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Headscratchers: Spider-Man

Comics

  • In Scarlet Spider Vol 2 #14, Ero resurrects Kaine with enhanced spider-powers via the same process Peter was reborn during The Other story arc, and reveals it was the one that revived Kaine with enhanced powers following the Grim Hunt arc. Does this indicate Ero was the spider deity that resurrected Peter in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 527, and what are Ero's connections to the Queen, who was controlling Kaine in his Tarantula form?
  • So, maybe I'm just overthinking his costume but why does Spider-Man wear blue. I mean, I get why he wears red and black; black is the color of most spiders and red could represent the black widow's hourglass or something but what does blue have to do with spiders?
    • I think when the character was conceived, the color scheme was more about being American than being spidery.
    • Back when Spidey was first created it was typical for superheroes to have very striking costumes. Contrasting colors like red and blue (black isn't really a color here, more of a minor accent) made Spidey's costume more striking and memorable than it otherwise might have been. So if you're a little kid passing by the magazine rack at the grocery store and you're trying to decide which comic you want to buy, the thought process goes like this: "Hmm, purple guy, blue guy, guy in a black suit—Whoa! Look at that guy! The "Amazing Spider-Man!" Sounds cool! Mom, I wanna get this one!"
      • As it happens, there actually is a spider/tarantula that is a vivid blue, and other tarantula's that have spots of different colors on them. Whether the writers knew this or not is open to opinion though.
      • Is it possible that the suit originally was conceived as being red and black? Back in the sixties it was very common to use blue as a stand in for black because it was easier to shade. I remember when the Hobgoblin first appeared, his suit was clearly orange and blue, but characters in the story constantly referred to him wearing orange and black. Heck even in today's comics, the symbiote suit is often drawn with blue or purple shading. So maybe it was meant to be black originally and just looked blue, but that kind of caught on so they left that way.
  • So is Ultimate Spider-Woman a lesbian? She's Peter Parker in a woman's body. So would she retain his sexual orientations or would the hormones make her suddenly prefer guys despite her previous experiences?
    • Really, he/she probably counts as transgender.
    • Or maybe it makes him bisexual? (Like the TF Gun in El Goonish Shive.)
    • It's been a little while since I took Human Sexuality, but I don't think there are "like guys" or "like girls" hormones. Sexual orientation is emergent gradually during the formative years along with the other elements of one's identity. If the differences in his neurological structure and hormone balances didn't radically change other elements of his personality, (s)he's probably still into chicks. What most likely has been affected is his/her sex drive, as MTF transsexuals report.
    • Yes, but those are surgical transgenders, whose hormone-producing sex organs are removed. Ultimate Spider Girl-Woman is genetically female, and presumably has all the standard plumbing intact, sex glands and all.
    • Removed their hormone-producing organs? You mean their brain? Protip: wombs and the like don't produce hormones, the brain produces them and that tells the organs what to do.
      • Nothing like being snide and sarcastic when you don't know what you're talking about. GLANDS produce hormones. Yes, there are glands in the brain (like the pituitary), but the ovaries and testes produce the vast majority of sex hormones.
    • I don't think there's any scientific consensus on why people are gay or not: whether it's something genetic, something in the brain chemistry, or something that comes from growing up in certain ways. As such, the easiest (and least controversial) explanation is that she likes girls because she's always liked girls.
    • It's worth noting that she appears to be very concerned about MJ during the Ultimate Clone Saga.
    Jessica: I just don't want (MJ) involved in any of this.
    Peter: You don't?
    Jessica: I know, I was, uh, speaking for both of us.
    • She recently made out with Johnny Storm. So, it looks like she may be attracted to guys. Peter does not take it well when he finds out about it.
    • Well... this is Johnny Storm we're talking about, so can we really take him 100% seriously?
    • Deadpool mentioned it, and well she is a bisexual. Let's leave it at that. I'd hit it tho.
    • All New Ultimates confirms it. She likes girls.
  • Why can Spider-Man stick to walls with his feet even when he's wearing shoes? Also, why don't the palms and soles of his costume ever get incredibly grimy due to dirt sticking to them?
    • As for the first question, in the comics the palms and soles of his costume are incredibly thin. Since his powers work there by static electricity, this lets the stuff go through and allowing his wallcrawling powers to work (one must assume that he did the same thing to the butt of his costume, considering how many times we see him sitting on a wall). As for the second, maybe Mr. Fantastic loaned him some unstable molecules. That usually answers any Marvel costume-related quandries.
    • Depending on the Writer, Spider-Man actually takes off his shoes when he needs to wall-crawl without having time to change costume. This troper remembers an early Lee-Romita Sr. story where Peter Parker climbs out the window of Norman Osborn's townhose in his stocking feet, holding his shoes in one hand. Of course, that doesn't explain how Spidey manages to wall-crawl when he actually has his shoes on.
    • Typically, Peter only needs to remove his shoes when he is in his street clothes, his powers will not work through the thick rubber soles. His costume is thin enough to let him wall crawl with out doing this. Which is probably why is he sick so often for a superhero.
    • For quick jaunts, I'd imagine Pete can climb with only his hands, kicking against the wall with shoed feet.
      • Doesn't help that he can simply stand on the wall in cartoon, lean against it in comics (sticking to it with his feet) and run up the wall in games. So...
