As of the writing of this, Marvel’s 2015 Secret Wars event has just begun. Basically Marvel has taken the idea of their multi-verse of all possibilities, and crushed them together into a single world. Many of the most popular universes have been reduced down to a single country on this world called Battleworld, but anything else has been wiped from existence. Seeing as Spider-Man is arguably their most popular character, we’re bound to see a bunch of new variations of him pop up over the course of the story. Today’s is just such an example, and we’ll have another tomorrow too.
In the pages of Battleworld issue #1, we find the Punisher (who has the soul of Doctor Strange fused to him) being hunted by the Infernal Four. This team consists of a Hulk, a Wolverine, a Ghost Rider, and a Spider-Man who have all been corrupted by the Demonic Domain. Beyond that short description, there is not much else to know about how or why this happened. We don’t even know yet what the Demonic Domain even IS at this point. And as far as this particular Spider-Man (here comes a tiny Battleworld SPOILER), there won’t be much more to know as he dies almost immediately.
This demonic-ly twisted version of Spider-Man appears to have spikes on his body such as his shoulders, arms, and knees, but in the next panel some of those are gone. Is that costume a symbiote like the black suit, an evil Hell version of his regular suit, or just artistic expression of the page artist that didn’t carry over to the next panel? We may never know, but feel free to speculate!
(Click the image to make it bigger if you want to read that tiny text)
If you remember, my second post ever for these Spider-Who articles was about the Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly. He was a perfect clone of Peter Parker. But he was not the first clone. That dubious honor goes to his “brother” Kaine. And what would be the reason behind needing to make a second clone? Obviously because the first was defective.
The cloning process that made Kaine was flawed, and it didn’t take long before Kaine’s body and mind began to degrade. The Jackal decided to let Kaine live, partially to study him to improve the cloning process, and partially out of morbid curiosity about how long Kaine would survive. The degradation process not only warped Kaine’s body and drove him mad, but it twisted Spider-Man’s original powers into new additional powers as well. Kaine’s Spider Sense became a near precognition, and in addition to being able to stick to walls, his hands developed a deadly acid touch which he called “The Mark of Kaine” as it would leave a hand print burned onto his victims.
Kaine’s story is very long, and very complex, so I won’t go into it too much, but it involves a lot of murders, using his own finger prints to frame Peter for murders, hunting Ben, protecting Peter, distrusting the Jackal, and back to trusting him again. Needless to say, Kaine has a very loose grip on reality and next to no moral code in his early years. All that changes eventually, but I’ll get into that in another post.
Following yesterday’s post which introduced Silk, I wanted to follow up with her alternate/proper superhero costume. Keep in mind this costume is still made of her webbing!
As a girl who just stepped/web-swung out of a bunker in which she lived the past 10 years of her life, Cindy is a little behind the times and out of touch with modern day. She’s also broke. So to help her solve these problems as well as hear about crimes she can go stop as Silk, or help her potentially research on where her family went, Cindy gets a job at a local TV news station as an intern. Shortly after getting her job, and ending up on TV as the newest superhero in town, she overhears her manger comment on Silk’s webbing costume, and that she thinks it’s ugly. Cindy is slightly insulted and embarrassed, and so she spins up a new costume that more resembles a traditional superhero’s spandex. How Cindy can create coloured webbing, or make it so fine that it looks like regular clothing, I have no idea. But I really shouldn’t ask, as she’s also shown that she can make electric and radiation insulating webs on command too.
Silk is a fairly new addition to the Spider-Man universe. She was revealed in the Original Sin event, in which The Watcher was killed, and secret things he had seen while he was alive were revealed to those to whom they were relevant to. So Captain America only saw secrets that pertained to Captain America, and Hulk only saw things that concerned Hulk. The thing that was revealed to Spider-Man was that he was not the only person bitten by the radioactive spider that bit him back in high school. It also bit a Korean girl named Cindy Moon, and she also received spider powers.
Cindy’s life has not been an easy one. After getting her powers, she couldn’t control her webbing and this led to her parents learning about her powers. Later, a gentleman by the name of Ezekiel Sims showed up warning of a looming danger that would come to hunt those with powers such as Cindy’s, putting her and her family in grave danger. It seems that due to not being able to control her powers, combined with the danger, she and her family agreed to allow Sims to lock her away in a shielded bunker where these hunters (the Inheritors from the Spider-Verse story) wouldn’t be able to detect her. She stayed in there for the next 10 years, until Peter Parker learned about her existence in the Original Sin event and released her.
