Amazing Spider-Man: Unfriendly
Remembering past times when the heroic Wallcrawler has gone astray!
Heroes can be counted on to do the right thing…most of the time. However, now and again, it seems, even the best good guys do something wrong. Be it because of mind control, body swapping, exhaustion, hunger, stress, or overwhelming emotions, it seems every champion of virtue has a story of going bad.
This December 27, Spider-Man gets one more as Maniac, in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #793, turns our Friendly Neighborhood Webslinger into a bad to the bone brutalist.
To know how to handle an erstwhile Spidey, we look to the past and remember the other times Spider-Man found himself talking a walk on the dark side of the street.
Being a super hero can be hungry work and most costumes do not allow a lot of room to carry a wallet. Spider-Man can certainly confirm this over the years.
However, that does not make stealing ok. Just because you save lives and stop super villains does not mean you’re allowed to just take whatever you want whenever you want. So when Spidey snags a man’s fresh bag of McDonald’s and yoinks it, make no mistake: the Wallcrawler has committed a crime and that certainly qualifies as going bad.
THE CRIME: Petty Theft
In the midst of the Clone Saga, our hero had, understandably, moments of extreme stress. Arguably, the highest of them came in the midst of the “Trial of Spider-Man” arc when tests apparently confirmed that the man fans had seen as Peter Parker for years had been living a lie that whole time and Ben Reilly, the assumed clone, actually had been the genetic original.
Flying into a rage, Parker attacked Reilly and began to pummel him savagely while others, including his own wife Mary Jane, looked on. Peter got so out of control not only did he nearly kill Ben, but also when MJ attempted to intervene, he accidentally backhanded her across the run.
While a small and brief event, one could argue it might be the worst of Spidey’s “gone bad” moments as no kind of mind control played a part, just a man losing control as he faces down the possibility that his very existence might have been revealed to be a lie.
THE CRIME: Assault and Battery, Possible Attempted Murder
While Spider-Man might be stronger and heal faster than most, he remains, essentially, a human being and thus will die someday; that day appears to be drawing close during “The Other” when Peter learns he has a fatal disease ravaging his body. After a tour of the Marvel Universe fails to find a cure, the ailing Webslinger resigns himself to his demise and checks into the hospital.
As the darkness of his mortality draws closer, Morlun visits Spidey at his deathbed. No longer in control of his facilities and reduced to something akin to an animal, Parker leaps from his rest and overwhelms Morlun before consuming the vampiric villain.
THE CRIME: Murder, Cannibalism
Mister Negative’s power set includes the ability to corrupt others with just a touch turning them literally and figuratively into their opposite number under his thrall. Tired of Spider-Man’s nonsense and aware that other villains plotted to stealing his small piece of the criminal landscape, Negative decides to finally put ol’ Webhead to work for him.
In his photo-negative costume, Spidey beats back Negative’s rivals and then takes another assignment: to kill Betty Brant before she can reveal the truth of Mr. Negative’s alter ego to the world. Fortunately, Peter Parker’s affection for Betty proves enough to break Negative’s hold on the hero and save Brant’s life.
THE CRIME: Assault and Battery, Attempted Murder, Criminal Conspiracy
In what we imagine a legal grey area even for the Marvel Universe, the Doc Ock-driven body of Peter Parker/Spider-Man did not, unsurprisingly, have the greatest track record when it came to keeping on the straight and narrow.
While not the pure villain many expected he might turn out to be, the “Superior Spider-Man” not exactly prove a hero either. Often motivated by ego or petty grudges, “Otto Parker”—if you will—often did heroic things for very wrong reasons or went too far in the course of performing those acts.
For instance, Superior killed villains like Massacre and The Spider-Slayer, and in the case of the former did so when his intended prey could not even mount a self-defense argument. He also used the death of Smythe to blackmail J. Jonah Jameson as, earlier, JJJ had asked Spider-Man to make sure the sinister scientist did not survive.
When not killing villains, he used more force than absolutely necessary, as when he shattered Scorpion’s jaw or beat Jester and Screwball into unconsciousness for what amounted to a series of prank crimes.
THE CRIME: Murder, Assault and Battery, Attempted Murder, Criminal Conspiracy, Blackmail, Unlawful Surveillance, Kidnapping, Holding of Individuals Against Their Will
Has the Webslinger gone bad for good? Find out in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #793, coming your way on December 27 from writer Dan Slott and artist Ryan Stegman!
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