The following contains major spoilers for Spider-Man #2, available now from Marvel Comics.
With the fate of the multiverse at stake, the titular hero of Spider-Man #2 (by Dan Slott, Mark Bagley, John Dell, Edgar Delgado, and VC’s Joe Carmagna) has joined forces with some of his most amazing counterparts to battle the forces of the ancient, evil Shathra and her infectious Wasps. Despite their powers and prowess, the myriad of heroes who call the Spider-Verse their home have fallen all but entirely to Shathra’s dark influence, leaving only a handful behind to fight back. Thankfully, those who remain can easily count themselves among the best of the best, even if there aren’t that many of them.
More so than almost any other Spider-Totem from across the multiverse, Aña has an acute understanding of the threat posed by the Sisterhood of the Wasps. As a hot-headed teen, Aña found herself at the wrong place at the wrong time when the Sisterhood was battling against a sorcerer of the Spider Society. Though she was dealt a fatal blow only moments after her first appearance in 2004’s Amazing Fantasy #1 (by Fiona Avery and Mark Brooks), the Spider she saved recognized the innate potential within her. With a piece of his own life force, she was given a second chance, and she has used it to do as much good as possible whether as Araña or the Amazing Spider-Girl.
2014’s Amazing Spider-Man #1 (by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos) introduced the world to Cindy Moon, a former classmate of Peter Parker and a secret superhero. It turned out that she was bitten by the same spider that transformed Peter into Spider-Man, though her life took a vastly different turn because of it. Rather than coming into her own as a hero, she spent years hidden away from the threat posed by the likes of Morlun. When Cindy finally emerged, she shocked the world as one of the least expected albeit most exciting Wall-Crawlers of all time — Silk.
When Julia Carpenter was made an unwitting pawn in the enigmatic Commission’s bid to create its own superhero, her life went from that of an otherwise ordinary college student to Marvel’s next Spider-Woman seemingly overnight. Although she was imbued with impossible powers, she never quite managed to find a place where she fits in comfortably alongside other, more recognizable figures. At least, that was the case until the death of the original Madame Web left the Spider-Heroes in dire need of a new Weaver. Thankfully, Julia has been more than capable in her new role, just as she has in employing the same precognitive abilities that took her sight. Now, she is the one coordinating the Spider-Verse’s remaining heroes, and though her insight is truly invaluable, it is hardly enough to save the multiverse on its own.
One of the more recent additions to the Spider-Verse, Zarina Zahari joined the ranks of her world’s Weird Happenings Organization almost as soon as her powers presented themselves. As Spider-UK, Zarina has dedicated herself to not just protecting her world against any manner of threat, but to putting on as friendly a face as possible. This consideration for the public eye is something that has seen her act against the wishes of others as well as her own better instincts. Still, nothing she has encountered so far has been more than she can handle, and the fact that she has survived to take part in what could be the final fight for the fate of the multiverse speaks to just how capable she truly is.
Like the Felicia Hardy fans know best, the version of her known as Night-Spider is as cool as she is charming, even if both of those attributes are usually just covers for her more criminal impulses. While her fellow Spiders tend to live by a different mantra, Night-Spider’s makes it quite clear that the only thing that comes with great power is no accountability. Of course, just because she steals from the rich doesn’t mean she is apathetic towards the kind of plights that could destroy each and every reality.
Petra’s life was quite literally cut from the same cloth as almost any classic Disney princess, except for it taking place within the Marvel Multiverse. As such, the young princess was gifted not a mere gown or a pair of glass slippers by her fairy godmother, but the powers of a spider. These abilities came with the devastating caveat that, without giving them up, Petra would likely never find her one true love. No matter how tragic that tradeoff might be, Petra proved to be yet another hero willing to suffer the cost of saving their world.
One of the many personas first glimpsed in 2020’s Spider-Verse #6 (by Jed MacKay and José Carlos Silva), the Sun-Spider is the high-flying alter-ego of the otherwise timid and awkward Charlotte Webber. In spite of personal and romantic setbacks pushing her to the fringes of the world she wishes were better at times, Charlotte consistently pushes back against whatever odds come her way. Her powers might make her a hero, but Charlotte’s determination to prove herself at every turn makes her one of the most endearing heroes to ever grace the Spider-Verse.
When Cooper Coen saved his universe’s Peter Parker from being bit by a radioactive spider, it gave him an opportunity to become something more than a misunderstood and mistreated teenager. While Cooper couldn’t find a happy home with his own parents, he made one with his more accepting family, and when he couldn’t protect his loved ones as himself, he embarked on a superheroic career as the Web-Weaver. Although Cooper hasn’t been a costumed crime-fighter for very long, he has shown a remarkable propensity for tackling shape-shifting assassins and insectile aberrations alike, which makes him the perfect fit for the last super team at the end of the Spider-Verse.
Kraven the Hunter-Spider
Kraven the Hunter-Spider is both one of the more iconic and lethal members of the team, as well as the only member who cannot be trusted beyond the battle at hand. Much like his primary counterpart from the main Marvel Universe, this Kraven lives only for the thrill of the hunt and the glory of its subsequent kills. After consuming the spider beast which he acquired his powers from, Kraven took on the task of cleaning up NYC’s animalistic rogues, each of whom he dispatched in a grotesque fashion. There might not be any question of his efficacy, but there are plenty of good reasons to worry about what he will do if and when the threat of the Wasps has been quelled.
Peter Parker, aka the Mainstream Spider-Man
The Peter Parker fans know and love likely doesn’t need an introduction, though his newfound place at the heart of the multiverse certainly needs explaining. While the Web of Life and Destiny is the living map of the multiverse, Peter is the Spider-Man of its Primal Strand, the first ever spun and the one that holds the rest of its interdimensional tapestry together. This isn’t to say that there is no hope should Peter be taken out of the picture, but rather that it is his place in his own reality that has dictated every Spider-Totem to date. That being the case, there is almost no one more deserving of a place on the battlefield, nor whose presence could sway the fight for the future.
The Inheritor known as Morlun has been a terrifying part of Spider-Man’s mythos ever since he was introduced in 2001’s Amazing Spider-Man #30 (by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr.) Best described as an otherworldly vampire, Morlun and his kind feed upon the various Totemic entities that exist throughout nearly every iteration of reality. This has made them particularly potent threats to the Spider-Totems who now stand as the first and last line of defense against the forces of Shathra. It also makes Morlun an exceptionally powerful foe, or ally, as the loss of his own people to Shathra’s Wasps has forced him to turn against everything he knows and take up arms alongside the very same Spiders he would otherwise attempt to consume.