      • I remember reading an issue of Amazing Spider-Man where Peter is (when is he never?) lost in thought on a Subway train which comes to an abrupt halt. The rest of the passengers are flung from their seats and clutter about on the floor in distress. Peter is the only person still standing and the rest of the passengers cast him a wary look. One of them even asks how it was possible for someone who wasn't firmly planted and prepared for the shock nor ready holding onto anything could maintain his position. Peter threw out a witty remark and got off at the next stop to check out the occurrence. Taking that into account it's safe to say Peter's sticky powers are always active.
      • It could have also been his super-sense of balance which kept him upright, combined with his Spider-Sense.
  • Venom's influence turned Eddie Brock into a cannibalistic serial killer. Spider-Man simply became more aggressive. What the Hell does this suggest about him?
    • Eddie Brock merely became a vigilante, not unlike Wolverine and the Punisher. You're probably thinking of Carnage, who was a serial killer before he ever got his symbiote.
    • Venom did indeed become cannibalistic, as a particularly bad story had the symbiote needing to feed on human brains. As for Venom's homicidal tendencies, the psychological strain of being separated from Peter, followed by bonding with the disturbed and suicidal Eddie Brock, who had a pathological hatred of Spider-Man, basically caused a psychotic break for both Eddie and the symbiote. The circumstances were very different from when the symbiote tried to bond with Peter.
    • Note that in the original comics, the suit didn't make Spidey more aggressive or change anything about his personality. It just made him tired as the symbiote fed off him.
      • Didn't even do that originally. It made him tired because it would take him out while he was asleep for crime-fighting stuff. Which really grated hugely for me later on; it was trying to help!
    • If you're talking about the movie Venom, think about this—the symbiote drives Peter Parker, who has a very strict code against killing, to attempt to murder Sandman... what the heck do you think the symbiote is going to influence the significantly less saintly Eddie Brock to do?
    • In the comics, Eddie Brock wasn't actually cannibalistic while he possessed the symbiote. Mac Gargan, on the other hand, became cannibalistic after some psychics messed with his mind.
      • I have a few Spider-Man novels, includng some written by David Michaline, set during the time Eddie was Venom, and they strongly hint that he ate some of the criminals he murdered. And if you say "The books are non-canon!" then I can always point to the (now seemingly discarded arc where Eddie was eating peoples' brains0.
    • In "Sinner Takes All" storyline, the symbiote temporarily bonds with Brock's ex-wife, Anne Weying. She was afraid of him and didn't want anything to do with it or him. With the symbiote on, she brutally gutted two ambushers in a way that made even Brock himself feel sick. Once the symbiote left her, she was completely freaked out about what happened. It made her behave exactly opposite of what she was.
    • The Venom symbiote was fairly fresh when Spidey got it. It wasn't malicious in any way; the worst things it did was what Pete taught it to do, go out and fight crime. It wasn't until Peter rejected the symbiote that it became angry and vindictive, but it still tried to do what Peter taught it, in its own hurt way. Venom's Lethal Protector period can be seen as Venom still fighting crime and protecting "innocents" the way it learned from Peter, but in its own spiteful and emotionally hurt way. With any given thing that Venom did, it can be interpreted a thousand different ways how much was Eddie and how much was the symbiote, but the one critical detail is the "bitter ex-girlfriend" metaphor; it wasn't a murderous creature until Peter cast it away, and after he did, it started bonding to people who hated him and learning from the less savory side of the world.
  • If the Rhino costume is permanently stuck to his skin, except when removed with acidic chemicals, how does the Rhino... you know, pee?
    • Answered in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, and later confirmed in canon— he has a small unsealable flap for waste disposal. It's also confirmed, somewhat Squickily, that said flap does not allow him the option of normal sexual relations.
      • That explains so, so much about his personality.
    • This troper isn't up to speed on the Rhino's most recent costume, but at one point in the 1990s he managed to get the outfit that was stuck to him surgically removed. He then took a 10-Minute Retirement in Mexico, where he was depicted in normal street clothes, until he finally got bored with his easy life and got a job with Justin Hammer, who made him a new Rhino suit. Epileptic Trees could suggest that he employed the services of local hookers and call girls while he was in Mexico, and that his new costumes are removable.
      • Two stories shows this - a) Rhino's suit is no longer bonded to him, since we see that he was working without it (and married) and b) it can be taken apart, since Dr. Ocktopus replaced his horn with a fang.
  • Is anyone else both pissed off and bugged at the fact that Spidey beats up Rhino for being in the same cemetery as him? For that matter, even after Rhino told Spidey he was mourning his mom, he still beats the hell out of him?
    • If memory serves, Aunt May had just died. I mean, when you compare when Mary Jane died and he went after the freaking Hulk, this was downright mellow.
      • Actually, this was very UN-mellow. Spidey was mourning Captain America's death and visiting Uncle Ben's grave. He spots the Rhino, so he just attacks. Spider-Man doesn't let the villain explain himself until after he makes Rhino run over his own mom's headstone. Turns out, Rhino was visiting his mom's grave. Turns out supervillains have moms too. Spiderdickery, indeed.
  • I don't follow the comics closely, so forgive me if there's a simple and obvious explanation, but why does Jameson hate Spidey so much? Most of the adaptations I've seen show his fights causing some collateral damage, which would go some way toward explaining it, but it always seems that the damage would have been worse of Spidey just let the villain run riot.
