The many masks of Spider-Man
by Phil Perich for the True Believers Blog
There’s been a lot of talk about Spider-man lately, more than usual I would say. Between Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man getting his own solo comic book set in the main Marvel Universe this wednesday and a young version of the Peter Parker Spider-man set to make his first MCU appearance this May in Captain America: Civil War. I thought this would be a good time to go over some of Spider-Man’s various changes to his costume and/or status quo or others who followed in his footsteps. Here we go:
- Six armed Spider-Man—(Amazing Spider-Man #100, September 1971)
One day, Peter Parker decided that he wanted to quit being Spider-Man (how many times have we seen that?). Coming to the conclusion that he wanted to spend a nice normal life with then girlfriend Gwen Stacy, Peter creates an untested antidote and ingests it. Not a smart move. He passes out and when he awakens discovers his “cure” has given him four extra arms.
2. Black Suit Spider-Man—(Secret Wars #8, December 1984)
1984 saw one of the first Marvel crossover events. The original Secret Wars miniseries involved a strange otherworldly figure known as the Beyonder transports most of the Marvel Superheroes and Supervillains to the alien Battleworld to wage a war. Spider-Man was of course involved. After damaging his suit in a fight, Spider-Man uses a strange machine to “create” a new black costume that responds to his thoughts. Months after returning to Earth, Spider-Man discovers the suit is actually a living symbiote that tries to bond with him. After separating himself from the suit, he believes the symbiote dead. The suit later goes on to bond with disgruntled reporter Eddie Brock to become one of Spider-Man’s deadliest enemies, Venom!
3. Scarlet Spider and Kaine (Web of Spider-Man #118, November 1994)
It all started in 1975. The Jackal, one of Peter Parker’s college professors became one of his worst enemies, the Jackal. The Jackal cloned Spider-Man and sent his creation to attack Spider-Man. After the fight, Spider-Man believed his clone dead. Actually the clone, now calling himself Ben Reilly, traveled the United States for years seeking to make a life for himself. He returned years later as the Scarlet Spider to battle his own arch foe Kaine, who turned out to be another, failed clone of Peter Parker. For a time, the world believed Ben to be the original Peter Parker and Peter the clone. After his death at the hands of the Green Goblin, Ben was revealed to be the clone after all. a cured Kaine returned years later to assume the guise of the Scarlet Spider, but after mutating into a spider-like creature, his fate is still unknown.
4. MIles Morales, Spider-Man 2099, and Spider-Women
The Spider has been the identity of other people than Peter Parker from time to time. Jessica Drew, Julia Carpenter, and Mattie Franklin have all been Spider-Woman at one point or another.
Possible futures of Spider-Man include Miguel O’hara, the Spider-Man of the year 2099, now trapped in the present and May “Mayday” Parker, the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson Parker in another possible future who goes by Spider-Girl.
And finally, Miles Morales. On the alternate Earth of the 1610 Marvel Universe, Miles Morales became Spider-Man after that universe’s Peter Parker was believed to have been murdered by Norman Osborn. After the events of the recent Secret Wars miniseries, that universe has been destroyed but Miles Morales survives in the main, 616 Marvel Universe. With Peter Parker now a globe trotting hero, Miles is now New York’s Spider-Man.
Whew! That was a lot to digest. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me in any of the following ways:
@nightwingpdp or @marvel_roundup on Twitter.
You can hear me and my cohost Charlie Esser (@CharlieEsser) discuss all things Marvel every week on our podcasts All New Marvel Roundup and Superconnectivity (ask Charlie to tell you about his favorite Spider-Man, the Superior Spider-Man!). I write another blog, Legends of DC. Both my blogs, all my podcasts, and those of others can be found at www.southgatemediagroup.com
I also write a weekly article running down the weekly superhero TV shows of the week. My Super 5 article can be found at www.tvbinges.com
Hopefully now you’re an expert on all things Spider-Man. Until next time…Nuff Said!