Published June 5, 2019

8 Marvel Misadventures of Characters Swapping Bodies

Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel switch places in ‘Marvel Team-Up’ #3!

Marvel Team-Up #3
MARVEL TEAM-UP (2019) #3

For Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel, teaming up with one another has proven a lot more complicated than they expected. Before they try to make it work in MARVEL TEAM-UP #3 – available now – here are other examples of Marvel characters who have endured body swaps of their own.

Cassandra Nova and Professor X

Cassandra Nova takes over Professor X
NEW X-MEN (2001) #117

Nothing has ever been easy for these technical twins. First there was the “in-womb sibling fight/murder.” Then Nova declared war on mutantkind and nearly wiped out every man, woman, and child on Genosha. Finally, came the body swap.

In control of her hated brother Charles Xavier, Cassandra Nova revealed him to be a mutant to the world and then used the Shi’ar fleet to attack the X-Men and bigoted protesters alike. Only by using Cerebro was Professor X able to wrest control of his body from her. However, he could not repair the damage she did to his reputation, the reputation of his school, or to everyone on the school’s grounds when she rained down Shi’ar weaponry upon it.

Daredevil and Doctor Doom

daredevil and Doctor Doom swap
DAREDEVIL (1964) #37

Doctor Doom’s plan was a deliciously simple one: Swap bodies with Daredevil, use DD’s reputation to get close to the Fantastic Four, and be rid of the cursed Reed Richards and his teammates forever.

Unfortunately, Doom had grown so used to doing everything himself that he forgot to alert anyone else of his plan to change bodies with the Man Without Fear. Thus while Doom plotted the downfall of the FF, Matt Murdock used Doom’s body to command Latverian soldiers and chip away at Doom’s reputation and standing in the world and amongst his people. Once Doom caught on, he undid the swap. Daredevil reduced Doom’s swapping a machine to smoking rubble, cancelling Doom’s infiltration plans for the foreseeable future.

Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man

Superior Spider-Man switches back

Otto Octavius was dying and wanted nothing more than to go out the undisputed ruler of the planet – or so he fooled everyone into thinking.

Instead, he laid the groundwork to “leap” from his degenerating shell and into the hale and hearty body of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man himself. However, walking around in Peter Parker’s body caused some unanticipated consequences. Chief amongst them was Doc Ock’s desire to prove himself to be the very best hero—in his opinion, at least—to live in said body. Thus, the Doctor Octopus identity was abandoned for that of Superior Spider-Man.

While Octavius did experience short-term success, Parker’s consciousness did eventually rear its head once more and the enemies did battle on the mental plane. While Doc Ock would never admit it, Parker did eventually prove himself the better man and regained control of his body. Ock, on the other hand, got himself a new unoccupied body and has walked a path wandering between hero and villain since.

Emma Frost and Iceman

Emma Frost as Iceman
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #313

Trevor Fitzroy attacked Emma Frost, and the then-White Queen survived but lapsed into a coma. Eventually, Frost managed to figure out how to project herself out of her unconscious body and into Bobby Drake AKA Iceman. She then utilized the body as her personal wrecking crew, forcing Iceman’s powers up to maximum levels and laying out her perceived enemies one after the other.

When she learned that not only were the X-Men not holding her captive but keeping her alive after the deaths of several of her pupils, she relinquished control of Drake’s body. Doing so, in turn, “awakened” her body as well. This marked a turning point in her relationship with the X-Men that saw her helping to teach and oversee Generation X with Banshee.

Ghost Spider and X-23

Gwen and X-23

Sometimes even being in different universes cannot stop a body swap from taking place. Case in point: X-23 and Ghost Spider, who swapped before they even met. Besides figuring out where exactly they were, they had to figure out each other’s distinctly different bodies. For Gwen Stacy in particular this proved difficult; she managed to maim herself with X-23’s claws almost immediately after taking up residence in the mutant clone’s body. Soon, however, X-23 managed to work her way back to her home universe in Ghost Spider’s body and Ghost Spider managed to recover from her self-inflicted injuries in X-23’s skin. They celebrated their successes by beating up on the Red Hornet until she reversed their swap. Villain defeated and familiar bodies reclaimed, the duo returned to their proper universes.

Hulk and Thing

Sometimes body swaps happen to teach lessons, sometimes to stave off death, sometimes for wicked machinations. Other times, though? It is just to scientifically figure out who is stronger.

That was the case when the Thing and the Hulk willingly swapped bodies and punched one another a lot. The idea? The Thing is a good guy who pulls his punches even when he fights the Hulk. After all, he knows Hulk is a largely decent guy/creature and is often totally out of control and not responsible for his actions. So, if the Thing has Hulk’s strength but his own morality and Hulk has Thing’s strength and his own lack of insight into his behavior… voila! Science.

For the record, it appears that Hulk is the strongest, but by a much slimmer margin than you might expect.

Loki and Sif

Loki using Sif's body
THOR (2007) #601

When another cycle of death and rebirth went awry, Loki ended up in a body intended for Sif while Sif landed… somewhere else.

As Thor began to “free” his fellow Asgardians from their temporary mortal shells, he quickly spotted the issue. Loki, however, remained tight-lipped. As the God of Thunder grew increasingly concerned, the clock ticked onward.

Loki, however, broke – and just in time, it turned out. When he found Sif’s soul in an older woman on her deathbed, Thor freed her just before the woman’s passing. In doing so, he undid Loki’s machinations, and both Sif and the God of Mischief ended up in the Asgardian bodies intended for them.

Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Wolverine

Ultimate Spidey switches with Ultimate Wolvie

Not living in the main Marvel Universe, it turns out, will not protect you from a body swap. So learned Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Wolverine when they made the mistake of annoying Ultimate Jean Grey so much that she decided to teach them a lesson. A trip to jail, a day of high school, and a pretty embarrassing showing against Shocker proved enough to have both shouting “uncle.” Grey took pity on them and switched them back, presumably with each hero the wiser for their time away.

What kinds of consequences will the body swap between Peter Parker and Kamala Khan yield? They could learn a lesson or two, or they could cause a huge mess!

MARVEL TEAM-UP #3, written by Eve Ewing with art by Joey Vazquez, is available now online and at your local comic shop!

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