Marvel Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Spider-Man By Giving Him a Sidekick
Heard about this a few months ago when it was tipped off to sites like “Comic Book Resources” and IGN. Honestly, I question if giving a character with an intense history of death in his supporting cast a sidekick is one of the wisest things you can do for him.
To celebrate Spider-Man’s 50th anniversary, Marvel Comics is introducing a teenage sidekick for its most popular superhero in an issue hitting stores on Wednesday.
Meet 16-year-old Andy Maguire — a nod to big screen Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire — a slacker from Peter Parker’s old high school. Until, that is, a science experiment gone wrong grants him powers, including superstrength and flight.
“The fact that it’s never been done before with Spider-Man is part of the fun of it,” says Dan Slott, who wrote “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 692. “We’re 50 years in and he’s never had a sidekick because part of you goes, he shouldn’t, he really shouldn’t have a sidekick because he’s the ultimate loner.”
Fans seem split on whether this could be an intriguing plot twist for the character first created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko — or the comic book equivalent of New Coke.
“Even though I am opposed to the idea at first, it could work out in the long haul,” says graphic designer Antuan Rutledge, 24, a life-long Spidey fan from the Bronx. “I’ll give it a chance.”
“I’m not sure why they’re adding a sidekick, but I’m cautiously optimistic,” says 34-year-old Clint Kakstys, a comic book reader from Manhattan. “As long as Peter Parker is still there, Spider-Man will work no matter what.”
According to the preview pages I’ve seen elsewhere, the kid becomes his sidekick as he and the rest of his science class are invited by Peter Parker — now a budding super-scientist at a think tank, having hung up the camera years ago for real income — to watch a presentation of Parker’s newest experiment, a sort of zero-point energy which could put him on the map with Marvel’s greatest scientists (Reed Richards, Hank Pym, Tony Stark).
At the same time in the control room, Peter’s boss is talking to another scientist about an opening at the think tank and how he didn’t get it. While not visibly outraged about not getting the job, the other scientist sabotages the safety protocols of Peter’s experiment and the kid gets bombarded with energy from Peter’s equipment and instead of being toasted like a crisp, gains superpowers.
Interviews since then with writers and editors have been about Peter teaching the lessons of “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility” and such and such.
If they make the new Spidey sidekick cool, then I’m open to his introduction into the Spider-man mythos. If this kid is just meant to be nothing more than a reason to have a bump in sales, then why the hell are they doing it at all?