    • It depends on the adaptation. In some continuities, he's just a Jerk Ass. In others, he had some traumatic event in his life involving somebody wearing a mask. In yet other continuities, he's an idealist who believes that people should be public and masked men inevitably become menaces.
    • When asked point-blank about it by Betty Brant early on (one of the single-digit issues, I believe), JJJ claims that he manufactured the vendetta just to sell papers. It's not convincing to anyone in earshot, but it's his story at the time.
    • Within the first twenty issues or so, JJJ soliloquized on his real motive - envy. He knows, deep in his heart, that Spidey is doing more good than he is - sure, JJJ supports good causes, but Spidey is out there most days saving lives. Rather than deal with this blow, JJJ found it easier to believe that Spidey is actually a Villain with Good Publicity. Of course, this was back in the '60s, so...
    • Some writers have also postulated that Jonah wanted people to give less adulation to costumed vigilantes and more adulation to "regular heroes"... like his son, the astronaut. I recall Kurt Busiek used that in one issue of the short-lived Untold Tales of Spider-Man.
    • Jonah has a real problem with extrajudicial vigilantism. In Amazing Spider-Man #91, driving away from Cpt. Stacy's funeral, Jonah vows to use Stacy's death to turn public opinion against Spider-Man. "Nobody should be able to slink around town, masked and costumed, taking the law into his own hands!" Perhaps this makes Jonah a Lawful Jerkass.
  • Why does Spider-Man get such a bad reputation in New York? The city has at least a dozen superheroes and who knows how many villains, they should be used to any collateral damage by now. Besides that, Spidey's one of the nicest, and most effective heroes around, if anything, he should be as liked as Superman is. Are New Yorkers dumb, or is Jameson just that good at running smear campaigns?
    • Well sure, to US he seems nice, pleasant, and an all around fun guy to be around, but to the people of NYC he's just some weirdo in an animal-themed costume who jumps around and punches out other weirdos in animal-themed costumes. The only ones who can be counted on to have a half-way decent opinion of him are the people he's saved from muggings and bank robberies. But Manhattan alone has a population of over 1.6 million. There's no way Spidey's even met most of them, let alone personally saved them. So the only thing they know about Spidey is what they read in Jameson's anti-Spidey editorials.
      • To expand on this point: a part of the original concept of Spider-Man that's kind of been overlooked in most portrayals is that he's actually quite creepy. He wears a full facial mask, contorts his body into weird positions, is named after an animal everyone hates, and is constantly making sarcastic remarks. Back in the Stan Lee days, even when fellow super-hero Wasp worked with him, she respected him well enough, but didn't like him personally. He just creeped her out.
    • Okay, but he's still publicly seen working with the heroes that have better press as they save the city/world all the time, but rarely gets credit for that. He was an Avenger at one point. (Though that may or may not have have occurred thanks to One More Day.)
      • I imagine his credibility was improving at that point, but that's a fairly recent development (and as you pointed out, it may have been retconned away).
      • On the same note, Howcome the likes of Tony Stark and Reed Richards never, oh, I dunno, GAVE HIM SOME MONEY? Sure being a struggling everyman makes the story interesting, sure it's kinda difficult having him in the same continuity as the FF who, for some reason, get to not have secret identities, but seriously, has anyone tried explaining why he puts up with being dirt poor when he has extremely rich friends? Before you call me a commie, keep in mind that he's just as smart as the aforementioned super geniuses of Marvel, and their money comes straight from their scientific breakthroughs.
      • Because they've SOLD and MARKETED their ideas and inventions- Peter hasn't. And Peter is probably a lot like most of us- asking for money is hard. I have a work acquaintance who won the lottery (before I knew him)- he and his family have over 50 million dollars in the bank, but I can't imagine asking him for any.
      • It's more than that. Peter Parker is absolutely driven to redeem his callousness getting his Uncle killed, even after all this time. Peter Parker let the guy that robbed the wrestling gate money go in the first place because he'd just been bilked of half his agreed pay by the manager. I'm pretty sure that Spidey's simply averse to greed as it is a proven prelude to tragedy in his mind.
      • The public also continues to hate and fear mutants despite the X-Men's best efforts, they trust convicted murderers and psychopaths to keep them safe after Civil War, and routinely Mis Blame the heroes for things that are the fault of the villains. Suffice it to say that the general public in 616 Marvel is a collection of ungrateful douchebags who are Too Dumb to Live and quite frankly don't even deserve to have the heroes continually fighting to protect them. That means you, Sally Floyd! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
      • Wow, replace Spider-Man with Superman and you've got the basic plot of Irredeemable.
  • Why in gods name did Peter decide it was a good idea to bring Aunt May back from the dead after she told him she was happy and that he should move on with his life? That's just spitting right in her face!
    • Because Quesada has personal issues relating to his own family and is living vicariously through Peter.
      • Look we get it, you're a dick, but why is Spider-Man has to be Jimmy Olsen? Seriously!
    • Another headscratcher, why did Mephisto allow Peter and May to have a "Happy Ending", at all? why not bring her back from the dead (while taking Peter and MJ's marriage) and then have to old bat get hit with a bus and killed again? I thought he was supposed to be evil!
