Spider-Man vs. ThingPosted: 04/08/2014
Well, Serpent Thing. Remember a few years ago during Fear Itself when the Serpent sent those seven evil Thor hammers crashing into Earth and gave seven superheroes/supervillains crazy Thor powers? Me too. I loved that event. Poor Ben Grimm happened across one of those hammers, touched it, and became a bad guy for a few issues. Plus, the dude — who already is roughly ten times as strong as Spider-Man — now possesses a magic weapon that would crush dear Spidey’s skull into Spidey goo with one well-placed shot. So, it’s going to be a tough fight today for our protagonist in Fear Itself: Spider-Man #3, written by Chris Yost and drawn by Mike McKone.
With near impossible odds of victory just when we compare Spider-Man’s abilities to Serpent Thing’s alone, there’s one more serious danger added to the mix:
Yes, my friends, he has to stop the unstoppable rock monster inside a hospital. A very occupied hospital. I don’t know where Serpent Thing got the toothy worms he wears like slimy suspenders, but I do think it’s a nice contrast to his current magma barbarian outfit. Sure, on a good day Spider-Man could totally punch through a wall or small truck or whatever’s in his path, but a fistfight can only lead to defeat here, not to mention all those doctors and patients he has to protect as well. This isn’t Man of Steel, our protagonist has to actually save the innocent people. Commence round one:
On a list of superheroes Spider-Man couldn’t take in a fight, Thing and Thor are both totally included. Thus when you have the Thing with Thor powers, poor Peter Parker’s best case scenario ends with him roasting like a kebab draped over the Serpent’s hammer.
Y’see, we like to think that our superheroes could defeat any other superhero given the right conditions, weapons, setting, enormous amount of kryptonite, etc., but it’s okay to admit that our favorites may not be all-powerful. The risk of failure adds to the suspense during the brawl and the joy we’ll feel when our superheroes win. Plus, if you’ve ever read a Spider-Man comic then you know that he never ends a fight without his costume in tatters and half his face swollen like a volleyball. Luckily, Spider-Man has friends.
Norah Winters, Spider-Man supporting character and overeager-bordering-on-unlikable reporter, attempts to outrun a rock monster wielding a medieval weapon just to give Spider-Man time to recover (and allow doctors to restart his heart from pages I’m skipping). Her superpowers include all of those given to a normal 20-something year old woman. Unfortunately, fiery spirit and unrelenting bravery can’t protect her from becoming Serpent Thing’s shoulder worm food. Luckily, Norah also has friends.
The more I read, I keep finding pages that reiterate why Spider-Man’s my comic soulmate. Yes, he’s powerful, but not that powerful. He’ll fight supervillains way out of his league simply because, gosh darn it, that’s the right thing to do. And no matter how concussed he gets or how badly his costume tears, he’ll continue to jump kick and shoot webs regardless of the insanity or recklessness of the situation. Innocents must be protected over personal safety every single time. Great power, great responsibility, etc.
Thing’s exit ties into another Fear Itself moment going on, but I’ll still count this at least as a draw.
Hey, this is sort of related, but do you remember Avengers vs. X-Men #9? After weeks and weeks of the two super teams screaming threats, blowing each other up, and destroying large parts of Wakanda, the Avengers were cornered by Phoenix-empowered Colossus and Magik. Spider-Man, despite once again not standing a chance against either of these normally — much less Phoenix-enhanced — stayed behind alone to fight while the Avengers made their escape. As Colossus and Magik crushed his brain over and over again, they demanded he stay down. If he acquiesced to their demands, all the brain punching would stop. But Spider-Man continued to rise, not just to save his teammates but also because selflessness propels Spider-Man to shine as the center of Marvel’s moral compass. Blogs declared his stand to be what may have been the first heroic act done by anyone in the entire series. And of course it was. God, I love that man. As much as I’ll miss Doctor Octopus Spider-Man (Superior Spider-Man is by far one of the coolest and most beautifully executed ideas I’ve read in a very long time), I’m glad Peter Parker Spider-Man is back. Because he’ll punch Serpent Thing until every bone in his body breaks. Because he’s a superhero.