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Comic Book / Spider-Man: Blue

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Spider-Man: Blue is a 2001 series by Marvel Comics, written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale,

The series is a re-telling of Spider-Man's "blue period", focusing specifically on Peter Parker's relationship with Gwen Stacy prior to her death.

The story is part of a Thematic Series, which includes Hulk: Gray, Daredevil: Yellow, and Captain America: White.

Spider-Man: Blue provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Betty and Veronica: The story focuses on the Love Triangle between Peter, Gwen, and Mary Jane, with the former girl being kind and sweet (the Betty), and the latter being much more outgoing and flirtatious (the Veronica).
  • Card Board Prison: Kraven arranges for Blackie Drago to escape from prison by hiding the prisoner in a dirty laundry cart.
  • Character Development:
    • Spidey saving Flash is what motivates him to join the army and treat Peter a bit more kindly.
    • MJ is introduced as a flirtatious, daring, and impulsive young woman. Following Gwen's death, Peter notices that MJ became a lot more sensible and down to earth, leading him to hypothesize that the event made her realize that life isn't made solely of joyous moments.
  • Continuity Snarl: The mini-series has several continuity errors that can be picked up on by avid readers. These include;
    • Robbie Robertson working at the Daily Bugle, despite not being introduced at that point in the original comics.
    • The circumstances of the Green Goblin losing his memory are different.
    • In this comic, Peter comes from a fight with the Rhino to meet Mary Jane Watson and take her to a fight with the Lizard. In the original comic, it was the Rhino he took MJ to meet.
    • The fight with Blackie Drago, the second Vulture, is completely different from its original incarnation, taking place at the wrong time and under the wrong circumstances.
    • Drago's fight with the original Vulture was supposed to be over before Spider-Man got there.
    • The original story featured a subplot with Peter spraining his arm, passing out from the pain, and getting captured by the police, which is entirely cut.
    • It was originally Kraven's intention to attack Harry Osborn; he was not confused in his search for Spider-Man by Harry wearing Peter's aftershave.
  • Da Editor: JJJ makes an appearance, rudely refusing to pay Peter on time, shouting at his employees, and berating anyone who calls Spider-Man a hero.
  • Delivery Not Desired: Peter records a message to the deceased Gwen Stacy, reflecting on his time with her and explaining she's the reason he's always a bit blue around Valentine's Day. When his wife Mary Jane hears him, rather than be upset that he's talking to his lost love, she understands and asks him to say hello for her.
  • Dynamic Entry: Kraven invades Flash's party by dramatically crashing through the apartment's glass window.
  • Easy Amnesia: The original Green Goblin loses his memory as a result of his battle against Spider-Man. Taking pity at the man's confusion, the hero helps him escape the building they were fighting in and tells the police that the two defeated the Goblin together.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Norman owns a large apartment, which he allows his son Harry to live in for no rent. As Harry and Peter develop a friendship, the former invites the protagonist to be his roommate.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Spider-Man visits the top of the bridge where Gwen Stacy died once a year, on Valentines Day, to leave a a single red rose in her memory.
  • Hidden Villain: Throughout the issues, a mysterious figure lurks in the shadows and compels Spider-Man's animal-themed villains to fight the hero. In the final chapter, it's revealed that the Big Bad is Kraven, who was studying Spidey's tactics and skills in order to have a better chance of taking him on.
  • Honor Before Reason: Kraven is hunting Spider-Man because Green Goblin had hired him. Despite everybody thinking that the Goblin died, the Big Bad had to honor the contract.
  • How Much Did You Hear?: In the final issue, it turns out Mary Jane has overheard Peter making the recording. Instead of being angry, however, she's very understanding, implicitly reminding her husband that he wasn't the only one who felt the pain of Gwen's death.
    MJ: Will you do me a favor Peter? Say "Hello" for me and... tell Gwen I miss her too.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Hidden Villain is revealed to be Kraven, who is hunting Spider-Man like a wild animal to fulfill a contract he had made with the Green Goblin.
  • Hypocrite: The Lizard is particularly annoyed by Spider-Man's taunts and complains that the hero "talks too much". However, once he gets the upper hand, he breaks into a speech about the inferiority of mankind. Spider-Man immediately calls him out for that.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Spider-Man teases and belittles all his opponents while fighting them. This provides him with an advantage since the annoyed villains often get too distracted to realize that the hero is luring them into a trap. However, Peter's inner monologues also imply that his taunts are a coping mechanism to conceal his own turmoil, mostly relating to his frustration at being unable to spend time with Gwen and MJ due to his responsibilities as Spider-Man.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Rhino is beating Peter to death to the tune of "Itsy Bitsy Spider".
  • Legacy Character: Blackie Drago dons the costume of the Vulture.
  • Likes Clark Kent, Hates Superman: Played with. Flash deeply admires Spider-Man, but considers Peter Parker a loser. However, after being saved by his hero, the bully reflects on his past actions and noticeably starts treating Peter better, before deciding to join the army to complete his transformation into a truly honorable person.
  • Little Black Dress: Gwen wears a skimpy black dress in the hopes of getting Peter to be her Valentine. She succeeds.
  • The Lost Lenore: Peppered throughout the panels are bits of Peter's introspection as he reminisces about Gwen Stacy, his deceased former girlfriend, whom he laments not being able to spend enough time with due to his duties as Spider-Man.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the first issue Spidey notes to GG that his webbing "catches thieves, just like flies!" He does it again in issue #3, this time with the preceding line, "spin(s) a web any size".
    • When the two Vultures are fighting, Spidey has to save Flash Thompson. The way the two end up against the panorama is identical to the first Amazing Fantasy cover.
    • Flash tells the girls and Peter about his amazing experience being saved by Spider-Man, only for Gwen to call it an "Amazing Fantasy".
  • Oh, Crap!: Peter's reaction when he discovers MJ has been listening to Peter's message for Gwen the entire time. Much to his surprise, instead of getting pissed with her husband as he suspects her to, Mary Jane instead asks him to say hi to Gwen for her, understanding that Gwen will always be a part of Peter's life, and a reminder that she loved and lost Gwen too.
  • Retcon: This mini shows Kraven had a hand in earlier Spider-Man foes' clashes with him, as a means to study his enemy's tactics and combat prowess.
  • Rogues Gallery Showcase: All six issues feature a different cast member of Spidey's Rogues Gallery, a theme Jeph Loeb, and Tim Sale had in their Batman series The Long Halloween and Dark Victory as well.
  • Science Hero: Aside from Green Goblin, Spidey has to use his smarts to take down his foes, because overall they outclass him. He defeats Rhino by exposing him to a chemical that degrades the villain's suit; freezes the cold-blooded Lizard with liquid nitrogen; and tampers with Vulture's wings to cause him to crash.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Fittingly for a reptile-themed villain, Lizard's speech pattern accentuates sibilant phonems to imitate hissing.
  • Talking to the Dead: The Framing Device of the book, Peter's recording tapes for Gwen, serving for a Whole Series Flashback.
  • The Tragic Rose: Peter leaves one on the bridge where Gwen Stacy died every year.