      • I don't follow on his story at all, but if movie is to hold any merit - Mephisto doesn't want Ghost Rider to show up. He broke his deal with him, and this is what he got. On the other hand, i don't think it was just Aunt May's life he was barganing for. It was his own life, his secret identity and all that.
      • No actually the fact that Spider-Man's identity is un-revealed is never part of the deal. It's something that just got thrown in afterwards for reasons I'm pretty sure are never really specified.
  • Other than pure coincidence, is there any particular reason why so many of Spidey's enemies are/wear green? Green Goblin, Mysterio, Doc Ock, Vulture, Scorpion, Electro, The Lizard, Sandman. It just seems odd considering all of these were original Stan Lee villains.
    • Green provides a clear and colorful contrast against Spidey's red and blue.
    • In the sixties, when these characters were created, the limited coloring technology generally meant there were only a handful of colors to choose from. And if your hero is already in red and blue...
    • It was still going according to a Silver Age convention - heroes were dressed in primary colours (red, yellow, blue), villains in secondary ones (green, orange, purple), with a few exceptions like the Green Lantern and ambiguous character the Hulk (who originally was supposed to be gray, but became green largely thanks to a colour-printing error).
  • Just how difficult could it be to deduce SM's true identity? Let's see: he's a young man, who uses apparently unparalleled artificial webbing - obviously a chemistry prodigy, which is pretty narrow stratum already. His time as an amateur wrestler suggests meager income, and the sudden termination of promising career, followed by the turn to crime-fighting suggests some personal drama, probably crime-related, having occurred in a rather specific time interval. Do a cross-search based on said parameters, and whom will it yield? Exactly, Peter Parker, SM's one and only stalker. Now, I understand that most of these assumptions are made with the benefit of hindsight and are rather far-fetched, but wasn't the matter ever addressed to in the franchise by some villain with sufficient wits and resources (like Kingpin or Osborn)? Hell, the pictures themselves give ground for a strong suspicion, since most of the sets they are taken from would take a regular person a couple of hours to get into.
    • Peter Parker is, essentially, a nobody in a city with several million people in it. Most people don't even notice the name that's under a newspaper picture. Hell, people generally don't notice the name of the writer. In the case of the Bugle, they may not put names in at all, at least in movie continuity. The Green Goblin crashes into Jameson's office to ask who sends in the pictures, so he's obviously seen the paper, but either the Bugle doesn't put in photo credits (most all papers do) or the Goblin just wasn't looking very hard. So the amount of people who even know that Parker's the one getting all of Spidey's pictures is going to be very small.
      • In the comics when Peter starts working for the Daily Bugle, he asks Jameson to give his photo credits to staff photographers rather than himself just for this reason. Also, in one of the issues, Spencer Smythe uses spy cameras planted around the city to catch Spidey unmasking, only to realize that Peter is just an average looking white guy with brown hair, so even after seeing his face he still had no idea who he was.
      • Normal people are not hell-bent for uncovering SM's identity, unlike the villains. I'm talking about a purposeful and systematic investigation here. Are we to assume that nobody with appropriate resources ever attempted it at all? Kingpin, Osborn, police, S.H.I.E.L.D., nobody?
      • The movies actually had me wondering this. In all three cases MJ was captured, in all three cases Spider-Man shows up. First movie, Osborn shouts that he has to choose between the kids and 'the woman he loves'. Okay, so maybe someone saw the upside-down kiss. Second movie Doc Ock abducts her, okay she was a target of convenience. Third movie, abducted again, now I would personalyl argue that a pattern seems to be emerging here. Jameson if no one else might think, "Hmm, this girl left my son at the altar. She seems to be bait for Spider-Man, and who brings me lots of pictures of Spider-Man?" And given that he was presumably a reporter in the past he could do a bit of digging and see if either Peter is seeing her or, maybe thinking that MJ is with Peter and Spider-Man is a close friend of one of them, do an elimination search. It wouldn't be difficult and it would in fact be in character for Jameson.
    • First, you're projecting your own omniscient reader knowledge on the characters in the story. Why do you assume that people in the 616 universe know Spider-Man's webbing is artificial? Why wouldn't they assume it's organically generated by his body? And even if Peter Parker were a chemistry prodigy (in the original comics he was very smart but hardly a child genius) why do you assume anyone else in the world knows about it? The fact that he got good grades in high school does not make him a well-known chemistry prodigy. Second, you make a lot of spectacular leaps. A sudden change of career suggests personal drama...how exactly? Have you never known anyone who changed their career for non-drama related reasons? Third, you are seriously underestimating just how many people there are in New York City. Even if you did have some magic computer with the identify of every resident of NYC in it, and even if you were a character in the 616 universe with access to all the information you listed (a dubious proposition at best), if you did a search based on those parameters it could easily turn up hundreds or even thousands of suspects. Do you really think that of the 1.6 million people living in Manhattan alone there's only one scientifically-inclined young man who suffered a personal trauma as a teenager?
