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Midtown High

    Flash Thompson 

Flash Thompson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/180px-Eugene_Thompson_Earth-616_6049.jpg

Alter Ego: Colonel Eugene "Flash" Thompson

Notable Aliases: "Agent" Venom IV, "Agent" Anti-Venom II

First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August, 1962)

"Flash" was a jock at Peter's high school, and thus "Puny Parker" often was the target of his abuse. However, once he became Spider-Man, Peter began standing up to Flash. Ironically, Flash was always a big fan of the wall-crawler. After college, the two went their separate ways, with Flash joining the army. His time there mellowed him out considerably. So much so, that by the time he saw Peter again, the two realized they had more in common than they thought, and soon even became friends. They even ended up teaching at their old high school together. Peter taught science, while Flash taught gym.

Flash enlists in the army during the Iraq War and is grievously wounded in action, losing his legs while saving his comrades. Lauded as a hero for his sacrifice, he is given an offer by the military: he can "rent" the Venom symbiote, which was subdued by drugs, for 48-hour periods (never long enough for the symbiote to establish control) for use in important missions, regaining the use of his legs in the process. Thompson agrees and subsequently becomes the new Venom, marking the character's transition to fully-fledged hero.

For a more focused look on him as Venom IV there's his part of the Venom Main Hosts list page.


  • The Alcoholic: After a bout of severe depression, Flash went drunk-driving and was badly injured in a car crash.
  • Ascended Extra: He was initially just a Jerk Jock who bullied Peter, but was a major fan of his web-slinging alter-ego. After the shift away from high school, Flash tended to stick to the background before becoming a soldier. After an accident cost him his legs, he got a second chance in serving his country. He is now the newest Venom, a member of The Avengers and dating Valkyrie. Now, that's impressive.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Lampshaded when he gets the Venom suit. He shoots webs and wall crawls, shouting "I'm Spider-Man!" They correct him that he's actually the new Venom, and then he whines that some other super-heroes are Legacy Characters and he wanted to be one.
  • Badass Normal: Well, he didn't earn his rank as Corporal in the U.S. Army on looks. Due to his military training and former boxing career, Flash is an experienced hand-to-hand fighter and a trained marksman.
  • Bully Turned Buddy: He used to be a Jerk Jock who bullied Peter, but the two eventually became friends; he was even Peter's Best Man at his and MJ's wedding.
  • Character Development: He grew from being a Jerk Jock, to Jerk with a Heart of Gold, to one of Peter's closest friends in his adult life. His period in the army changed him from a reckless and immature youth to a tormented and conflicted man.
  • Embarrassing First Name: "Flash" referred to his instance of premature ejaculation.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He is the government-sanctioned 4th incarnation of Venom.
  • Frameup: When Sha Shan was attacked by the Hobgoblin, Flash made the mistake of insulting the villain on television. Hobgoblin took revenge by abducting Flash and framing him as Hobgoblin's true identity. Spider-Man was aghast that his old friend was a villain, but Flash was legally exonerated when Hobgoblin's true identity was revealed.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Flash Thompson wasn't truly a villain, but this was the reason he was such a jerkass in high school. His dad was an angry alcoholic who abused both him and his mom. A story arc in the 90's involved Flash — directionless, lonely and increasingly bitter — developing a drinking problem like his father before him, leading to a car crash that got Flash arrested again and cost him his job as a school gym teacher. By this time, Flash had begun blaming much of his troubles on his family in general and his father in particular, but a violent confrontation with his father finally forced Flash to realize that he had become the same sort of self-deluded wreck his father was, and that only he could take responsibility for fixing his life. Flash sobered up and started trying to turn his life around.
  • Hates My Secret Identity: In nearly every version of the franchise, Peter Parker in his younger days is bullied by Flash Thompson who idolizes Spiderman.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Back in the high school days he once admitted that it was he that started a fight with Parker, after Parker got caught fighting.
    • In the Gathering of the Sinister Six novel, the other characters are flabbergasted when Flash makes a Citizen Kane reference. He indignantly responds that he has seen some good movies.
  • Jerk Jock: Started as this to Pete, bullying him regularly.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Became this later.
  • A Kiss For Luck: When his friends come and say goodbye to him as he leaves for Vietnam, both Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy kiss him goodbye, full on the lips, leaving him to enter his service with a smile on his face, while even Peter (who was dating Gwen at the time) cheered him on.
  • Likes Clark Kent, Hates Superman: Picked on Peter in high school, but was Spidey's biggest fan.
  • Put on a Bus: Thanks to some manipulation from Norman Osborn, Flash wound up in a coma for years. He eventually snapped back out in the 2000s, though it came at the cost of all his character development (and knowledge of Peter's secret identity).
  • Redeeming Replacement: The fourth Venom is a gun-toting military operative who looks like he takes fashion tips from the Punisher - but he's still a fanboy at heart. He even refused to kill Cletus during Carnage USA because he knew he'd have to answer to Spider-Man afterwards. "I know it's silly, but I'm kind of a fan."
  • Reformed Bully: Flash used to be the guy who bullied Peter back in high school. He got better as he got older and became a hero in his own right and one of Peter's friends.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Felicia Hardy alias Black Cat dates him in order to make Peter jealous, but is surprised when she actually falls in love with him. She eventually proposed marriage to him but Flash breaks up with her, as he feels he cannot keep up with her high-speed lifestyle.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Peter and MJ, during the Wedding Annual. When Peter has second thoughts about it at his bachelor party (which given this is family friendly is three guys having a toast at a bar), Flash insists that despite having a failed marriage himself, he still believes that getting married is special and he insists that Peter go ahead and then cheers him on.
    Flash Thompson: "I think about being married all the time. My foul-ups have only made that kind of happiness even more desirable, more precious! And if you've got a chance for that buddy, you'd darned well better go for it!"
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • After Flash entered Empire State University, his relationship with Peter Parker became progressively less hostile. While the two still traded the occasional insult, Flash had grown to respect Peter's intelligence and was surprised by his popularity with the girls.
    • When he returned to America after his period in the army, he dropped his antagonism toward Peter. Peter, in turn, began to respect Flash's new found maturity and the two became close friends.
  • The Vietnam Vet: He volunteered for the Vietnam War at one point, though this was later retconned as Marvel entered the Sliding Time Scale and away from Comic-Book Time.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Spider-Man, he continued to back and defend Spider-Man even when it was most inconvenient.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Him and Peter in the Lee-Romita era and in the later years.

