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Thursday, August 23, 2012 

What's the point of a sidekick for Spidey?

The New York Daily News says that Spider-Man's going to get a sidekick:
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. [...]

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.
Fans seem not to care anymore, and I'm certainly of the latter position, that this is just New Coke with no fizz. They make it sound like the sidekick is considerably more powerful than Spidey himself, who sure doesn't have flight on his list of powers. In that case, I don't see what the use is of taking him on as a sidekick; the guy should get his own independent career.

Besides, as was established years ago, Spidey was more comfortable working alone, even if he would join with other heroes in series like Marvel Team-Up to fight a crime that also draws their attention. Stan Lee wasn't fond of writing teens as only sidekicks, and this premise only ridicules his visions. They must even think that with Mary Jane largely out of the picture now, that makes this premise fine to do. Wrong. It doesn't.

Update: FOX News already reported on this 2 months ago, and says:
Spider-Man's days as a solo act in his friendly neighborhood war on crime appear to be over. After 50 years, the Wall-crawler is getting a sidekick.

Meet Alpha, a 15-year-old teenager named Andy Macguire who becomes the Spidey’s protégé in Marvel’s upcoming "Amazing Spider-Man No. 692." The issue, which will be released in August, celebrates Spider-Man’s 50th anniversary while introducing Alpha/Andy to the world in a story that pays homage to the Webslinger’s 1962 origin.

In this story, we find that Peter Parker's days as photographer for the Daily Bugle are behind him and he's now a scientist at a research firm. Andy is part of a student field trip that visits Parker's lab. He's in the wrong place (or perhaps the right place) at the wrong time when Parker's invention malfunctions and zaps him with great power. Parker - haunted by the way he got his own super abilities and how his failure to use them led to the murder of his beloved Uncle Ben so many years ago - feels an even greater responsibility to help young Andy. He feels he must help him discover his powers and teach him how to use them responsibly.
First, calling him "Alpha" is pretty weak. Second, I just realized that this is strongly hinting that Andy will know Peter's secret ID as Spidey, which isn't the right thing to do either. Among civilians, only Mary Jane really knew Peter's secret, as she let him know to his surprise in the mid-80s, and up until the turn of the century, not many superheroes knew his secret either.

And he's a lot different from Peter's personality when he first began:
Andy, Marvel editors and writers say, does not have a confidence problem. Like Parker of yesteryear, he is an outcast. However, Andy has a brashness, an edge, that Parker will find challenging, especially as he molds a potentially unpredictable teen who’s more powerful than he is. This may make Spider-Man and Alpha seem less Batman and Robin and more Odd Couple.
It'll make them seem ridiculous and only prove the point that Andy/Alpha has no serious need for a mentor. At worst, it's bound to make Spidey look foolish.
Fans have continued to love Spidey because of Peter Parker. Sure, they dig the creepy costume. They marvel at the ass-kickings he dishes out and the way he strings up his enemies in spider webs. They wish they had his knack for trash talk. But they stick with Wall-crawler – and have followed him for almost 700 issues of "Amazing Spider-Man" - because they’ve seen him struggle to pay the rent. They’ve watched his roller coaster relationship with the love of his life, Mary Jane. They watched him lose his job at the Daily Bugle.
Just like the previous article I blogged about, this too won't say anything critical about how they're handling Spidey today or how having Mephisto erase the marriage was one of the biggest slaps in the face a Spider-Fan could experience from the Quesada regime. And now that I think of it, I don't like how they're calling his costume "creepy" either. And given how few fans are still around to buy and read Spidey's series, their claim fans still stick with Webhead till the very end doesn't tell an honest picture either.

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Today in "we've run out of ideas..." Spidey doesn't need a sidekick. He needs his marriage to be restored and all the nonsense from the Final Chapter to present to be erased. I wonder how long it'll be before Dan "Set the Record Straight" Slott shows up on here and defends the move?

Didn't we already go there with the Spectacular Spider-Kid in the 70's and 80's. Wasn't the point of Spider-Man to prove teenagers could be super-heroes, themselves, rather than be the sidekicks, like Bucky or Robin? Silly me.

Like Carl, I'll wait for Slott to show up and yell at us, because Marvel always knows what it's doing.

Slott must have a Google alert for whenever his name is mentioned on the web, no wonder any direct mention of his name brings such a nuisance writer out of the woodwork.

LOL, I hadn't thought of that. But it would explain how he almost always manages to show up here whenever his name is mentioned. He actively goes around the web trolling people's blogs and forums to yell at them if they dislike his stories. He hasn't shown up at my blog yet, though, and I've written a few posts about his behavior on the internet, mostly recently in my post about Rob Liefeld showing up here.

Aw man, did you delete a comment? What did Sloth say??

Spider-Man before he sold his soul to the devil: 100,000 copies a month. Sometimes 200,000.

Spider-Man since that excrescence: 40,000 copies at best, and a lot of that is legacy.

A sidekick? How DC.

So it pays homage to Spider-man's origin. Maybe this means he'll get killed off by a petty criminal in the first issue.

Could be worse, the sidekick could've been named 'Lambda.' Hooo-hoooo I just kill myself!

Ok, sorry...

I don't think Slott commented on this particular post, Hube. What we referring to were his past "visits" to this blog where he claims we're all "misinformed" about how Spider-Man is doing without providing any numbers to back up his claims and how he comes here to, as per the nickname I've given him, "set the record straight" because criticizing him apparently "affects his livelihood."

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