Spider-Man: Far From Home is now swinging by your friendly neighborhood theater. Back by popular demand thanks to his many MCU appearances, Tom Holland’s wall crawler is a hero for a new generation that may not be all that familiar with his 57-year old history. He’s a character who has weaved a tangled web so thick, it’s amazing how he’s actually untangled himself from all those crazy plot threads! Today’s fans will be surprised at the kind of situations that Spidey and his friends got into over the decades. Check out these spectacular shockers!
- Spider-Man is a killer! – In the past, Spider-Man (in spite of his heroic code) has unintentionally taken lives. As of right now, Spidey’s current body count is 10. One of his most notable kills is Gwen Stacy, his girlfriend! After archenemy Green Goblin discovers his secret identity, he kidnaps Gwen Stacy, setting up a showdown above a very high tower on a New York bridge. During the fight, the Goblin pushes Gwen off the bridge. Spidey manages to shoot a web to catch her, saving her from a deadly impact. But the whiplash from the webbing breaks her neck, inadvertently causing her death.
- Spider-Man has been killed many times! – Spidey has died eight times in regular continuity. In some cases, his deaths are the result of a biological illness that he miraculously recovers from in the next issue. In his more violent deaths, a deus ex machina happens that reverses his death. In a brutal X-Men story that Spidey guest stars in, an evil sorcerer named Kulan Gath transforms New York into a mystical city from some bygone age. Spider-Man remains one of the few heroes unaffected by the spell but is captured and crucified. Luckily for him (and the other casualties), Doctor Strange manages to alter the timeline and erase the violent event from everybody’s mind.
- Spider-Man was married to Mary Jane! From 1987 until 2007, Peter Parker and MJ were husband and wife! Marvel decided to have the long-time lover finally get hitched after decades of will-they-or-won’t-they storylines. Gone was the hard luck Parker – this was a happy webhead. Creators did their best to keep the marriage as exciting as possible through MJ-obsessed fans, clones (more on that later), a miscarriage, separations, and apparent deaths.
- Spider-Man was a clone! Back in the 90s, it was revealed that the Peter Parker we had known for the past twenty years was a clone while the clone was the actual Spidey! Known as the Clone Saga, it was an event that was designed to revitalize the character, sweeping away the marriage issue and rebooting Spider-Man with a new comic titled the “Sensational Spider-Man”, a new costume and a new direction. Unfortunately, reception for “Ben Reilly” (the new alias) was not as strong as Marvel anticipated. Eventually, things reverted back to the status quo with Reilly being retroactively discovered to be the clone again.
- Everybody used to know Spider-Man’s Secret Identity! Aunt May. Mary Jane. The Green Goblin. Daredevil. Wolverine. All these characters knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man. That all changed during the Civil War event. After a superhero battle causes the loss of several innocent lives, a law is passed that forces all heroes to register and disclose their identities to the government. Peter decides that this law is in everyone’s best interest and reveals his identity to the world to encourage other heroes to sign up. It’s a well-intentioned gesture that leads to disastrous results as seen in the next shocker…
- Spider-Man made a deal with the Devil! After unveiling his secret identity publicly, he re-evaluates his stance when he goes after Captain America and several Avengers who are against the Super Hero Registration Act. Convinced that he’s on the wrong side of the issue, he joins Cap and becomes Public Enemy No. 1. This forces him, his wife Mary Jane, and Aunt May to go into hiding. Tragically, Aunt May is fatally shot by an assassin with a bullet meant for Peter. Peter is so desperate to save her that he bargains with the demon Mephisto. The demon agrees, and in exchange erases Peter and MJ’s marriage as he sees the union as a sign of pure love that needs to be snuffed out. Peter accepts this and Mephisto magically restores Aunt May to health, making everyone forget his secret identity and his marriage to MJ.
- Green Goblin and Gwen Stacy slept together and had babies! – Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin had a night of passion with Gwen Stacy during a period where Peter and Gwen’s relationship was rocky. Compounding things further was the fact that Gwen secretly gave birth to twins! Super-powered twins that Green Goblin artificially aged to use in his war against Spider-Man! Since then Spider-Man stories have never mentioned this story. Surprisingly though it’s never been revised or revisited.
About the author:
JV Tanjuatco, comic book writer/editor/publisher, founded Comic Book Lab that publishes the comic book titles Mythopolis and War of Whispers (co-created and co-written by him). Comic Book Lab’s most recent project was the graphic novel anthology Stay: 21 Comic Stories authored by Palanca Award winner Angelo R. Lacuesta and illustrated by a stellar line-up of artists including Trese’s Kajo Baldisimo. He has also written articles/reviews for Spot.ph and Ain’t It Cool.