A History of Spider-Man’s Role in the ‘Civil War’ Comics

     March 11, 2016


Possible SPOILERS ahead!

With Spider-Man returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let’s take an in-depth look at what his role was in the original Civil War comic book arc (which is serving as the basis for Captain America: Civil War), how he impacted that storyline, and what this may mean for the future.

Humble Beginnings

Before Civil War began in the Marvel comic book universe, Peter Parker had finally taken his place among the Avengers. For nearly all of his superhero career, Spider-Man had worked on his own. Adverse to groups in general, Peter never found himself a “team player” — whenever he had worked together with other heroes, he was quick to make this point known. One example was an early adventure (taking place in the comic series Avengers, issues #314 to 318 respectively) in which Spidey followed the Avengers into space, defeated the current Guardians of the Galaxy foe, Nebula, and then when he was offered membership, declined, stating that it was a bit too over his head. Another example was in the first issue of his solo series, Amazing Spider-Man #1, in which Spidey encounters the Fantastic Four and demands membership, only to be told that the gig doesn’t come with a paycheck, and so he declines.

spider-man-marvel-cinematic-universeMany years later, though, Spider-Man finally found himself on a newer incarnation of the team, alongside other heroes such as Wolverine, Spider-Woman, and Luke Cage. During this time, Peter, along with his wife Mary Jane and Aunt May, began working directly for Tony Stark as his right hand man. It was around this tenure that ruminations of a “Superhero Registration Act” began to murmur among the ranks of the United States Congress. Iron Man, realizing that some bad juju was beginning to form, tried nipping it in the bud by taking Peter along with him to Washington, D.C. in an attempt to talk some sense into the politicians. As well as making Peter his number two, he also redesigned Spidey’s costume, which many dub the “Iron Spider” suit. The suit not only looked closer to Iron Man’s armor, it also gave Peter a slew of new powers such as internet access, the ability to fly, and three mechanical legs that shot from his back (why they didn’t give him four to fit in with the spider-motif is beyond me).

When Peter and Tony arrive, Spidey decides to take the stand in costume, and does his best to convince the bigwigs of their potential mistake. Shocking to no one, it doesn’t go that well, as Peter’s testimony isn’t admissible unless he gives his real name. Defeated, the two leave and begin to make preparations for the possible passing of the Superhero Registration Act, which happens sooner than expected thanks to a group of inexperienced heroes, named the New Warriors, inadvertently causing the destruction of a school in Stanford, Connecticut.

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