What If Peter Parker Never Became Spider-Man? (SpiderSpoilers)
Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider-Man. But what if it had missed? Welcome to Spider-Man #5 by Dan Slott and Mark Bagley.
Once upon a time thirty or so years ago, I pitched a What If idea to then-editor Marie Javins at Marvel Comics, It is the only time I ever pitched something uninvited to Marvel or DC. Call it a momentary abberation, but it would have seen a world in which Peter Parker did not become Spider-Man, but instead became a scientist and businessman, then a politician, using his great power in a very different way. And eventually, the entire universe would blink out of existence because Spider-Man wasn't teamed up with the Avengers at a certain point in time, and his webbing no longer stopped reality from being wiped out. What cmn I say, I was a nihilistic nineteen-year-old. Anyway, Dan Slott and Mark Bagley do it much better job of this whole thing today in Spider-Man #5.
Because in the current Spider-Man series by Dan Slott and Mark Bagley, they have promised the End Of The Spider-Verse. Something getting increasingly unlikely with the new movie coming up. The last issue saw Peter Parker, the Spider-Man of Marvel's 616 Universe, wiped out from reality, but somehow leaving a very non-Spidery Peter Parker working for Norman Osborn in his wake. In Spider-Man #5, out today, we get the origin of his lack of origin.
The radioactive spider that would have bitten Peter Parker way back in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1963…
…is instead swatted away. Though, as was later retconned in, still goes on to bite the young Cindy Moon, and trigger her own spider-powers. And giving her the scientists' disdain rather than Parker, who is miles away.
So high schooler Peter Parker negotiates the same school politics, just without the simmering Spider powers hiding underneath. And Flash Thompson being Flash…
Which means he is at home when a certain burglar breaks into the Parker family home. And leads to a very different set of circumstances there as well.
Which also leads to a new found respect from Peter Parker from the most unlikely of sources.
And with great power comes great attraction.
And so other stories play out with Peter Parker at the periphery. Though maybe making a little more sense this time, as the Sandman comes by the school.
Although in this version he is not taking advantage of the situation to get a high school diploma right there and then in a school classroom.
Seriously man, just write him out a High School diploma. Dan Slott and Mark Bagley have a better explanation for this scene.
And as Cindy Moon, Silk – or Spider-Woman-takes the place of Spider-Man in this retrofitted continuity.
Though in both versions of the timeline, J Jonah Jameson's presence is the same as it ever was. There's no making sense of that man.
Originally he was just here for the Sandman, here it is Silk that draws him in.
Everyone is always in cahoots for J Jonah Jameson.
Both Spider-Man and Silk defeat Sandman in the same way, we just only got to see it happen in the original,
But this Peter Parker isn't going to stay entirely on the sidelines. His inventions need to find a home after all…
Peter Parker doesn't need a dead Uncle Ben to step up and use his abilities for the betterment of mankind. That may be the greatest revelation of this reworked history… you know, before everything eventually goes back to normal.
(W) Dan Slott (A/CA) Mark Bagley
"The End of the Spider-Verse" continues! See a new side of Peter Parker and the Spider-mythos! Shathra and her forces work towards the extinction of Arachnida sapiens. PLUS! This issue includes a special super heroic back-up storyfeaturing Spider-Man and Photon celebrating Black History Month!
Rated TIn Shops: Feb 15, 2023 SRP: $4.99