    • First, thank you, I'm aware and even admitted it firsthand. Webbing: cause they might, you know, collect and analyze it; Chem Prodigy: the fact that he designed said webbing; Career change: he changed to crime-fighting of all things, and that takes some strong incentive, otherwise what, did he just wake up one morning and thought: "shit, crime is really winding up, I'd better do something"; Drama: not just any drama, but something severe and crime-related in a rather narrow time gap (between the termination of his career and his rise as Spider-Man). Finally, I'm not saying such search would yield a single name, but it would yield Parker among others. Add here a list of all names somehow connected to SM, and bingo! But even if they can indeed only narrow it down to hundreds or thousands of people, so what? We're talking about the likes of Osborn or Kingpin, do you really think it'd be too much of a strain for their resources to shadow even this many people for a day or two, if the stake was rooting out SM?
      • I think it's too much of a stretch for them to care if the search yields hundreds or thousands of names. What if they can't narrow it down from there? Are they going to put hidden cameras in hundreds or thousands of homes and hope none of them get noticed? Are they going to hire hundreds or thousands of private detectives to investigate each person on the list? As for the rest: You have yet to prove they could even determine the webbing was artificial. You don't know what that stuff is made of, so how can you say an analysis would prove anything at all? Maybe Peter synthesized it from organic materials, which would give it organic properties. Ever think of that? And even if they could magically prove that this completely unknown and unprecedented substance was artificially created, who says it would lead them to Peter? Again, there are probably hundreds if not thousands of chemistry students all over Manhattan. They're supposed to pick Peter's name out of that? For that matter, why would they assume he invented the webbing himself? Maybe he gets the webbing from some secret ally. Or maybe someone else invented the webbing and Spidey just appropriated the formula for himself (as happened with Ultimate Spider-Man where the webbing compound was invented by Peter's dad). As for his career change to crime fighting, people sign up for the military or law enforcement all the time. Were they all inspired to do so by a personal trauma? Of course not. For that matter, think about the number of heroes in the 616 universe who just up and decided to become superheroes right after they got their powers. Why would the Kingpin or Norman Osborn assume Spider-Man was any different from the Fantastic Four, who became heroes just because they could, or Captain America, who became a hero out of his sense of duty and patriotism?
      • *Bang* *Bang* *Bang*. AGAIN. Like with most of the "Why didn't they..." headscratchers, the point is not whether some idea would or wouldn't feasibly work, but that nobody ever TRIES it. With the same benefit of hindsight I have you can come out with all kinds of explanations why this idea would hardly work, but none of them invalidates the main point, i.e. that it COULD work. Probably. A Million-to-One Chance. So it really all comes down to one simple question: would they have the urge to try? YES, THEY WOULD. Hell, they are fighting that guy for years, if not decades, they spend eminent resources and concoct all kinds of insane plans of world domination, and they cannot be bothered with a little boring investigation, that would cost them relatively little, but could potentially root out their greatest nemesis? What do they have to loose? WHY THE HELL NOT TRY IT?
      • The fact that it would never feasibly work IS the point. Because if it's completely unfeasible, THE VILLAINS WOULDN'T TRY IT. Jesus Christ, man. Use your brain.
      • If the humankind actually used "it's completely unfeasible" as an excuse not to try something, we would all still be in the Middle Ages. And I'm talking normal people here, not megalomaniacs, who should be even less fettered by the notion of "unfeasible".
      • Are you kidding me? Are you seriously not aware of the fact that most people will not try something that is 99.99% guaranteed to not ever work? You asked why they didn't do it. I pointed out that they didn't do it because it would never work. Then you shifted the goal posts to ask why they wouldn't at least give it a try, even if it was completely unfeasible. I answered they wouldn't try it because it's completely unfeasible. People don't try things that are completely unfeasible. It really is just that simple. Why is that so difficult to understand?
      • ^^ Not really. Big scientific discoveries don't come from things that the people trying it are 99.99% certain isn't going to work. They come from long sequences of trial and error, developing theory, and then coming up with a final process that you're pretty darn sure is going to work. Yes, the scientific process does consist quite largely of finding out ways not to do what you want to do, but 99% of the time, the person trying it at least thinks there's a decent chance it will work. Why would you try something that you were sure wasn't going to work?
      • People, it has been done. At least two times. First, Ezekiel used half a dozen of detectives, every one of them working in a piece of the full jigsaw, so Ezekiel was able to put it all together and discover Spider-Man's identity (kinda like Ra's Al-Ghul did about Bruce Wayne). The second time, it was an everyman reporter that had a one-shot. Based on analysis on Spidey's webbing (that link him to photography), recordings of his voice (that revealed, by his speech, that he was from the Queens zone), and so on, that reporter closed the possible answers to a few people, and finally... missed it, thinking that Spidey was J. JONAH JAMESON and telling that to J.J.J. in person. Sadly, that happened on the last panel of the comic...
      • FINALLY, a sensible answer. To every skeptic above - THIS is what I've been talking about. And all it took was one rich guy, and half a dozen sleuths. And after that you're going to tell me Kingpin or Osborn couldn't manage that? Bull.
      • You were talking about a guy failing to discover Spider-Man's secret identity? Were you trying to prove every point the so-called "skeptics" were making? The reporter spent thousands of dollars and countless hours or days desperately analyzing the information available and...didn't find Spider-Man's identity. Basically PROVING that the effort was so unlikely to work that most people wouldn't bother at all.

