiple spider people from multiple universes seemed like a great idea. I loved the idea of seeing how creative the writers could get with different characters and who they would use from past comics (I was shocked to see Spider-Woman from Old Man Logan and Assassin Spidey from "What If..."). But, the idea that they were fighting Morlun who had already died twice seemed very silly. I wondered why they just couldn't think of a new threat for them to take on. Thankfully a friend talked me into reading because it exceeded all of my expectations and even then some.
First off, all of the side stories were a great idea. Getting to read stories of different spider-men and women and what made them good, bad, or evil was great and terrifically done. Seeing them all react to each other getting along, hating each other, loving what each one represented was also a nice touch. It could have easily been a situation where their interaction was nothing and they focused on Peter Parker and his universe and Miles Morales and his people, but thankfully that wasn't the case. Everyone seemed to have a reason for being there. Then there was Morlun's family. They are exactly what you'd expect from his family. Nothing but rich looking jerk wads that were ruthless, vicious, and cold heartened. Even the reasoning of why Morlun kept coming back made sense. It fit right in with the Peter Parker story line (I won't spoil it for you).
All in all, this made up for the last few years of Marvel arcs that were lackluster at best. I highly recommend anybody who enjoys comic books to go read this. It is an amazing Spider-Man (pun totally intended) book with a few twists and turns. No one is exempt from death or crippling in this book which leaves you wondering who's next to go and who will be the one to step up and be the big time hero. And if this is any indication of how things are to be, expect a few new stories to come from some of the Spider people from the other universes.
-Mark A.W Lynch