Cindy’s powers are fairly similar to Peter’s but with some slight variations. She is considerably faster than Peter, but not as strong. She has organic webbing that comes from her finger tips, while Peter had to invent a formula to create his webs through scientific means, although he’s also had organic webbing on and off through the years. Cindy’s control over her webbing is beyond compare, and she regularly makes her costume, and even regular looking clothing, coloured and all! Finally, her Spider Sense, or “Silk Sense” as she likes to call it, is much more accurate than Peter’s and it tends to warn her much sooner that Peter’s will. She can climb walls the same way Peter can.
The only other thing of note is that, for some reason, Cindy and Peter both put off pheromones that drive each other crazy. It basically puts them in heat for each other. It could be linked to the fact that the same spider bit them both, but nothing has been confirmed. After the events of Spider-Verse, Cindy stayed away from Peter as much as she could so she wouldn’t get swept up in the moment, and focused on trying to find out where her family disappeared to.
Coming off of yesterday’s post about the reason that Spider-Man no longer needed his Spider Armor Mk 2, I figured this was a good spot to drop in the briefly worn “Spider-Fu” outfit Pete wore while training with Iron Fist. It’s actually fairly similar to Iron Fist’s costume, though without the jacket, and a slightly modified Spider-Man mask. Not much to say about this one, but if I’m getting into some alternate costumes, I’d say this counts.
At one point, Spider-Man lost his famous Spider Sense that enables him to detect nearby danger. In an effort to protect himself, he made a new version of the Spider Armor that was not only stronger than the original chromed-out design, but light and flexible, making up for the original’s shortcomings. The armor was so strong in fact that it could stand up to a direct hit from a grenade launcher! The Spider Armor Mk 2 had built-in web-shooters in the forearm, and the webbing was also somewhat magnetic which made it interfere with radio signals.
Spider-Man later studied with Iron Fist to learn a unique style of martial arts that took full use of his agility and ability to stick to walls and ceilings so that he could learn to dodge bullets through training and muscle memory, despite being without his Spider Sense. This fighting style was named The Way of the Spider, or Spider-Fu, and with it, he no longer required the Spider Armor Mk 2 suit so it was retired to his secret stash of Spidey equipment at Horizon Labs. It’s assumed to have been destroyed when Horizon Labs was destroyed.
Oh and don’t worry, his Spider Senses also eventually came back.
This was THE FIRST issue of the famous “What If…” series of Marvel comics. In the regular “616” timeline, shortly after Peter Parker gets his powers, he goes to the Fantastic Four and asks to join them as he’s a fan. They refuse him, and he swings away and life goes on. This first issue of “What If…” asks what would happen if they had accepted him?
In the story, Reed Richards initially says ‘no’, but Sue Storm says they should give it more consideration. This eventually leads to them accepting him onto the team once he reveals his identity to them, and F.F. comes to mean Fantastic Five. Weirdly, and sadly, they don’t give him a cool blue and white themed version of his spider costume, instead they just jam a big ‘5’ into a spider on his chest.
While this was the first “What If…” story to introduce the idea of Fantastic 5 Spider-Man, several more issues came out further exploring the idea. This is kind of unique in and of itself, because most “What If…” stories are simply one-shot affairs, never to be heard from again. The additional issues featuring this new team configuration ask how major events or battles in the Fantastic Four storyline could have come out differently had Spider-Man been a part of the team. In most cases the additional manpower provided by Spidey allows the team to easily defeat their foes. In others, such as when the team goes to the moon in their space ship, since it only has 4 seats, Sue Storm monitors events from Earth. This leads to a situation when Namor the Sub-Mariner attempts to steal Sue away. Traditionally she refuses him and he leaves. However, since she feels left out in this world, and like the team doesn’t need her, she chooses to go live with and marry him, instead of staying with Reed Richards. Eventually the two even have a child. This leads to all kinds of rifts in the Fantastic Four (cause Sue left) and Reed trying to frame Namor and Atlantis as villains to the United Nations out of jealousy and just a bunch of nutty stuff. And all because Spidey wanted to be apart of their team!
I still wish he had a blue and white FF Spidey costume though.