Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield have had their fun with their respective Spider-Man movies, but on July 7, 2017, Tom Holland (The Impossible, In the Heart of the Sea) will finally claim the role of Peter Parker with his first solo feature, Spider-Man: Homecoming. Just like on the big screen, there's more than one Peter Parker in the Marvel Universe. In fact, some of Marvel's spider-powered characters are animals and robots!
So, it's safe to say that there are some pretty interesting alternate Spider-men out there. To celebrate Hollywood's third take on Peter Parker, I'd like to introduce you to some of the most amazing Spider-people from Marvel's alternate realities.
Lady Spider (May Reilly, Earth 809)
- Creators: Robbie Thompson and Denis Medri
- First Appearance: Spider-Verse #1 (January, 2015)
While she may have been bitten by a spider, she does not have any spider powers and May Reilly isn't actually part of the Spider-Totem. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that May Reilly is still part of the Spider family. In fact, she was instrumental in helping Peter Parker and the rest of the Spider Army defeat the Inheritors during Spider Verse.
After May's father died, she created her costume's limbs to allow her to climb on walls. She also has her own web shooters! Lady Spider may not have the usual spider-powers of the spider family, but she absolutely has their intellect.
Assassin Spider-Man (Peter Parker, Earth-8351)
- Creators: Jeff Parker and Paul Tobin, Clayton Henry
- First Appearance: What If? Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine #1 (March, 2008)
The Spider-Man we have all grown to know and love may not kill, but THIS Spider-Man does with ease.
This is a Peter Parker who never returned to the United States after a mission with Wolverine in Russia. Instead, Parker stayed and trained to become a much better fighter than he would have if he'd returned to the States. Not only that, but his Spider-sense became even more heightened. In fact, it got to the point where Peter could actually sense how someone was going to attack before it was ever in motion.
Earth-8351's Peter Parker still maintained his intelligence, but became a more ruthless killing machine. I really wish they'd continued this series, particularly because Wolverine and this version of Spider-Man were a match made in Marvel heaven.
Spider-Woman (Ashley Barton, Earth 807128)
- Creators: Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
- First Appearance: Wolverine Vol 3 #67 (September, 2008)
In the universe of Old Man Logan, bad guys rule the world. In this dystopian setting, Peter Parker's youngest daughter and Clint Barton had a child together. She grew up wanting to be a hero and even got herself captured while trying to take out the current Kingpin (who also killed Magneto).
However, Barton was actually determined to kill the current Kingpin so she could take over his empire and rule it herself. To prove herself to her new minions, she was even ready to kill her dad. Luckily, Logan stepped in before Clint could be killed by his own daughter.
The Superior Spider-Man (Otto Octavius/Peter Parker, Earth 616)
- Creators: Dan Slott
- First Appearances: Amazing Spider-Man #697 (As Spider-Man) and Superior Spider-Man #1 (As Superior Spider-Man)
Say what you will about Otto Octavius, he didn't do a bad job as a hero. Sure, he did most things for selfish reasons, but at the end of the day, he did a lot of good.
Otto found a way to be everywhere at once with the help of his Spider-Bots, and was able to help people all over the city by employing goons - including some of Peter Parker's former villains. He even found time for Peter to go back to school and start a company! So there's a lot to say about Otto's time as Peter Parker.
If not for Otto's arrogance, he might have been Spider-Man even longer. Unfortunately, in the end, Otto realized that Peter Parker's humility, sacrifice, and ability to never take the easy way out is what made Peter the better hero, but also the truly Superior Spider-Man.
Spider-Punk (Hobart Brown, Earth-138)
- Creators: Dan Slott and Olivier Coipel
- First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #10 (January, 2015)
Hobart Brown is from a universe where Norman Osborn is the tyrannical President of the United States. If that wasn’t bad enough, Norman has a crooked police unit that all have the Venom symbiote in their system. President or not, Hobart was not going to let the oppression of Norman Osborn stand.
Standing on a bus with his guitar in hand and a sound system kicked all the way up, Hobart played punk rock until the vibrations from the speakers knocked every symbiote off the police force. Hobart eventually smashed his guitar on Norman’s head, killing the villainous President. He then took his mask off as the crowd raised their fists in the air, celebrating Spider-Punk's victory.
Ultimate Black Widow (Jessica Drew, Earth 1610)
- Creators: Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
- First Appearance: Ultimate Spider-Man #98 (2006)
In the Marvel 616 Universe, Jessica Drew and Peter Parker have absolutely no relationship at all. The only thing connecting them is the spider-totem that links the entire spider-tribes across the multiverse.
In the Ultimate Universe, Jessica Drew is actually Peter Parker's clone. She has Peter's memories, powers, and shoots webs organically - something the Ultimate Peter Parker can't do. Jessica Drew eventually became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and changed her name from Spider-Woman to adopted the name Black Widow.
Unlike the 616's Jessica Drew, Ultimate Jessica Drew is gay. Coming out to her teammates was one of the biggest moments for her, and an important Marvel moment. This made her feel more like a person, and less like a clone.
Scarlet Spider (Kaine Parker, Earth 616)
- Creators: Terry Kavanagh and Steven Butler
- First Appearances: Web of Spider-Man #119 (December, 1994) as Kaine, Amazing Spider-Man #637 (September, 2010) as Tarantula, Scarlet Spider Vol 2 #2 (April, 2012) as Scarlet Spider.
A while ago I wrote another piece on Spider-people, and one reader suggested that I check out Kaine Parker. I'm truly glad I did, because the Scarlet Spider is well worth any comic book reader's time.
Kaine is another one of Spider-Man's clones in the 616 Universe, but this one actually survived. Kaine left New York in search of his own life after he helped Peter Parker defeat the Queen Spider during Spider-Island. Kaine ended up in Houston, and ultimately became his own hero.
Kaine was nothing like Spider-Man. While they share the same powers, Kaine is much more aggressive than Peter and is willing to kill people if it means getting the job done. Unfortunately, sometimes his aggressive nature get innocent people harmed in the process. Kaine slowly learned not to be so emotional when fighting crime and eventually becomes a great hero.
While there are characters like Spider-Gwen and Miles Morales, these are some of the more obscure Spider-Man characters. The best part is that even if you're familiar with these characters, there are so many more. I highly suggest checking them all out.
Marvel's Spider-Man can next be seen on the big screen on July 13, 2017 when Spider-Man: Homecoming is released.
What Spider-Man character is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!