With Peter Parker gone, Marvel introduces a new “Spiderman” to help Madame Web and the other Spider heroes in their fight against the villain Shathra.
The following contains spoilers for Spider-Man #4, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
“Spider-Man” is typically spelled with a hyphen breaking up the words “Spider” and “Man,” and while other Spider heroes have followed suite over the years, Marvel has now introduced a new web-slinger that breaks this rule.
It appears that Peter Parker, the main Spider-Man of Earth-616, was erased from existence at the end of Spider-Man #3. Parker and other Spider heroes had assembled to save the Spider-Verse from the villain Shathra, who has turned many of the Multiverse’s Spiders into her wasp-like servants and seeks to destroy the rest. Parker was supposed to be the “Chosen One” and turn the tide of the fight for the Spiders, but in his absence, they have found a possible substitute: Spiderman, AKA Peter Palmer.
Written by Dan Slott and illustrated by Mark Bagley, Spider-Man #4 introduces Palmer as the wall-crawler from Earth-616 Beta, a prototype version of the main 616 universe that is drawn in the style of old Marvel comics. This “Spiderman” is depicted much like how the character debuted back in 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15, and even references how Spider-Man started out as a television star in his first comic book appearance. However, when he is referred to as “Spider-Man,” he reacts by saying, “You’re saying it too slow. It’s Spiderman. One word. No pause in the middle.”
Why Does Spider-Man Have a Hyphen?
On interior pages of Amazing Fantasy #15 and early Amazing Spider-Man comics, “Spiderman” without the hyphen is actually how the hero’s name is spelled in some instances, while titles and other page bubbles used “Spider-Man.” Back in 2010, Spider-Man co-creator and Marvel icon Stan Lee explained why the hyphen was added to Spider-Man’s name, and that it was done to distinguish the hero from DC Comics’ Superman. Lee shared on Twitter, “Spidey’s official name has a hyphen — ‘Spider-Man.’ Know why? When I first dreamed him up I didn’t want anyone confusing him with Superman!”
The introduction of Palmer not only makes some callbacks to Marvel history, but also juxtaposes him with Parker and highlights the differences between the two. Earlier in the series’ Spider-Man #1, Parker stresses that his superhero name has a hyphen, telling some criminals, “You said it too fast. It’s not ‘Spiderman.’ There’s a hyphen in there.” He even goes as far as to sing a parody of the Spider-Man theme song, belting aloud, “Hyphen-Man! Hyphen-Man! Does whatever a hyphen can!”
Along with Slott and Bagley, Spider-Man #4 is inked by John Dell and Andrew Hennessy, colored by Edgar Delgado and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. Main cover art for the issue is by Bagley and Delgado, with variant cover artwork contributed to by Humberto Ramos, Delgado, John Cassaday and Laura Martin. The issue is now on sale from Marvel Comics.
Source: Marvel, Twitter