        As for Ezekiel, first of all, he had a magical connection to Spider-Man through their shared powers. Not only is there a lot more motivation for him to find Spider-Man, but there may have been some sort of mystical attraction between them that helped direct his efforts. Second, one of the investigators he hired was Felicia Hardy, a person who already knew Spider-Man's identity and almost certainly used that knowledge to "find" Spidey's identity. If he hadn't hired Felicia to find Spidey it's entirely possible he never would have found anything.
    • I just want to add that even if it seemed like there were 99.99% odds that an attempt to figure out his identity would fail, someone might just say "Hey, I'm sure I'll make it." That's why people try to become world-famous writers, athletes, movie stars and so on. People do attempt things that have extremely bad odds of success. That is not debatable. That is a fact.
    • What amuses me about this whole "debate" is that nobody seems to consider that maybe what is being suggested occurs all the time—off panel, because a story about a super-villain trying to discover his arch-enemy's identity and failing to accomplish anything is, well, pretty boring, unless it serves some larger context. Therefore with the exception of the above-mentioned cases where attempts to discover Spider-Man's identity were made and either worked for special reasons or failed to work but supported some larger meta-plot, it simply hasn't come up. This reminds me of some recent "letter to the editor" pages in various comic books where some reader asks, "Why doesn't [some psychic guidance counselor such as Madame Web] notice when [reality-tearing abomination wreaks havoc in some way]?" and the editor responds with, "Maybe she did, but this story is about ___" which strikes me as another way of saying, "Did you honestly just ask why we didn't devote more panels to showing an elderly woman watching the same events as the reader and saying, 'Oh, guess that's happening, then.'?"
    • Luke Cage once figured out that Peter was Spiderman by finding out where Spiderman was most often seen- turned out to be Forrest Hills (where he lived), the Daily Bugle (where he worked), and whichever school / university Peter Parker happened to be attending / working at any given time. Luke Cage told him off for being so lazy with his secret identity. As for the photography- yes, most people do know that Peter takes those pictures. He actually won a Pulitzer Prize from them, and lots of people know him as "the guy who takes pictures of Spider-man", and he likes to imply that he is Spidey's "unofficial photographer" with the upshot being that many people (villain or otherwise) try to get to Spiderman through him- this is how the Scorpion was actually introduced, as a private eye hired by Jameson to find out how Peter takes those pictures. When he was a science teacher, even the kids he was teaching interupted class to ask him about it (and a villainous student recognised Spider-man was "Mr. Parker" because, unlike Batman, Peter doesn't mask his voice). Lots of people who know Peter Parker have deduced or discovered that he is Spider-man, and its never brought up but most of Peter's photographs are impossible for any normal man to take (they are often taken at great heights, from absurd angles, and in the middle of violent fights with supervillains who would notice somebody taking pictures, amongst other reasons). And several villains have figured out who Spider-man is, though using none of the above methods. So in short yes, Peter should absolutely have had his cover blown a long time ago. But to be fair, you can say that about many costumed heroes.
  • Peter gains the spider ability of seeing the future. Which spider can do that?
    • It's not an ability to see the future at all. It's a sense that something is threatening toward you. Big difference, and it could be explained any number of ways, like being more sensitive to shifts in the air, or to any of his other senses.
    • Well, it is precognitive, in a sense. It's an expansion of awareness across time and space—he can use it as a radar AND he can sense 'threatening' events milliseconds before they occur (although he has had visions of the future across further in time). The movies describe it as quick reflexes Up to Eleven, though they function more as super reflexes. Negative reaction time.
    • And its based on a spider's apparently amazing reflexes.
      • His Spider sense can sense even cosmic threats, which was shown at least once. So it's either gift from Spider God (and connection to the Great Web), human ability unlocked upon augmentation (when he got his powers) or unknown unique trait of spider that bit him. Which however has another headscratcher - why does his clones have (had) it?
    • The spider sense is supposed to be a stand in for the fact humans only have two eyes but spiders have eight. Thus, he sees things, or at least gets a sense of things not happening the way he would if he had more eyes. Also, almost every hair on a spider acts the same way as the hair in a person's ear, which makes them much better at detecting sound and vibrations than most organisms. Why his spider-sense only works with danger is still a mystery.
    • It could act like Cecilia Reyes's power, which creates an invisible field around her body that subconsciously alerts her to threats that come into it. Of course, writers will have to find a consistent way to apply it before we can ever give a concrete explanation.
  • Why can't Peter tell MJ his secret identity? I understand not revealing it to the world at large because his friends and family would become targets, but MJ's not exactly going to kidnap herself now is She? It seems to be for no other reason than pointless conflict.
    • I think part of it is to keep the weight of being Spider-Man on his own shoulders. Telling MJ or Aunt May would not only cause them worry, but might also put them in uncomfortable situations for which they aren't ready, like lying under oath or to the police. That's just me, though.
    • I don't know if it applies to Brand New Day MJ, but according to Marvel Wika Earth 616 already knew Spider-Man was Spider-Man before he ever told her. She witnessed Uncle Ben's murder and saw Pete run into a house and Spider-Man coming out of the same house. Peter did confess his identity, but she always knew.
  • Kraven The Hunter. As far as I'm aware, "craven" means cowardly. What kind of a name is that for a relentless hunter?
    • Kraven's real name is Sergei Kravinoff. Apparently Kraven is short for Kravinoff. (Interestingly, this point was brought up by Deadpool)
      • It was shortened from Kravinoff to Kraven when some reporter couldn't spell his last name.
