What If Peter Parker Wasn’t Spider-Man?!

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With Civil War out, moviegoers bare witness to the third actor to be casted as the spectacular Spider-Man. Tom Holland, the young actor of 19 years, swept people away with his performance of the wall-crawler. For more on my thoughts of the movie, click here to check out our review. Though many actors have donned the role of Peter Parker, it’s crazy to think of anyone else being Spider-Man besides Petey, not counting Miguel or Miles. Actually, there are many other versions of the web-head from different realities. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to What If issue #7, “What If someone else besides Spider-Man had been bitten by the radioactive spider?” Side note: “What If” comics take scenarios of what happened in comics and ask what would’ve transpired had something else happened.

 What_If-_Vol_1_7
As if someone didn’t think the title wasn’t long enough, they introduce three different scenarios for this What If. The first story is of Flash Thompson, bully of Peter Parker. In the main universe, Flash becomes friends with Peter and idolizes Spider-Man. Flash becomes a war hero, loses his legs, and eventually becomes Agent Venom. However, this story takes place the day of the spider bite so Flash is still egotistical.
Flash is bitten by the spider and leaves with two girls. Flash and the girls are almost hit by a car, except Flash shoves the car aside. After a good excuse of “people lifting cars in moments of crisis”, Flash decides to wrestle Crusher Hogan to test his strength and win 100 dollars.
So, I’m just going to be fair and say this story takes place in 1962 because of Amazing Fantasy 15. With inflation, 100 dollars would be a little under 800 bucks. Would you honestly wrestle a pro for possibly 3 minutes to earn 800 dollars? Okay so where’d I leave off? Oh yeah, Flash accidentally cracks the wrestler’s neck and flees from the police. Well, Flash decides that he’ll become a superhero! Yay?
Flash Thompson
Nay! So first off, the name Captain Spider seems really uninspired, I mean it can’t possibly get any worse… Anywho, the hair and mouth being revealed makes the mask seem pointless. The cape I don’t mind all too much when compared to other’s costumes. Flash doesn’t last long as he fights the Vulture and is quickly dropped from high up in the air. Flash did not create web shooters and plummets to his death. Peter Parker finds Flash dead and though he puts two and two together about the spider bite, Peter mourns over the loss of Flash Thompson.
The next story follows Betty Brant, Peter Parker’s first love. That’s right, Gwen Stacy was not Peter’s first love but rather the secretary of J. Jonah Jameson. The relationship went south because of Peter not spending much time with her. The two stayed friends but in this universe, she becomes more than just Betty Brant.
Attending the exhibit is now J. Jonah Jameson and Betty Brant, while Peter is still there. Betty is bitten by the spider and is caught by Peter before fainting. Jameson gives Betty the day off after having a tantrum and not wanting to lose “potential subscribers”. After a nice cup of coffee, Peter and Betty discuss how kind of a man J. Jonah Jameson is. Betty slams her fist on the table and it breaks in half.
After testing Peter’s theory, he figures the bite gave Betty the powers of a spider. Suggesting that Betty become a superheroine, Betty is hesitant about hurting others with her super strength. Peter says that he’ll make devices to prevent punches needing to be thrown. He also says he could make some extra money taking photos of her as the Amazing Spider-Lady! Betty starts working on a costume to “let loose” and on a better name.
Spider-Girl
This is the very first Spider-Girl, technically. This costume is so perplexing to me, it might actually be the worst Spider costume. The mask, boots, and gloves are so out of place, it’s like the artist replaced the body with a dress. the  However, the worst part of the costume is the webbing attached from her side to arm. This isn’t a cape or anything, it’s actually attached to her skin. Wouldn’t something that is “strong enough to hold back an elephant” hurt like hell on skin?
After a night of shooting, Peter is just walking with Spider-Girl down the street with no one bothering them. A thief runs by and Spider-Girl doesn’t stop him due to no web-fluid. Guess what? Uncle Ben is dead due to Spider-Man, I mean Girl, didn’t stop a thief. Outraged, Spider-Girl confronts Uncle Ben’s killer and realizes it was the thief, what a twist. Betty gives up on being a superheroine and Spider-Girl is no more!
At the exhibit is John Jameson, J. Jonah’s son, who is an astronaut. He also turns out to be Man-Wolf in the comics but not in this universe! After being bitten by the spider, John decides to show off his powers to his father. John puts two and two together about the bite, but J. Jonah only cares about his son becoming a superhero. … “You’re not gonna let your old man down, are you?” … John tells his dad he’ll think about it. J. Jonah says what is there to think about, soon everyone will know “Spider-Jameson!” This may come as a surprise to some but I really think J. Jonah is one of the worst characters in Spider-Man. I’ll go more in depth another time, but for now, what a piece of crap dad J. Jonah is.
 Jameson
Granted this is one of the more unique Spider-related costumes, but it’s kind of dorky. He has a jetpack which is badass but then he has that giant fish bowl. The goggles are pretty lame but not the first time that’s happened. I like that the costume resembles that of an Astronaut. The overall design of the suit is an appropriate superhero suit so it gets a pass.
Spider Jameson makes the Daily Bugle front page over and over again due to his father. A space capsule is falling to Earth, which in our universe, John Jameson was in there. This event in our universe is what started J. Jonah’s hate for Spider-Man. Well J. Jonah pressures his son to go save the capsule, though his son isn’t confident he’ll save the man in the capsule. Spider Jameson gets to the capsule but runs out of jetpack fuel. With only one course of action, Spider Jameson puts his body in between the capsule and the ground. Though he has died, Spider Jameson saves the man inside the capsule.
J. Jonah mourns over his son and laments pushing the hero business on his son. In honor of his son, J. Jonah promises to use the Daily Bugle to tell the world of the amazing heroes out there. He doesn’t want the world to reject them because of their powers and hidden identities. Even in a universe in which you try to do good, I still hate you J. Jonah because this only proves how much of a hypocrite you are.
In all three stories, Peter thinks about how the three got their powers. He studies the spider and is able to make a serum. Peter then takes the serum and becomes Spider-Man. Even in an alternate reality, Peter understands that he can have great power and it’s his responsibility to don the role. Even though this comic is kind of goofy, I do recommend reading this because you realize that Peter was always meant to be Spider-Man.