Sunday, March 27, 2011

Best of "What If...?": #3

Volume 2 #76 (1995)
What if Peter Parker had to invent Spider-Man?

CoverWritten by Terry Austin
Drawn by Stuart Immonen

During their high school days together, Peter Parker and Flash Thompson shared a singular relationship. Flash was the BMOC, and Peter a nerdy nobody; the duo’s bully/victim dynamic was simple… until a radioactive spider bite imbued Peter with superhuman strength and agility. Using these powers, Peter became the masked crimefighter Spider-Man, and Flash his foremost fan; yet Flash continued to mistreat Peter at school, not knowing that it was he behind his hero’s mask.

Given the countless times that Spider-Man has saved New York from costumed villains, it can be easy to forget that Peter could just as easily have joined their ranks instead. In one alternate universe, events transpire with only a grotesque sort of familiarity after Flash is the one granted spider-like superpowers.

“Tell the Daily Bugle that the Vulture is old news-- the kind they wrap fish in! The Spider is the criminal of tomorrow, gents!”

In line with his sense of entitlement, Flash becomes what Spider-Man is unfairly alleged to be: a menace. And thanks to his sense of responsibility, Peter must rely on nothing but his terrific intellect to find a way of stopping him…

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