    Liz Allan 

Liz Allan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/200px-Elizabeth_Allan_Earth-616_9694.jpg

Alter Ego: Elizabeth "Liz" Allan

First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August, 1962)

Liz Allan was a high school student that attended Midtown High School together, and a minor love interest of Peter Parker and Flash Thompson. Initially she is Flash's girlfriend and considers Peter something of a loser. However, after she hears an ailing Peter had donned a Spider-Man costume in order to save Betty Brant from Doctor Octopus, she develops a crush on him. By this time, however, Peter's interest has waned considerably, as he notes that Liz never showed any real interest in him until he began dating Betty Brant, and assumes that Liz's feelings are little more than a schoolgirl crush. Betty and Liz clash several times over Peter. At the graduation ceremony, Liz admits her feelings to Peter, and says she has come to accept the fact that they are unrequited. In the same issue, Spider-Man battles the Molten Man, who in later issues is revealed to be Liz's stepbrother Mark Raxton.

When Liz returns, she dates then marries Harry Osborn, whom she meets at Betty Brant's wedding to Ned Leeds, becoming Liz Allan Osborn. The couple have a son, Normie Osborn. Their family history turns tragic, however, after Harry Osborn has a mental breakdown. In the guise of the Green Goblin, Harry kidnaps Liz, Normie and Mark, and terrorizes them within an old family mansion. Liz is deeply traumatized by this experience and falls into a state of denial about her husband's problems. Harry's madness leads to his death shortly after. Struggling to put Harry behind her, Liz breaks ties with Peter and Mary Jane.

After the events of the "One More Day" Harry is still alive, but he and Liz are no longer married.

See Spider-Man: Love Interests for more info.


    Sally Avril 

Sally Avril

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bluebirdsally_8369.jpg

Alter Ego: Sally Avril

Notable Aliases: Bluebird

First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August, 1962)

A classmate of Peter Parker's who wished to be famous like Spider-Man. She developed the costumed identity of Bluebird and employed gadgets to stop crime. Bluebird even helped Spider Man defeat Electro and the Eel when they demanded ten million dollars or would cripple the city's electrical supply. Avril died in car accident while speeding to battle scene involving Spider-Man in order to photograph him.


  • Ascended Extra: A bit-parter in Amazing Fantasy #15, she was made a major character in Untold Tales of Spider-Man.

