Welcome back to Strange Times & Places, where we’re celebrating the financial and creative success of Spider-Man: Homecoming by visiting a very different take on the Wall Crawler – Amalgam Comics’ Spider-Boy #1!
How’s It Different?
As explained last time we visited this universe, Amalgam Comics was a blending of the DC & Marvel Universes of the mid-1990s. Spider-Boy is a merger of Spider-Man (who was rather deep in the Clone Saga at the time) and Superboy (who was still rocking the “clone of a normal human genetically altered to have telekinetic abilities mimicking Superman’s powers” origin at the time).
What’s The Story?
After rescuing Johnny “Red” Storm from the rampaging Bizarnage at Project Cadmus, the Mall-Crawling Wall-Crawler heads into New York City to track down the escaped nasty known as King Lizard! There’s the slight complication of Lizzie having eaten some Pym Particles on his way out of the Project, meaning he’s growing toward Godzilla size, but it’s all in a day’s work for the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Boy!
Best of Differences
- Spider-Boy’s origins are a very strong, nigh-seamless synthesis of his two progenitors – Scientist Peter Parker was attempting to re-create Super Soldier (the Amalgam Universe’s Superman/Captain America combo) and created a clone of himself genetically altered to have gravity manipulation powers. Flaws in the process limited his powers to sticking to walls and a lab accident killed Peter and woke the clone up too early, leaving us with the attitude packed teenager seen in this issue.
- Writer Karl Kessel manages to work the iconic “death of his uncle” plot point into Spider-Boy’s origins by having General “Thunderbolt” Ross take Spidey under his wing shortly after the lad is awoken (earning the nickname “Uncle Gen”), teaching him about power & responsibility before being shot by a mugger.
- Spider-Boy also does an excellent job combining Peter Parker’s overgrown sense of responsibility with Superboy’s era-appropriate love of fame. He feels that Uncle Gen was killed because the mugger ignored the seemingly harmless kid (who could have easily stopped him) and is now going out of his way to never be ignored again – to borrow a phrase from different Webbed Wall-Crawler, “If you want to shoot at someone, shoot at me!”
Come Back Next Week for a New Installment of Scripting Errors!