The 2018 PS4 game Marvel's Spider-Man reminded many people why that character is so engaging, and the success of the game was so great that it bled back into its source material: the comic books.
Based on the success of the game, Marvel Comics created a separate line of comic books titled 'Gamerverse' to expand on the continuity of the game. Overseen by comics editor-turned-Marvel Games' VP/head of creative Bill Rosemann, these aren't just tie-ins - they're integral parts of the larger story of the Spider-Man game.
(And remember, the Spider-Man game was co-written by longtime comics writer Christos Gage, with input from long-time Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott.)
With Spider-Man: Miles Morales on its way, here's a complete rundown of these limited series, as well as the character's crossover with Marvel Comics' main continuity.
Spider-Geddon opens right in the game's world, introducing the longtime comic book villain the Tarantula. Peter fears that the spider theme will further hurt his brand and add more fuel to the fire for J. Jonah Jameson's 'Spider-Man is A Menace' headlines.
Interrupting that thought, comic books' Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus, inhabiting the body of Peter Parker) enters the scene and agrees to help the game's Spider-Man fight the Tarantula if he joins the multiverse's Spider people with their impending battle against a group of continuity-crossing villains known as the Inheritors. The story ends with Peter saying goodbye to Mary Jane and telling Miles Morales to look over the city while he's gone.
The comic has a few features from the game – including the use of Spider-Man's web bomb.
Spider-Man: City at War
Written by Dennis Hopeless and illustrated by Michele Bandini, Spider-Man: City at War is the first of several limited series to expand on the video game franchise. This one is filled with origin stories: Peter Parker's science mentor Otto Octavius becomes Doctor Octopus, Miles Morales gets his own set of spider-powers, and Mary Jane becomes Spider-Man's new partner on the field with the use of her investigative skills.
Writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Michele Bandini focus on many story threads planted in the Spider-Man PS4 game, but with an added element of drama that only the comic book medium has the range to fully tap into and explore. Including, Aunt May's shocking death and the reveal that she's known about Peter Parker's dual identity as Spider-Man all along.
Reeling from the emotional trauma from City at War, Hopeless' saga on the character continues with Spider-Man: Velocity (drawn by Emilio Laiso). Based on the popular suit that was given as a pre-order bonus as part of the 'Spidey Suit Pack' and/or unlocked at Level 33 in the game, Hopeless gives a backstory on how and why Peter invented the suit.
MJ and Spider-Man team up for a new mission to hunt down a person that can only be described as a "ghost," who is clearly out to get MJ, Ben Urich, and the reporters of The Daily Bugle. As the mystery unfolds, MJ and Spider-Man learn that this "ghost" is actually a speedster on the hunt for revenge following her father's death. This leads Peter to invent his velocity suit to catch up with the teenage antagonist.
Even though this series was written to expand on the origins of the suit, it's not the costume that helps redeem the speedster, but instead their shared connection of grief. Peter understands how it feels to be a "ghost" among the living. He uses his experience of losing Uncle Ben to help inspire the teen to use her powers for good and become a hero.
Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes
Joined by artist Luca Maresca, Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes is currently Hopeless' last installment for the Gamerverse line. Tying into the 'The City that Never Sleeps' DLC, Black Cat Strikes follows Black Cat and Spider-Man as they reconnect. A reunion filled with drama as Spider-Man learns that Felicia Hardy is teaming up with Hammerhead collecting secret hard drives to protect her son. This has Spider-Man's mind wonder – is it his son?
Hopeless' trilogy has put a focus on MJ and Spider-Man's team-up, but now with Black Cat in the mix the anti-hero puts their relationship to the ultimate test. They are now forced to look back at when they broke up and see if they've healed from those wounds. This ultimately helps their relationship become stronger as they learn to trust each other and have more open communication.
What's to come with the Spider-Man: Miles Morales game?
Marvel Comics has yet to announce any comic book tie-in plans to Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but in cases like this, they're prone to use the element of surprise on comic book and game fans - especially if it avoids spoiling the storyline of the game.