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Fanfic / Justice League: The Spider

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Justice League: The Spider and its sequel Web of Cadmus, both by Agent-G, are a crossover between Ultimate Marvel and DC Animated Universe, specifically focusing on Spider-Man and the Justice League respectively. When Spider-Man’s friends and family are all killed by the Green Goblin before Spider-Man kills the Goblin himself, a strange event sends Spider-Man into the Justice League Watchtower just as they are preparing to rebuild after the Thanagarian invasion. As a result, Spider-Man is recruited to the new Justice League as he forms a bond with the core seven in particular, even forming a relationship with Supergirl, only for things to become more complicated as one of his deadliest enemies is revealed to have followed Spidey to this new world…

Justice League: The Spider and its sequels contain examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: In a sense; Kaine might have been working for Project Cadmus, and he certainly isn’t a fan of Peter’s, but he was generally acting as a hero and shows no sign that he will adopt his 616-counterpart’s more murderous tendencies.
  • Alien Invasion: The Justice Lords fake one to force most of the League onto the Javellins with the goal of disposing of most of the heroes.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Spider-Man is able to determine that the Ultimens' genetic degradation is because they are based on DNA samples taken from existing heroes with their powers and mixed with the DNA of random civilians to give them new appearances; based on that, Spider-Man is able to cure Long Shadow's degradation with DNA taken from his power template of Atom Smasher.
  • Ascended Extra: Arguably applies to Spider-Man from the perspective of most people in his new world, as quite a few people wonder how they’ve never heard of this new hero who has the trust of some of the world’s most powerful individuals.
  • The Atoner: Spider-Man convinces the other six founding Leaguers not to ‘fire’ Hawkgirl so that she can redeem herself by working with the rest of the League.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Part of the reason Peter bonds with Kara and Donna is that they’ve left their original worlds and can’t go back.
    • In Web of Cadmus, Peter is chosen to evaluate Static and Gear for more full-time membership as he has a better perspective on them given his youth.
  • Broken Pedestal: Galatea is devastated when she learns that Professor Hamilton, who she considered a father, has been planning to have her killed and replaced if she ever showed any sign of betraying Cadmus.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Spider-Man may come across as a light-hearted jokester, but the League swiftly recognise his skills when he manages to escape Batman, trap the Flash with his webbing and evade them for some time in their own headquarters. Even after the League go through their mass recruitment drive, Spider-Man's genetics expertise is far above anything the rest of the heroes on the team are capable of, allowing him to find a cure for the Ultimens' genetic degradation that even Cadmus's best scientists couldn't crack (although they may have simply lacked the resources).
  • The Bus Came Back: Spider-Man briefly returns to his original world to assure his remaining friends, such as Kitty Pryde and Johnny Storm, that he’s still alive, as well as giving them the means of travelling to the League’s world if anti-mutant prejudice becomes too great.
  • Canon Immigrant: Superboy, Miss Martian, Guardian, Zoom and Kaine all become part of Cadmus’s team of heroes in Web of Cadmus.
  • Cartwright Curse: Basically applies to Peter, as he has lost Mary Jane and Gwen before he arrives in the DC Animated universe.
  • Clone Angst: Web of Cadmus focuses on several clones feeling the burden of their origins.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Peter being pulled from his world into the League’s world as he attempted suicide was just a really remarkable coincidence as scientists experimented with dimensional travel technology.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Lex Luthor is involved; need more be said?
  • Darker and Edgier: The Ultimate Marvel world is definitively established as this compared to the Justice League's universe, ranging from Lois and Clark wondering at Jameson's treatment of Peter to the League being shocked that the police actually shot at Spider-Man.
  • Death by Adaptation: The series opens with the deaths of Aunt May, Mary Jane, Harry Osborn and the Green Goblin/Norman Osborn, and Web of Cadmus ends with Doctor Octopus killing Amanda Waller.
  • Death by Origin Story: Arguably applies to Spider-Man from the League’s perspective, as he meets the League just after he’s lost everyone else in his life.
  • Driven to Suicide: The fic opens with Spider-Man jumping off a building with the intention of killing himself after the deaths of May, Mary Jane, Harry, and the Green Goblin; he's only saved when he's caught in a teleportation experiment that transports him to the Justice League's new Watchtower.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Justice Lords are initially hostile to Doctor Octopus as they still see themselves as ‘heroes’, but accept his argument that they all want the Justice League to pay for their past defeats.
