Over the last few months, with the relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel has produced one of the most entertaining crossover events in several years. The basic premise of the Spider-Verse event is that a family exists, known as the Inheritors, and they have multi-dimensional access to hunt down spider "totems" (any spider powered character) and feed on them through parallel universes. This threat of demise among the spider people causes them to team up and fight back. The Spider-Verse event is about halfway done, so we don't know if Dan Slott and company will stick the landing, but it looks promising so far. I will list a few of the coolest aspects of the story:
The Inheritors - While Morlun has been introduced in previous volumes of The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Verse has expanded on this mysterious spider hunter and shown he comes from a line of seemingly immortal beings who transcend time known as the inheritors. For reasons unknown, they feed specifically on the essence of spiders and their massive power has proven too much for any individual spider character. So far, there seems to be little hope for our heroes, even with their collaboration. Hopefully, we see them make progress soon, but the Inheritors have proven to be a deliciously evil and effective foe group.
The Alternate Spiders - Utilizing parallel universe to the max, Spider-Verse has introduced a multitude of characters, both old and new, from the multiverse pantheon. The focus on Spider-Man 2099, The Superior Spider-Man, Spider-Girl, and a ton of other faces (most of which are killed in gruesome ways), provides an interesting parallel to the 616's own Peter Parker, and these plentiful "What-If" characters breathe some fresh air into arguably the most well known superhero in comics.
The Odds Are Stacked - As I mentioned previously, the Inheritors so far are destroying our heroes at every corner. In the most recent issue, even a cosmic powered Spider-Man was dispatched, making it seem unlikely that most of our main heroes will survive, although I feel confident that the main Peter Parker will somehow make it. The fact that halfway through the event, the heroes still have no answer and every plan they make backfires, makes me want to get to the next part as quickly as possible because nothing about the story has been predictable.
It's a Crossover, but You Don't Have to Read All the Books - The main story is contained within The Amazing Spider-Man, and you really don't need to read the 4 or so other books to get the whole plan. Characters appear and disappear with references to other books, but so far, not reading them hasn't proven a hindrance. Granted, I am reading several of the tie-ins as I read the books normally. Luckily, the quality of the tie-ins I have read has been about as strong as the main story itself. Plus, with so many different characters, cramming them all in one book would likely cause the characterization to suffer. If you want a good event but don't want to shell out the dough for every tie-in, Spider-Verse is for you. However, the tie-ins have, for the most part, been pretty good, so don't be scared to read them if you want more Spider-Verse in your life.