For the Love of Spider-Man
Part 2: Versions of Spider-Man
Continuing my article about my love for Spider-Man. In this article, I will discuss some of my favorite different versions of Spider-Man in the Multi-Verse. With the 2018 Academy Award winning animated movie: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse some versions of Spider-Man were showcased in a great way. So I thought I would put my own list together of some of my favorite versions of Spider-Man in the MARVEL multi-verse.
Spider-Ham (Peter Porker) was created by Tom DeFalco and Mark Armstrong.
In this universe, Earth is the home of anthropomorphic animals. Here we find Peter an everyday normal spider living in the basement of May Porker, an off beat inventor pig. May is trying to invent an atomic hair dryer (cause why not dry your hair with atomic power, right?). In testing her new hair dryer she accidentally irradiates herself and then bites Peter.
Peter then transforms into a pig. Confused about what just happened Peter flees his basement home and wanders through the city. He soon realizes that though his appearance is now that of a pig, he has maintained his spider abilities. He decided with such power he must use it to protect his world. He then decided to fight injustice as Spider-Ham, facing foes like Ducktor Doom and Raven the Hunter. Peter Porker, aka Spider-Ham was a wonderful animal parody of Spider-Man that has found its way into the hearts of man comic fans. In Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse, he was one of a few chosen to join the cast. I was very happy to see him as he brings a wonderful off beat comic relief to any story.
Spider-Girl (May Parker)
May Parker is the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane. She is shielded from the knowledge of her father’s superhero life as Peter and Mary Jane try to raise May in an average home life environment.
After Spider-Man loses a leg in a battle with The Green Goblin, Peter decides to retire the suit and focus on his family life.
But genetics being what they are, May develops her own Spidey abilities. With her abilities she decides to fight injustice against her parents objections.
Spider-Girl was born! With her spunky attitude she reminds readers of her father when he first came into his powers.
Spider-Girl wears a similar outfit as her “Uncle” Ben Reilly (aka Scarlet Spider see him next on the list!)
Spider-Girl first appeared in 1998 but she was so popular in her debut that she got her own book from Marvel. Spider-Girl became the longest running Marvel comic with a female lead.
I love Spider-Girl for the same reason I loved Spider-Man from the beginning.
Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly)
In 1975, Spider-Man fans were introduced to a clone of Peter Parker that The Jackal created. The Jackal lead this clone to believe that he was the real Peter Parker. Throughout the storyline the Jackal brings about jealousy and anger from the clone toward who he thinks is an impostor living his life. The real Spider-Man and the clone are forced into a fight by The Jackal. But with the clone having Peter Parker’s morality, he pushes aside his hurt and jealousy. Eventually teaming up with Spider-Man to take down The Jackal. In 1975, this clone lost his life helping Spider-Man fight The Jackal. Or so we thought.
In the 1990s comic sales were not going well and Spider-Man writers decided to bring back the clone. They wrote that after the battle with The Jackal the clone exiled himself to deal with the fact that he was not who he thought he was. That he was in fact a clone. During this time he named himself Ben Reilly. (Uncle Ben would have been honored). But he returned to the comic book world in The Clone Sagas. The Clone Sagas was such a convoluted attempt to bring readers back to the comic story. In it we were told that Peter Parker was in fact not Peter Parker But was the clone. Making Ben Reilly the real Peter and as such the real Spider-Man. When Peter find this out he suffers from depression and abandons his life. This leaves Ben with the responsibility to assume the Spider suit and become Spider-Man. Then there were other clones and clones of clones. This story arc was so perplexing and left some readers confused and underwhelmed but it did what it was suppose to which was drive sales. At the end of The Clone Saga it was revealed that Ben was in fact the clone and Peter was the real Spider-Man (shocker I know). However, Ben Reilly took a piece of Spidey fans hearts and this is why he deserves this mention. Not only because he wore the very 90s costume, a blue sleeveless hoodie over his suit but because he proved time and time again that he had the heart of a superhero. I love him for his character and that despite the fact that he was a clone he had substance and depth. As all good heroes should!
Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
Miles first appeared in Ultimate Fallout #4 in August 2011, following the death of Peter Parker.
Miles is the second Spider-Man to appear in Ultimate Marvel. Miles is the main character in the 2018 feature film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2018.
Reaction to the Miles character varies amongst fans. Some, including Stan Lee, approved the creation of a positive role model for children for diversity. Some die hard fans expressed their displeasure at the replacement of Peter Parker at all. And even some critics saw it as a publicity stunt motivated by political correctness. This is denied by Marvel and creators.
So why do I love Miles? Well, he is funny and snarky just like Peter but with a more modern sensibility to his edge. He has similar powers of the Peter Parker. He got his powers from a genetically engineered spider. His journey is similar to Peter’s journey as he learns how to be a Spider-Man. I enjoy his humor and insecurities in a way that reminds me why I love the whole concept of Spidey!
Now to my favorite of all the versions of Spider-Man. SpiderGwen!!!
SpiderGwen (Gwen Stacy)
Gwen Stacy is one of my favorite characters in the Spider-Man comics. Yes, I cried when she died. Not only does she hold a special place in my heart but in Peter Parker’s heart as well. Gwen was his first love and the first person he couldn’t save. Spider-Man’s failure leads to her death, which not only affected the Spider-Man comics but was it marked the first time a superhero was shown to be fallible. So when Gwen Stacy of Earth 65 was brought to life in comics I was very happy.
In the this version of Earth it is Gwen who gets bitten by the spider rather than Peter.
She becomes Spider-Woman but fans have dubbed her as SpiderGwen!! In her reality Peter is bullied and developed a chemical that turns him into The Lizard. As Spider-Woman Gwen is able to get him under control, but Peter dies as a result anyway. This mirrors the original Peter and Gwen story.
Gwen Stacy has always been a wonderful tragic character that I love. The writing for the SpiderGwen story arc has always been one of my favorites!
She can also be seen in the Academy Award winning animated movie Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse. And her chemistry with Miles is a breath of fresh air.
So GeekyKOOL readers what do you think? Who are some of your favorite versions of Spider-Man?
Thanks for reading this GeekyGirlNess until next time.