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Characters / Spider-Man: Schoolmates

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This page is for all of Peter's buddies from High School and College.

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    Flash Thompson / "Agent" Venom IV / "Agent" Anti-Venom II

AKA: Colonel Eugene "Flash" Thompson
Debut: 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 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.

    Elizabeth "Liz" Allan

Debut: 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.

  • Alpha Bitch —> Lovable Alpha Bitch: Liz was introduced as one, mocking Peter as much as everyone else, until a boost of Character Development after seeing him in different light turned her into his love interest.
  • Beta Couple: With Harry Osborn for a while.
  • Betty and Veronica: Initially played the Veronica to... Betty's Betty. Although it was completely one-sided, since Peter was never truly interested in her that way.
  • Broken Bird: Like quoted in the description, she is deeply traumatized after to be kidnapped (with his son and brother) by his crazy husband Harry.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: As the CEO of Alchemax, she is Norman's puppet leader.
  • Face–Heel Turn: It is revealed that Liz has been willingly assisting Norman Osborn in order to provide her son with a legacy.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She became considerably nicer to Peter as she got to know him.
  • Founder Of The Company: Liz collaborated with her father in law to found Allan Chemical and became Horizon Labs' main shareholder, making one Tiberius Stone the site supervisor. Under Norman's direction, she would subsequently amalgamate "AlChem" with Oscorp and what was left of Horizon Labs and rename it Alchemax.
  • Hero-Worshipper: During her High School days, she develops a crush on Peter after she mistakenly believed he had tried to pull off some heroics. (In reality, he was suffering from Worf Had the Flu).
  • More Than Mind Control: Norman's been manipulating her by using her desire to provide a legacy for her son.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: As mentioned before, she had a crush on Peter in the comic books, but it was completely one-sided. This changed in The Spectacular Spider-Man adaptation, where she gets together with Peter... and then deeply hurt when he breaks up with her to be with Gwen.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Her last name is Allan, not "Allen".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Since the events of Brand New Day, she's become increasingly cold and ruthless, especially as the CEO of Alchemax.
  • Transplant: After Harry's death, Liz became a supporting character in Daredevil, serving as a love interest for lawyer Foggy Nelson. The couple breaks up after Mysterio manipulates Foggy into having an affair in a plot to drive Daredevil insane. Liz feels like Foggy has let her down and ends their relationship.

    Sally Avril / Bluebird

AKA: Sally Avril
Debut: 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.

    Harry Osborn / Green Goblin II / American Son

AKA: Harold Theopolis Osborn
Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #31 (December 1965)

The son of famed billionaire Norman Osborn, Harry had a hard life growing up. After his mother died, Norman buried himself in his work, and Harry felt increasingly resentful of and angry at his father. In fact, it was he who switched around some chemicals when Norman tried to create the first Goblin Serum to pay his father back for neglecting him. However, when he went to college, Harry finally found someone who would care about him far more than his father ever would: Peter Parker. While they started off rough due to Peter's life as Spider-Man, Harry soon became Peter's best friend, and they even shared an apartment. However, the strain of his father's spells as the Green Goblin eventually turned Harry to drugs, and he almost overdosed on several occasions.

On one such occasion, it caused his father to revert back to his Goblin personality, leading to The Night Gwen Stacy Died. Sometime after this, Harry discovered his father was the Green Goblin, and that Peter was Spider-Man. Angry at Peter for causing the death of his father, Harry became the second Green Goblin. However, he eventually quit after he suffered a concussion that made him forget that Peter was Spider-Man.

The two of them reconnected, and for a time, it seemed like Harry's life was finally on the rebound. He took over running his father's company Oscorp, married one of Peter's old high school classmates Liz Allen, and they had a son Normie. However, the Goblin persona began coming back to Harry. First, when the Hobgoblin tried to make the Goblin Serum, he brought Harry's memories of being the Goblin back, and he even donned the mask to help Spidey on several occasions. He eventually tried to rebury the Goblin and focus on his work and family. However, when his subconscious memories of hating Peter and knowing about Spider-Man returned, he tried to take revenge on Peter again, even trying out a new Goblin Serum to make himself even stronger. Angry and manic, he tried to destroy both Spider-Man and himself in an explosion, but after realizing Mary Jane and his son were in the building, he saved them all, before collapsing. Realizing the new serum was fatal, Harry died in Spider-Man's arms, affirming their friendship. That is, until One More Day, when Mephisto's interference summarily resurrected him from the dead.

