Spider-Man's Greatest Gadgets
Fly through an inventory of the Web-Head's way-out wonderful toys!
Among so many other significant statures, including Super Hero, soldier, statesman—heck, we’ve even heard he can carry a tune!—our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’s a genius gadgeteer! And given the way things have been goin' lately in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (and KING IN BLACK), it seems like he's in need of all the scientific solutions he can get!
We thought we'd mark the occasion by rapping about a few of the Web-Slinger’s most popular, way-out, wonderful toys! Thwip!
Spider-Man’s web-shooters stink!
Ah, those weird and wondrous web-shooters, perhaps Spidey’s most incredible invention of all—and who’s gonna argue with that? He debuted the dazzling devices in AMAZING FANTASY (1962) #15, the mighty mag that coincidentally debuted him, too! As we quote from the story, “a spider needs a web!” and that’s just what Peter Parker provided himself with, a way to emulate spiders right down to the sticky substance they spin.
According to the text pages in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL (1964) #1, the special web-fluid Peter developed is one of his “closely-guarded secrets,” and that he utilizes a “super-sensitive electrode” in the web-shooter to fire off a web line, spray, or liquid. And of course, should he ever run out, he carries spare web-fluid cartridges on his belt! Over the years, our hero’s also been known to fuss and fidget with the stuff to make wackier webs like ice, acid, Taser, magnetic, lead-lined, flame, foam, and cee-ment! He’s even now got it going on with voice-command! "Hey web-shooters, what's J. Jonah Jameson's net worth?"
So, is there a downside to all of this, you inquire? Yeah, see, as we learned in the landmark PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN (2017) #310, Spidey’s webs give off a smell that’s…hmm, how should we put this? “Unpleasant.” Yeah, that about sums it up.
Spider-Man’s spider-tracers don’t come cheap!
Back in the halcyon days of yore—really just AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #11—Spidey had reason to want to keep tabs on the eight arms of a certain doctor, appropriately named Doctor Octopus. To that end, he cooked up a “gizmo” that became known as the spider-tracker…which he threw at people. See, using a special adhesive, Pete attached the little bug full o’ transistorized circuits to his prey and then tracked them with a “small portable receiver.”
Now, that got to be a bit cumbersome after a while, so jumpin’ genius that he is, he was able to—get this—attune the spider-tracers to his own spider-sense! Or was it the other way around? Regardless, another devious little device joined Spidey’s arsenal against his army of arch-enemies, and later it was fine-tuned by such spider-stalwarts as Ben Reilly and Otto Octavius himself.
Peter Parker, not too long ago when he was a gazillionaire with his own company, even put the spider-tracer out on the market for commercial use. The original tricky tracer cost him about twenty bucks to make, but Parker Industries got it down to about sixteen simoleans…and then charged everybody else fifty smackers! Who sez this ain’t the Marvel Age of Crafty Capitalism!?
Spider-Man’s spider-signal lights up the night!
Some of you youngins out there in comic book land might not remember this, but once upon a time no self-respecting Super Hero would be without a signal of some sort that would flash at the first sign of danger and bring him or her swingin’ in for the rescue play. Spider-Man was no exception, but being the amazing original that he is, NATCH, he hadda do it all his own way! And he did!
The spider-signal first lit up in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #3 and not from the roof of police headquarters, oh no! In fact, the Wall-Crawler shone it from his own belt buckle and most often right in the peepers of some perpetrator, signaling Spidey was on the scene and evildoers beware! Way later, in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999) #675 the spider-signal got an upgrade to include UV illumination for first-hand forensics work!
Sadly, our hero doesn’t use the signal much anymore, but we old-school Spider-Man fans remember it fondly, and wish that we too on some cold, dreary night could have a giant lit-up Spidey face beamed right into our own eyes! Hey, that’d be better than getting stuck to a wall with those stinky webs!
Read these mighty mags on Marvel Unlimited today!
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