In the ever-evolving landscape of comics, there are simply some things that should not have happened. In Retcon This, we examine some of the more questionable aspects of our beloved characters’ sordid histories.
Retcon This – Spider-Man: The Other
Retcon This – Morlun Eats Spider-Man’s Eyeball and ‘The Other’ Gross Stuff
Meet Peter Parker, your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. In a freak accident, he was bitten by a radioactive spider which gave him his powers of super-strength, “spider-sense”, ability to cling to walls, yadda yadda yadda. You know the drill… Or do you?
I bet you didn’t know that the spider that bit young Mr. Parker was actually “drawn” to him because Peter has a connection to a totemic spider-spirit. I didn’t either until J. Michael Straczynski took over writing duties on Amazing Spider-Man and told us so.
Now, allow me to introduce you to Morlun, the vampire-like man that literally and spiritually feeds on animal totems, such as Peter Parker. He’s traveled to New York for a feast and is the main protagonist of the controversial 12-part ‘The Other’ story arc.
Why it was controversial (or just plain dumb):
-Peter is diagnosed as dying from a radiation disease that NO ONE in the Marvel Universe can save him from.
Not Reed Richards, not Bruce Banner, not Doctor Strange. No amount of science or magic can possibly prevent his death. Riiiiight. It would be one thing if they side-stepped the issue of seeking help from his super-pals and Peter stuck with the regular doctors, but c’mon… To purposely draw attention to these guys who have done such great and impossible things but then have them say they can’t solve this one disease… It was a bit hard to swallow.
I get that it’s supposed to be some drastic disease and it’s supposed to be all doom ‘n’ gloom and these guys were brought in to show just how helpless and hopeless the situation was, but it just seems off.
If only Mephisto had stepped in…
Remember the debate that raged years ago during the Maximum Carnage storyline as to whether Spider-Man should’ve killed Carnage? Well, Marvel made up for lost time and had Spidey kill twice in this story.
First, he kills the new-villain-on-the-scene, Tracer. Tracer, at is turned out, was really just a robot, but Peter only discovered that after strangling him to “death”. He was fully aware he was killing some dude who was trying to harm his good ol’ Aunt May. Blame it on his primal spider nature.
-Spider-Man kills again. Eats victim.
The next kill takes place as Morlun is about to attack Mary Jane, Peter’s savage animalistic nature appears physically and emotionally and he kills Morlun by eating his “life essence” (starting with the head, of course), then Peter collapses and apparently dies as well. This leads us to…
-The Death/Rebirth/Shedding Skin/Cocoon of Spider-Man
After a brutal beat down from Morlun, which included Morlun plucking out one of Peter’s eyes and EATING IT, Peter seemingly dies.
Spider-Man’s body is taken away from the hospital by Iron Man in an attempt to keep his death hush-hush. In the middle of the night, MJ is alerted to a noise coming from the room where Peter’s body is being kept and finds a broken window where something had escaped from the room and sees there is nothing left behind but the skin of Peter. Eww.
Cut to the Brooklyn Bridge, where underneath it, we see a cocoon nestled as snug as a bug in, well… a cocoon. Days later, Peter emerges, having embraced the human AND spider sides of him.
The story has to be up there with the Clone Saga for the some of the most mind-numbingly ignorant stuff Spider-Man has ever been involved in. Killing, “dying”, eating people, becoming some type of man-spider (but not THE Man-Spider)… Bad, bad, bad.
I will say this, I think there’s a perfectly GOOD story to be found in Peter Parker killing someone, but this wasn’t the right place to do it. As for the rest, there’s no excuse.
HEY KIDS! Are ya all pumped up to read Spider-Man: The Other, the very story I just said was “bad, bad, bad”? Of course, you are!
Filed Under: Retcon This!