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: On account of his status in comics as Peter's first real friend he is often brought earlier in the timeline in the Spider-Man Trilogy and Ultimate Spider-Man. Originally he and Peter met in college and not high school. Peter got into college on scholarship and movie adaptations never clarify why exactly a rich kid like Harry is attending an ordinary public school among low-income kids.
  • Ax-Crazy: Discovering his father's corpse pinned to a wall and dressed in a goblin costume and finding out his best friend was Spider-Man did a number on his sanity, and he became just as psychotic as his father after taking the Goblin formula.
  • Back from the Dead: One More Day revived him via the restorative powers of the Goblin formula resurrected him.
  • Badass Normal: He didn't use the Goblin Formula initially.
  • Beardless Protection Program: After his father's failed attempt at taking over the US, Harry moves out of New York, shaves his head, and grows a badass handlebar moustache.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In American Son, Harry finally gives one to Norman. His revival was worth it, just for that.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Interesting in that originally Harry was the cool kid to Peter, but by later issues, he became the loser instead. Peter had a steady and healthy relationship with Gwen while Harry was the rebound for MJ after losing Peter to Gwen. Peter was also a brilliant man while Harry kept wanting approval from his Dad, and then he became a drug addict. After Gwen's death got to see Peter and MJ start dating, which made him even more resentful than before.
  • Drugs Are Bad: In a landmark issue Stan Lee defied the comics code authority to spread this message (revolutionary at the time...) when Harry overdoses and nearly dies from taking too many pills... his drug problems are translated as Drowning My Sorrows in The Movie and a "Globulin Green" addiction in The Spectacular Spider-Man.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: After regaining his memories he took the Goblin formula. Unfortunately, it had an adverse reaction with the LSD he was also taking at the time, which ultimately killed him.
  • Evil Former Friend: He was Peter's roommate, and while they hadn't exactly been close friends at first they'd become besties by the time Norman killed Gwen. Then everything went downhill from there.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: On account of his insanity, his insecurity, and being Norman's kid, he constantly went through periods of insanity and lucidity. For a while it seemed like he and Liz Allan made it work and he started a family but then he relapsed as the Green Goblin before dying as a good guy. And even then posthumously, it's revealed that one of his cruel plans to hurt Peter (with robot doubles of his parents brought to fool Peter into thinking they were back) complicated his dying redemption. Since One More Day however, Harry Osborn has been portrayed as a good guy.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: He had a clear chance to finally end his evil father's reign at the end of "American Son", but Spidey, who had contemplated killing Norman earlier, stops him. He admits that Harry has every right to hate his father and Norman had it coming, but by taking a life he'd be the son Norman always wanted. This convinces Harry to not kill him.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Harry ultimately leaves NYC behind and goes into witness protection to live a normal life away from the madness of his father.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapons: Apparently Harry redesigned the Goblin weaponry so that it's even COOLER.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: For a while he forgot that he had been the Green Goblin and that Peter was Spider-Man following being hypnotized by Bart Hamilton.
  • Legacy Character: He became the second Green Goblin after his father "died".
  • Living with the Villain: Peter and Harry are best friends... and, from time to time, mortal enemies.
  • Nom de Mom: Starting from 2017, Harry legally has his name changed from "Osborn" to "Lyman", his mother's maiden name. Norman, as would be expected, is disgusted by Harry's "betrayal".
  • Psychological Projection: Shortly before his original death, Harry claimed that Spider-Man only tried to 'destroy' the Osborn family because he resented their 'stable' family dynamic while he had been a burden on relatives who never wanted him, Harry's mind now so twisted that he was incapable of recognising Norman's flaws as a parent.
  • On the Rebound: MJ dated him after pining for Pete only to see him and Gwen settle in as a couple. Their relationship wasn't good because while Harry liked her and cared for her, his neuroses and constant complaints annoyed MJ to no end, and she dumped him because of his addiction.
  • Papa Wolf: When his son Stanley was almost kidnapped by an ex cop-turned-fanatic of the green goblin, he responds with a taser and a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Psycho Serum: He created his own "improved" version of the Goblin formula, which drove him just as crazy as his father had been.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Harry once flirted with the idea of turning the green goblin into a hero, but Peter said that the goblin legacy carried too much baggage with it and rejected it.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He was badly injured saving his wife and son from an explosion he set up to kill everyone who'd wronged his family, and died from the effects of his LSD-tainted Goblin formula. It took over two decades from him to "get better" from it.
  • Sanity Slippage: The LSD Harry was taking during university left him a nervous wreck. Learning his dad was the Green Goblin by finding his shish-kabobed corpse and learning his BFF Peter Parker was Spider-Man via his dad's journal pushed him over the edge.
  • Secret Keeper: He kept the fact that his father's sanity was fraying a secret during the latter's tenure as the head of the Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers.
  • Troll:
    • He would follow Peter around New York in full costume, claiming that since he wasn't committing any crimes Spider-Man couldn't retaliate.
    • He had a pair of robots built by the Chameleon pose as Peter's parents, just to mess with him. Though this was only revealed posthumously after his death.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: In movie adaptations it's often Peter, MJ and Harry as having this dynamic or a Love Triangle. In actual fact, the only time they had this was after Gwen's death and it didn't last long because Harry went insane and Peter and MJ hooked up (and MJ always saw Harry as a rebound from Peter).
  • The Unfavorite: The comics originally had Norman (when not as the Green Goblin) as an absentee father that loved his son, but since his return, his opinion of his son hasn't been very kind. The adaptations also tend to go this route. And remember, Harry is an only child. More recent writers have actually played with the idea that Norman sees Peter as more worthy of being his son.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: All Harry ever wanted was his dad's approval. It takes him a long time to get over it, but he eventually does.
  • You Killed My Father: He found his father's body after the climactic fight with Spider-Man and blamed him for his death.

    Randy Robertson

Debut: The Amazing Spider-Man #67 (December 1968)

Randy Robertson is the son of Daily Bugle city editor Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, enrolled at Empire State University a year behind Bugle photographer Peter Parker.

  • Alliterative Name: Randy Robertson.
  • Angry Black Man
  • Dating Catwoman: Despite knowing it's a bad idea, he's in a secret relationship with Janice Lincoln/Lady Beetle, which Peter knows but hasn't told anyone, including Randy.
  • Demoted to Extra: For a period, when Mary Jane was believed dead, Randy offered to share his apartment with the Peter. Peter moved out after Mary Jane turned up alive and once he joined the Avengers, Randy lost screentime.


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