      • So you can swear ".... off" but can't say Kravinoff? What.
      • It was also only about 20-odd years after the communists had taken control of Russia, so changing it to something less Russian-sounding may have been a practical move.
  • How old were Peter Parker parents when they had him if they were spies during WW2?
    • Remember that the Marvel Universe operates on a "floating timeline". Ignore any dates shown in the comics, all we know for sure is that Richard Parker and his wife (who, for the life of me, I can't remember the name of) were secret agents...at some point.
    • So they were no longer spies during WW2 cause I remember the comics saying that they were during the 90's.
  • Does his spider sense protect him from psychic attacks?
    • No, because it's not actually a psychic power. It's really just his reflexes boosted to such incredible speed that it almost seems like he's able to anticipate danger.
      • Yeah...no. If that were true then Venom shouldn't be immune to the spider sense. Doesn't matter that the symbiote was once linked to Spidey, if it's just enhanced reflexes Spidey should still be able to sense him.
      • Venom doesn't set off Peter's spider sense because his spider-sense doesn't register the symbiote as a danger because it was a part of Spider-man
  • Okay, i know OMD is something that some people can't stand to see even here, but there is something that bugs me. Before the Deal with Quephisto, Peter met some Divine creature (angel or a God), he met himself from Two different worlds, and his future Daughter. That didn't stopped him (was it a hallucination?) from accepting the deal. Fat guy falls on him, boom. Why does Spider-man forgets that he actually Died twice?! And both times he gained new powers, before he died the first time, he met Ezikil, and Morlun. Then after he died the first time he met Morlun again. Ezikil dies (Peter still married). Then comes BND and Kravinoff family Arc. Ezikil "returns" (Peter Single) but Peter remembers him. What. He doesn't remember that he had organic webbing, had Half Atomic/Half Totemic powers and serious upgrade to all his abilities, but remebers a dead guy who tried to kill him at some point? What.
    • Well, as of Spider-Island it turns out that Pete actually DOES remember having his totem powers, he just doesn't have them anymore. Why he doesn't have access to them remains to be seen (though the writers have pointed out, that he never could access the full extent of it in the first place, so they could still be inert or something). While a lot of people say that OMD altered history all over the place, that's actually been shown as an exaggeration. All that's been changed are people's memories and the only memories that have been altered are those stating that Peter and Mary Jane were married, memories of how the mindwipe happened and memories of what happened to his Aunt in hospital. In other words, just memories related to the deal. While there were indeed a wide array of changes aside from that, such as Black Cat having bad luck powers again or Harry Osborn suddenly being alive again, this is more of a result of a small narrative timeskip, the events that occurred within said timeskip are providing alternate explanations for any changes unrelated to the deal. With this in mind, the loss of Peter's totem powers may not have had anything to do with OMD at all, though I do wonder if Mephisto's involvement pissed off the totem entity similar to how Cyttorak likes to take away Cain Marko's powers whenever he draws from another deity such as the Uni-Force or Kuurth.
      • Okay, that part about pissing off Spider God, i wonder about that too. If there will be some alterations in the future i hope that writers won't forget about it. Oh wait a minute, why does Caine has Stingers?!
  • What is it with everyone who wears the Venom symbiote or a replica of Spider-Man's black suit striking the exact same pose?
    • I'd bet my hat that the latter two were shout-outs to the first. The original is a fairly well-known, maybe even iconic, comic book cover.
  • What is it about Peter Parker that causes all his science teachers to turn evil? Doctor Octopus, the Lizard, the Green Goblin... there seems to be a trend here.
    • None of those people were his science teachers. Ock was a nuclear physicist, Lizard was a biologist, Goblin a millionaire industrialist. All turned to supervillainy before they ever met Peter.
  • Venom again. So, the explanation for why the Venom symbiote ended up on Battleworld is because it was exiled to prevent it's desire to bond more permanently with one host from polluting the entire species gene pool (the rest of the species just used up host after host in a short period).
Now that the explanation is out of the way, my question is this, Symbiotes reproduce asexually as far as we know,(only 1 parent in other words) so how would the Venom symbiote even pollute the symbiote's gene pool? If they only reproduce asexually there's no way to pass this trait off to another line, it would just stick in a single line of symbiotes.
  • Could they be talking about giving birth to symbiotes - sexually? You know, bond to the host, have sex, impregnate with a symbiote egg, give birth to new line of creatures whatnot.
  • It would constitute pollution because you'd have this mutant strain competing with the original, and as we've seen the later offspring instead of being perfect clones of the original Spider-man symbiote instead have displayed even greater variation. So it's in competition with the main species and could potentially outproduce them and eliminate them. Plus the possibility that what caused its mutation could spread causing other 'pure' symbiotes to fail to breed true and create other mutant offspring.
  • Okay that question hit me like Hulk on laxative - at what point (and why?) did Spider-man came up with his own Bat-signal? I mean sure it's a flashlight, and it is useful. But how did he just sat there and thought - I'll make my own Spider-Signal!
    • He first used it in ASM #3. It just sorta shows up right after Peter first makes the belt to hold spare web cartridges. And yes, it actually does seem to have been done just for the heck of it. Spidey seemed to use it to either give criminals an shock, or to spotlight where the guys he webbed up were to the cops.
