What If Someone Else Had Become the Amazing Spider-Man?
After the highly anticipated animated show "What If..?" debuted on Disney+, I really wanted to start reading some What If? comics. I was pleased to pick out a few single issues at my local comic book shop and then I was lucky to find a paperback book called "What If? Classic" that has 6 issues inside! With all that being said, let's review "What If Someone Else Had Become the Amazing Spider-Man" written by Don Glut and art work by Rick Hoberg.
Before we dive into this issue, let's do a quick run down of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man and his backstory. We all know that Peter Parker, who is basically a nerd to the T, gets bit by a radioactive spider and that spider bite gives him powers like a spider. Super strength, super speed, can walk on walls, spider sense and in some adaptations he can spin webs from his wrist. Peter lives with his aunt and uncle, May and Ben, but unfortunately Uncle Ben gets shot by a robber. "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" says Uncle Ben as he slowly dies in Peter's arms and that saying sticks with Peter his entire life. Now that you know about Peter's backstory and how he became the Amazing Spider-Man, you should also know that it is Peter's destiny to be Spider-Man. In this issue of What If, The Watcher tells us that in different realities, other people become Spider-Man but because of unforeseen circumstances in each of these worlds, the Peter Parker in each of those realities become the Amazing Spider-Man. It's actually really neat to read these different stories but all have the same ending almost. I would like to tell you all who becomes Spider-Man and a short recap of their story.
Flash Thompson- Ah yes, the jock we all know and love gets bit by the radioactive spider. Yep, you read that correctly, but you see in the reality where Peter is gets bit, Flash never is at the lab and actually never wanted to be there. This is where, in my opinion, the What If stories get interesting. A minor decision changes the course of reality go a short period of time. Flash is already an ego driven jock so of course he wants to test out his new powers by trying to wrestle Crusher Hogan and lasting three minuets with him. But, with his ego being aired up like a balloon, he tightens his grip and snaps Crushers neck, killing him. Flash is no longer a jock, but instead he is a murderer who is on the run. I love that in this issue all these characters just happen to find their powers by accident and just go with it. Flash is running from the cops and he just so happens to jump on the wall and start crawling, how appropriate. I also like that each person that gets bit doesn't go by Spider-Man, in fact they all go by something different. Flash gets bit and is now Captain Spider...yep. But every story has an ending and for flash it comes rather quick. In a fight with Vulture, he falls to his death and I bet you'll never guess ho sees him fall and goes to the rescue.
Betty Brant- Comic book nerds know who Betty is to Peter in the comics, but ne fans who only have seen the MCU movies know her as the school news anchor and lover(?) of Ned. In this reality, Betty is at the lab with her boss, J. Jonah. Jameson and just so happens to meet Peter..oh and she meets the spider that bites her, oops. I really enjoyed this part of the issue because Betty is actually an interesting character and if anyone is to hold the statement of responsibility true, I believe it would be her. It's funny how she learns of her new powers as she talks to Peter about being an intern for Mr. Jameson and she gets so mad that she smashed the diner table in half! I need to be honest here, Betty is a bada** in this part. She does all these trainings that Peter is putting her through and she's passing them with ease! There is one change however from Flash to Betty and that is that Peter basically helps Betty with all her things as Flash did it alone. For example, Peter makes the web fluid for Betty and Flash never had that. Remember the thing I said earlier about new names, well Betty goes by "the Amazing Spider-Girl" sorta similar but very different. Now Flash had his untimely farewell, but Betty actually makes her own decision to say goodbye to to the Spider-Girl mantra because of an untimely death to someone who she's close with. Peter and Betty are off taking pictures of Spider-Girl when a cop yells out for them to stop a robber who is running their way and....yeah, you know where this is going. Betty doesn't stop him and later she finds out that the robber actually killed Uncle Ben. When Betty finds out about this and realizes that she could've stopped him, she knows what she must do and she hangs her boots up as Spider-Girl. A sad ending to this character's story but one that we are all to familiar with.
John Jameson- Yep, the son of J. Jonah Jameson gets the bite and honestly, this changes a lot of things in this reality. We all know from comics and movies that JJJ this Spider-Man is a menace and should be put behind bars, well that narrative changes when his own flesh and blood becomes...you ready for this one..."Spider Jameson", I wish I was kidding. John was an astronaut, so he knows all about flying and maneuvering through the air but why is that important? Instead of using webs to swing around town, he uses a jet pack and stops crime that way. It's a nice change in character development with JJJ in this part of the issue. I think he means well but in the loudest way. When he finds out his son has powers, he basically becomes his mouthpiece and he uses the Daily Bugle to advertise Spider Jameson. As we saw with the last two characters, there must be an ending and for John..er, I mean Spider Jameson, it ends in a heroic death. I totally forgot to mention that Perter is JJJ's intern at the Bugle in this reality...ah the tables have really turned for Peter in this one. It wouldn't be a heroic death if Spider Jameson didn't have a a golden statute in memory of him....wait...*checks notes* ah, never mind, JJJ built him one...carry on!
This one issue alone had so much content in it that I couldn't put the book down! I kept reading and reading and when it was finished, I was amazed. What If always catches my attention because of the endless amount of possibilities and we witness that in this issue. "What If Someone Else Had Become the Amazing Spider-Man" gets a 5/5!