    • Despite their past history, Galatea contacts the League for help when Doctor Octopus stages his coup of Cadmus.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Lord-Batman observes that Lord-Superman has lost the ability to comprehend self-sacrifice for the greater good, with the result that he was unprepared for the idea that Lord-Batman would be willing to commit a Heroic Sacrifice to stop him.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • It is discovered that Cadmus’s Ultimen heroes were actually clones of existing League members mixed with the DNA of random civilians to give them a different appearance.
    • In Web of Cadmus, Cadmus’s new team of heroes (for a given value of ‘hero’ as they initially follow Cadmus’s agenda rather than just helping people) consist of clones of Superman, Spider-Man, Hawkgirl, the Flash, and the Martian Manhunter, although only the Flash’s clone is explicitly evil.
  • Exact Words: Doctor Octopus is able to program the various clones he created for Cadmus with a code phrase that allows him to make them obey his orders, but this only forces them to obey his immediate commands, allowing Kaine to suggest to Galatea that she knock him out and then escape.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Basically defied; Peter's apartment in New York is larger than should be affordable for someone who's officially a college student working part-time as a photographer, but he was given the apartment by Bruce Wayne rent-free, allowing Peter (and his later roommate/girlfriend Kara) to focus on using their money to pay for food and other expenses without worrying about rent.
  • Genre Blindness: Waller was aware of how dangerous Octavius could be, but overestimates her ability to control him.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: As in canon, Cadmus’s efforts to counter the League constantly go against them.
  • Groin Attack: Donna observes that the Flash should stop teasing her if he doesn’t want her to literally tear off ‘an organ only males have’, prompting Flash to muse that he’s lucky he got off Thermyscira in one piece.
  • Heel–Face Turn: With the exception of Guardian (who stays to keep an eye on the organisation) and Zoom (who leaves to pursue his own agenda), all of Cadmus’s heroes join the League.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During the final confrontation with the Justice Lords, Lord-Batman sacrifices himself to stop Lord-Superman by triggering an explosion in one of the Watchtower’s power reactors while Lord-Superman is weakened by kryptonite.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: The Lords attempt this after reprogramming the Javellins to take every other hero in the League into the sun, but Spider-Man and the heroes he was with are alerted to the problem even before Batman calls to warn them about the Lords’ return thanks to his spider-sense.
  • I Work Alone: While Peter still fights crime on his own in New York, he soon adapts to the benefits of having the League available for back-up if required, ranging from requesting emergency teleport when he’s wounded in his fight with the Steel Spider to calling for information when he realises that the Joker is in New York.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance:
    • Most of the League are unaware of Spider-Man’s origin from a parallel universe, apart from the core seven and a few others who he either told the truth or worked it out on their own, such as Supergirl, Wonder Girl, the Question, Huntress, Static, Gear, and the Atom.
    • Could basically apply to Cadmus’s views on Spider-Man, as Waller is surprised when the League manage to find a cure for the Ultimens’ genetic degradation, clearly unaware that the League had access to anyone with the necessary expertise in genetics.
    • After Peter pays a final visit to his world, Nick Fury is left completely baffled as to where Peter could have gone that would not only let him hide from SHIELD for months but can’t be picked up by the tracking devices he tried to slip onto Spider-Man.
  • Interspecies Romance: Spider-Man (enhanced human) and Supergirl (Kryptonian).
  • Lighter and Softer: From Peter’s perspective, his new world is far lighter than his old one, with villains such as Toyman being more of a joke than a serious threat, although he soon learns that the League still have such problems as Cadmus and the Justice Lords.
  • Love Triangle: Spider-Man is briefly part of one with Supergirl and Wonder Girl, but he soon determines that he only sees Donna as a friend.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: J. Jonah Jameson is hit by one of these when he learns Spider-Man’s true identity, as whatever he claimed about Spider-Man he knows none of that applies to Peter Parker.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Amanda Waller is killed by Doctor Octopus after it is revealed that he is able to take control of the clones he created for Project Cadmus, which leads to the League destroying Cadmus's efforts to create its own superhumans.
  • Noodle Incident: In the Justice Lords’ world, after the Flash’s death Hawkgirl fully turned against her people by admitting the truth of her presence on Earth to Lord-Lantern and the two staging Lord-Hawkgirl being discovered and killed during a transmission to her people so the Thanagarians will never come to the Lords’ world.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Justice Lord J’onn was already attracting questions from some of the League even before Batman confirmed that the Lords were present, thanks to his more blunt manner and Spider-Man’s spider-sense.