  • Asshole Victim: Played With. Sally Avril was a deeply unpleasant person. She mocked and bullied Peter Parker, she didn't care about his uncle's death, and when she saw Liz talking to him (she was offering him her condolences) she coaxed Liz away rather than offer her own sympathy to Peter. She even tried to blackmail Peter when she became the superhero Bluebird to take her pictures. But when she died in a car accident trying to take pictures of a Spider-Man fight, Peter acted like he lost a good friend and wonderful person in his life. However, Peter acting like Sally was a good person could be seen as him feeling guilty that he did not save her. Talking with Johnny Storm, who told him that Sally's death was her own fault, allowed Peter to let go of the guilt he had for her death.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Ascended Extra Sally Avril serves as one for the Kid Hero in almost the exact opposite direction from Peter. Rather than some injustice, Sally is motivated by fun and glory. She uses weapons developed by her friend Jason, but despite him being of above-average intelligence, they either have no combat function or are so poorly conceived and useless that it earns her the mockery of villains. Finally, despite being a skilled gymnast and a descent fighter, when Spider-Man decides she needs to learn her lesson and refuses to help her, she ends up on the receiving end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from a street thug who any other Kid Hero would have absolutely no problem with. When Spidey finally forces her to call it quits, she decides to get her adrenaline fix as a photographer, convinces the unlicensed driver Jason to run a red light, and is killed in a car crash because she was hanging out a window.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Sally finally give up with the heroic act, but was still determined to act out her secondary goal of taking pictures of Spidey, which led to tragedy when she, while trying to get photos of Spider-Man's aerial battle with Black Knight, forced Jason to drive recklessly, causing a fatal crash.
  • The Load: Heady with the idea of being a super-hero, she created a blue-and-white costume, called herself Blue Bird, and tried to help Spider-Man with an arsenal of egg-themed gadgets. Unfortunately, her inexperience and malfunctioning eggs caused her to be such a burden that Spider-Man even allowed one villain to hurt her quite badly in an attempt to dissuade her.
  • My Greatest Failure: Spidey blamed himself, believing that she would still be alive if he had let her continue as Bluebird until talked out of it by the Human Torch.
    Spider-Man: She'll never laugh again. She'll never toss her head the way she did, instantly dismissing whatever she didn't want to think about in favor of something new. She'll never smile, never capture everyone's attention with a few words, never light up a room with her determination and humor. She could be obnoxious, even pushy, but she was vital and alive and fun to be around and now she's gone...
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Up to Eleven. Sally Avril was an awful person to Peter Parker in her life. She mocked and bullied him, didn't care about his uncle's death, and when she saw Liz talking to him (she was offering him her condolences) she coaxed Liz away rather than offer her own sympathy to Peter. When Jason Ionello attempted to prank Peter by stealing all the clothes in his gym bag while he's showering, she was the only one who approved of the prank when all of her friends thought Jason crossed the line from funny to overly cruel. She even tried to blackmail Peter when she became the superhero Bluebird to take her pictures. But when she died in a car accident trying to take pictures of a Spider-Man fight, Peter acted like he lost a good friend and wonderful person in his life. He talked about how she was vital and alive and fun to be around. While it's understandable why her friends miss her because they were also unpleasant people, Peter had no reason to mourn her. However, Peter blames himself for her death and it was implied that his guilt was causing him to project Sally as a better person than she was. It was only while talking with Johnny Storm, who pointed out that her death was not his fault and given her behavior she was likely to get herself killed sooner or later no matter what Spider-Man did or didn't do, did he let go of his guilt.
  • No Sympathy: She had no sympathy for Peter when his Uncle Ben died, in fact when she saw Liz talking to Peter (she was offering him her condolences) she coaxed Liz away rather than offer her own sympathy to Peter.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lampshaded. After her death, Spidey somehow finds a way to blame himself, and is mourning at her grave when the Human Torch shows up. Upon hearing the story, Johnny shows a surprising amount of insight and knowledge of human nature by cutting through Spidey's guilt bullshit and putting all of the blame on Sally, pointing out that her behavior proved she was an adrenaline junkie who was going to get herself killed sooner or later no matter what Spider-Man did or didn't do.
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    Seymour O'Reilly 

Seymour O'Reilly

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2923992_seymour_oreilly.jpg

First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August, 1962)

Seymour was childhood friends with Peter Parker. He was later an admirer and close friend of Flash Thompson. He was killed by Venom (Angelo Fortunato) while attending his High School class reunion.

    Charlie Murphy 

Charlie Murphy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6122831_charlie_murphy.jpg

Alter Ego: Charles "Charlie" Murphy

First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #8 (January, 1964)


    Jason Ionello 

Jason Ionello

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2924315_607892_jason1.jpg

Alter Ego:

First Appearance: Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1 (September, 1995)

Part the "popular crowd" along with Flash Thompson, Brian "Tiny" McKeever, Seymour O'Reilly, and Sally Avril who were often picking on Peter Parker.


    Tiny McKeever 

Tiny McKeever

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brian_mckeever_earth_616_from_starbrand_&_nightmask_vol_1_1_001.jpg

Alter Ego: Brian "Tiny" McKeever

First Appearance: Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1 (September, 1995)

Brian McKeever was a classmate of Peter Parker at Midtown High School, whom he would often bully and tease, although Tiny eventually gained a measure of respect for Peter after the latter helped him with his homework. Tiny had an unhappy home life and an abusive father.


    Carl King 

Carl King

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carl_king_earth_616_from_spider_mans_tangled_web_vol_1_1_0001.jpg

Alter Ego:

First Appearance: Spider-Man's Tangled Web #1 (June, 2001)

See Spider-Man: Spider-Related Characters for more info.


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    Jessica Campbell 

Jessica Campbell

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5723315_jj2016008_chechettovar.jpg

Alter Ego: Jessica Campbell Jones

First Appearance: Alias #1 (November, 2001) note ; Amazing Spider-Man #4 (September, 1963) note 

See Jessica Jones for more info.



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