Spider-Man Just Repeated His Civil War Mistake (But Even Worse)


This article contains SPOILERS for Amazing Spider-Man #8

One of the biggest mistakes of Spider-Man‘s life was trusting Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, during Marvel’s Civil Warevent, but that was not enough to teach Peter Parker to stay away from rich scientists with a propensity for building expensive gadgets. After being put on the ropes by his old villain Vulture, Spider-Man’s first reaction is to ask for help – in the form of a high-tech suit – from his now-redeemed nemesis, Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin.

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Spider-Man’s relationship with Iron Man was a consequence of the Wall-Crawler’s long-overdue acceptance in the New Avengers after the events of Avengers Disassembled. Fans were ecstatic to see Marvel’s most famous superhero finally playing in “the Big Leagues.” Tony Stark took Peter under his wing and had him, Mary Jane, and Aunt May move into Avengers tower. When the rift caused by the Superhuman Registration Act happened, Iron Man convinced Peter to side with his faction, and even to publicly reveal his secret identity. As a token of gratitude, Tony gave Peter a technologically advanced suit called the Iron Spider that boosted his powers, and also employed him as his personal assistant. However, the events of Civil War made Peter switch sides and become a fugitive hunted by Iron Man himself. His public unmasking also led to Aunt May being shot and to the infamous One More Day story, where Spider-Man is forced to make a deal with the demon Mephisto.

Considering how badly Peter’s association with Tony Stark went, it’s surprising to see that he is making the same mistake again, but with someone possibly even worse. Norman Osborn was Spider-Man’s greatest nemesis as the Green Goblin until the Sin-Eater “purged” his sins and turned him into a good man. As a way to apologize for everything he did, Norman offered Peter a job at Oscorp and also worked on an improved version of the Spider-Man suit that includes high-tech gadgets inspired by those used by the Green Goblin. In Amazing Spider-Man #8, by Zeb Wells, John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, and Marcio Menyz, Peter finally accepts the offer because he is struggling in a battle against the Vulture, and dons the Goblin-inspired Spider-Man suit.

Norman Osborn hires Spider-Man

There is so much that does not make sense about this decision. Despite Mephisto rewriting reality to make everyone forget Peter’s secret identity, the events of Civil War did not change. Peter was still betrayed by Tony, who was using the Iron Spider suit to track him and sent his most violent Thunderbolts to capture him. It’s true that Peter seems to have forgiven Tony (mostly because the worst consequence of his actions, Aunt May being shot, was erased by Mephisto), but he should have at least learned the lesson to not associate with rich benefactors with a hidden agenda, especially when the person in question is his former worst enemy. After all, Norman essentially took over Tony Stark’s role in the world for a while after Secret Invasion​​​​​​. It’s also pretty puzzling that Peter would need to ask for Norman’s help because he is struggling against the Vulture, a mediocre villain whom he has beaten innumerable times.

It will be interesting to see what role the new suit will play in Spider-Man’s life. Perhaps Norman will try to use it to monitor and control Peter, just like Tony Stark did. Regardless of the consequences, it’s an odd decision by Peter, considering his amazing powers make him one of the strongest Marvel heroes already without the use of gadgets. Hopefully, Norman’s intentions are as honest as he says, and Spider-Man did not just repeat his terrible Civil War mistake.

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