  • Official Couple: Spider-Man/Supergirl, with Green Lantern/Hawkgirl as a secondary; Batman/Wonder Woman features more heavily in the sequel, and Kaine/Galatea come together as well.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: When confronting Cadmus’s new superhero team, Flash is annoyed that his clone is the only one who actually wants to be a villain rather than being a victim of mind control.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Where Miss Martian is most commonly a White Martian survivor who defected from her race and Zoom is a former friend of the Flash’s turned to villainy, here the two are basically clones of the Martian Manhunter and the Flash respectively, with J’onn’s interaction with Miss Martian suggesting that they will consider each other family even if Zoom rejects any chance for them to bond.
  • Retroactive Wish: While the Justice League is discussing recruiting more members, the Flash says that "it's not like a good choice for membership will fall out of the sky or something", only for Peter Parker to suddenly appear in midair and fall onto their meeting table. The Flash then makes a similar comment about swimsuit models and a million dollars falling out of the sky. Nothing happens.
    The Flash: Oh well, I had to try it.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant:
    • Doctor Octopus still focuses his attention on Spider-Man, but with the aid of Lex Luthor and Amanda Waller he gains the necessary resources to be a not-inconsiderable threat to the Justice League as well.
    • While they show no sign of shifting their focus completely to Spider-Man, Web of Cadmus features Metallo and the Joker teaming up to go after Spider-Man in New York after he defeated them in the previous story.
  • Sensor Character: Peter and Kaine serve as this, allowing Peter to identify Lord-J’onn as an imposter and he and Kaine each determine that Professor Hamilton is lying about a certain door being dangerous to open.
  • Sixth Ranger: It’s never explicitly stated, but considering that Peter joined the League a day or so before the mass recruitment drive, coupled with his close ties to the seven founders, he basically fills the equivalent of this role.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Superman gives his approval for Spider-Man to start dating Supergirl, accepting Peter’s initial explanation that their relationship is too early for him to definitively say he loves Kara even if he genuinely cares for her.
    • Peter and Donna each subtly encourage Batman and Wonder Woman to accept their feelings for each other, resulting in Diana creating a clear civilian identity so that she can date Bruce without compromising his secret identity.
    • Kara is shown to favour the idea of Nightwing and Batgirl getting together, although she accepts the alternative of Arsenal for Batgirl after Starfire returns.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Long Shadow is spared his canon death after Spider-Man and the Atom find a cure for his genetic degradation, although Cadmus doesn’t bother to use it to save the other Ultimen.
  • Split Personality: The Lords mount their first attack on the League by having Lord-Hawkgirl attack John Stewart claiming that she’s a secondary ‘sleeper personality’ in Hawkgirl’s mind.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Powerboy becomes this for Supergirl, although he was ‘aided’ in this by Doctor Octopus’s influence.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • When he first meets Kara, Peter observes that she reminds him of Gwen Stacy.
    • Hearing about Lex Luthor’s history prompts Peter to compare him to the Kingpin, save for the obvious fact that Luthor is about several hundred pounds lighter than Wilson Fisk.
  • Teen Genius: Peter is only eighteen, but he’s already got such a high IQ that the Flash wasn’t aware such a result was possible when he sees the results of Peter’s tests, with Batman observing that Peter’s potentially as smart as some of the people he employs at Wayne Enterprises.
  • Tempting Fate: Referenced; Spider-Man appears in the middle of the Justice League’s conference table just after the Flash has said that good candidates for membership don’t just fall out of the sky.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Peter gives a long speech to the League about everything he’s gone through in his life before arriving in their world, which inspires sympathy from all seven of the League even before they realise how young he is.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: By the end of Web of Cadmus, Guardian is the only hero Cadmus have created who is still working with them, and he’s only staying to act as a moral guardian for the project; of the other heroes, Zoom has gone rogue, Kaine and Galatea are independent, and Superboy, Miss Martian and Hawkwoman have officially joined the League.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Despite her skills, Amanda Waller underestimates just how dangerous Doctor Octopus was, resulting in him taking control of Cadmus’s cloned heroes and later blowing Waller’s head off.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Peter may have lost everyone close to him in his world, but he essentially falls on his feet when he meets the Justice League, as they help him make a new life for himself and provide him with a far superior support system.