The term Spider-Totem refers to a class of multiversal supernatural entities linked to a mystical force called the Web of Life and Destiny. The Great Weaver, the Gatekeeper, the Other, the Bride, the Scion, and the Patternmaker are examples of these deific Spider-Totems; which can choose avatars or manifest independently if needed.
These Great Totems play key roles in maintaining the Web:
- The Great Weaver selects those who are worthy of becoming the avatars of Great Totems like the Other.
- The Gatekeeper is responsible for controlling mystical forces, and chooses which totemic avatars are worthy of their powers.
- The Other's role is a powerful and combative deity whose role is undefined, as it was originally referred to as the manifestation of Peter Parker's spider-powers before being revealed to be a multiversal entity that chooses a single host to empower.
- The Bride's role is in weaving hidden threads, enabling Spider-Totems to arise through chance, magic, curses, or unwanted luck.
- The Master Weaver is a position that can be filled by a totemic avatar or a being that has consumed their essence, though only death can free a Master Weaver from their bonds; and is responsible for maintaining and overseeing the Web of Life and Destiny.
- The Patternmaker reads the connecting threads of the Web and forges them into something stronger, enhancing the already existing connection between spider-totems; and is also responsible for repairing the web should something happen to it and the Master Weaver.
If the blood of the Other, the Bride, and the Scion is spilled on the Web of Life and Destiny, it will sever their connection to it and cause the web to unravel completely, preventing the creation of new Spider-Totems and destabilizing the existence of the Multiverse.
The Spider Society and numerous cultures of Earth-616 worship the Spider-Totems as gods. According to Ezekiel Sims and the Ashanti tribe in Ghana, the Great Weaver is Kwaku Anansi, who was the first Spider-Man. Desiring further enlightenment, Anansi struck a bargain with the sky god Nyambe, offering his eternal service in return for enlightenment and vanished from the mortal world, his power and knowledge transmitted into spiders everywhere across a Great Web.
Kwaku Anansi, the Great Weaver, and the Gatekeeper have temples located in Ghana and Peru. The temple in Ghana was used by Spider-Man to defeat the totemic wasp entity Shathra, and was later the site of a duel between Ezekiel Sims and Peter Parker in order to appease the Gatekeeper.
During the Spider-Island incident, Adriana Soria was able to use a virus engineered from tissue samples of Peter Parker to connect most of Manhattan's populace to the Web of Life, transforming them into spider-monsters. In doing so she amplified her own connection to the Web of Life, temporarily hijacking it to attain godlike powers and transform into a spider-like monster.
The totems are opposed by various organizations and entities including the Sisterhood of the Wasp, Shathra, Naamurah and her ilk, and the Inheritors. The Inheritors enslaved the Master Weaver, using his power to traverse the Multiverse and killing those who are connected to the Web of Life and Destiny in order to prevent a prophecy that would result in their downfall.
Spider-Totems can select individuals within any universe to serve as their avatar. These people, said to have "let the spider in", are also referred to as Spider-Totems and possess arachnid-based powers as a result of being connected to the Web of Life, though the means they acquire their powers and how these powers manifest can vary drastically. Totemic avatars can be good or evil, mortal or divine, with no particular criteria for how they're chosen, though they may be deemed unworthy of their powers and become targeted by supernatural forces seeking to eliminate them.
- Peter Parker and his clone Kaine from Earth-616, as well as the Peter Parker of Earth-982, have served as the avatar of the Other.
- Cindy Moon from Earth-616 serves as the avatar of the Bride.
- Benjy Parker from Earth-982 serves as the avatar of the Scion.
- Anna-May Parker from Earth-18119 serves as the avatar of the Patternmaker.
- Peter Parker from Earth-90214 was selected as the avatar of an unnamed Spider-Totem he refers to as the "Spider-God".
- Peter Parker from Earth-34281 was offered vengeance from his abusive uncle by the so-called Spider-God, who killed both his uncle and aunt. The Spider-God and Wolverine ended up killing each other, but the Spider-God had bitten Peter during their encounter.
Powers and Abilities
The Spider-Totems bestow a wide variety of arachnid-based superpowers on their avatars, ranging from superhuman strength and the ability to stick to walls to transforming them into humanoid spider-monsters.
- Despite possessing spider-powers as a result of bonding to Spider-Man, Venom and its descendants Carnage and Toxin are not considered Spider-Totems due to the extraterrestrial symbiotes' genetic material being incompatible with the Spider-Totems' supernatural essence. Despite this, there have been a number of symbiotes who qualify as Spider-Totems, including extraterrestrial incarnations of Venom, Carnage, and Anti-Venom.
- The Other has been described as the personification of Spider-Man's spider-powers - and by extension those of his clone Kaine; but despite this it has been rejected by and separated from them and even killed without the total loss of their spider-powers.
- 20 representatives of Spider-Totems
- Appearances of Spider-Totems
- Minor Appearances of Spider-Totems
- Media Spider-Totems was Mentioned in
- Race Gallery: Spider-Totems
- Images of Spider-Totems
Links and References
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 2 #32
- Amazing Spider-Man #508
- Amazing Spider-Man #527
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #9
- Spider-Girls #3
- Scarlet Spider Vol 2 #14
- Amazing Spider-Man #506
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #14
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #15
- Amazing Fantasy Vol 2 #1
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #13
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 2 #48
- Spider-Man Annual #2001
- Amazing Spider-Man #669
- Amazing Spider-Man #671
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 2 #46
- Edge of Spider-Verse #3
- Spider-Geddon #5
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #10
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #11
- Spider-Man Noir #1
- Web Warriors #6
- X-Men Unlimited #41
- What If? Spider-Man #1
- Spider-Woman Vol 5 #3
- Web Warriors #10-11
- Clone Conspiracy #2