  • There is something that has been bugging me. I re-read Back in Black just now, and this hit me - Spider-man says that he hid the black costume away. I get that. Then there is a panel showing a big web sack with costume in it. But correct me if i'm wrong wasn't the original Black suit happened like 10th-ish years ago? How in the world that webbing still holds?
  • So Venom's ancestors have Spider-Man like powers because of Venom symbiote's bonding with Spider-Man. But, the only reason Peter ever found out that the black suit was an alien is because the Puma noticed that the webbing it produced was organic, thus causing Pete to take the suit to Reed Richards who concluded the suit was actually an alien species. That being said, since Spidey's webbing was not actually a "power" when it bonded to him, does that imply that all symbiotes at least have the ability to produce organic webbing?
    • All symbiotes have the ability to produce tendrils from their body that can take on the form, shape, and consistency of a spider's webbing, just as they could replicate, say, a leather jacket or a baseball cap or something. Venom's "webbing" is effectively just strands of the symbiote itself. That it chooses to shoot it as webbing is the result of the symbiote's rampant, murderous obsession with Parker, its "first love".
    • Additionally, if the Symbiote learned Spider-Powers by bonding with Spider-Man, then to what extent is the Symbiotes power limited? If a symbiote bonded to Thor could that symbiote and all it's ancestors wield Mjolnir, Fly and summon Thunder? Would a symbiote bonded with Doctor Strange be able to cast magic spells? If a symbiote somehow bonded with Galactus would it learn to eat planets? Would a Hulk bonded symbiote grant it's next wearer Hulk-like strength? What on earth would happen if one got ahold of Taskmaster? Does Mac-Gargan's symbiote have scorpion powers? Holy fridge horror, Bat...err...Spider-Man! Why are there not more Symbiote variations in the Marvel Universe?
    • Taking Venom as an example, the only Spider-Powers the symbiote really has are super-strength and webbing. As mentioned above, the webbing is just strands of the symbiote, and everyone and their dog has super-strength in the Marvel U; we have never seen a symbiote character who doesn't, so there is no reason to assume that is an aspect it cribbed off Parker, and not just an aspect of the symbiote. It hasn't stolen, for example, his Spider-Sense. It can climb walls like Parker can, but so can a lot of people; gripping the imperfections of a solid surface and using it for lift is well within the capabilities of a shapeshifting matter-transitioning ooze. Venom didn't so much steal Parker's abilities as he did use Parker as a template for things the symbiote seems already capable of and, as a result, is actually weakened by limiting itself to behaving like Spider-Man, rather than strengthened. There's a reason other symbiotes who do not have this limitation, such as Carnage, regularly mop the floor with Venom.
    • The symbiote was made for Spider-Man.
      • This fits more with what I was thinking before I read this page; that symbiotes just had "spider-powers" because they do, but everyone was saying that it was only because he learned them from Spider-Man which I guess is partially true. Still I think it might be neat to see if other characters from the Marvel Universe could teach symbiotes a thing or two, and see what happens.
  • How does Peter deal with the blood going to his head all those times he's hanging upside down?
    • Spider-Circulatory-System.
    • It's kind of funny, if you look closely during the famous upside-down kiss scene in the first movie, you can see Toby's veins are really bulging from exactly that, the blood rushing to his head.
  • Because of OMIT Mary Jane's actions ensure that Mephisto would never meddle with the Parker's lives somehow, would not that mean that May "Mayday" Parker has a chance of being born baring further developments?
    • May "Mayday" Parker was already born/not born. She's the child from MJ's pregnancy during the Clone Saga. Whatever became of her remains pretty inconclusive to this day, but regardless, whether or not Peter and MJ will have a child in the future is more or less irrelevant to the question of whether or not Mayday will exist in this timeline; the branching-off point for MC 2 passed a long time ago. Mephisto did seem pretty proud of the prospect that Peter and MJ would never have the mystery child from One More Day, but it's important to note that Mayday has never had her mother's bright red hair; that child was someone else.
  • Anya becoming a Changes/The Other/Spider-girl mash up? She gave up the hunter probably because Tania Del Rio wanted her at odds with the corps. Her exoskeleton was ripped out by a robot probably because Brian Reed wanted her father at odds with Miss Marvel and the Registration Act. But why did she lose everything else? No other part of her was physically removed and why would a writer want to replace the unexplored with a reminder of the Changes/Other stuff nobody liked? How did Jackal learn Queen/Weaver magic and why did hers stick unlike everyone else on the island?
  • Out-of-universe theory: why do the editors wanted to screw over Mary Jane? She's an incredibly popular character and a big part of the Spiderman mythos, yet they're always trying to retcon away their relationship. Thankfully they're all made imaginary, but I still want to know why they try. Even if they want the stories THEY grew up with, they should be smart enough to know the fan-rage will slice through their income.
  • Phil Urich as the heroic Green Goblin: Inverse, why did Phil think it was a good idea to turn an infamous criminal into a hero?
  • The primary reason Felicia's turned evil again was because SpOck beat her up and left her to the cops, who arrested her and exposed her ID, thus cutting her off from all her worldly possessions and criminal contacts. Sounds reasonable that she'd be upset... except it's not like she hadn't been arrested before and her ID was already known to the police, as revealed by Jean De Wolff. What's up with that?


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