<i>By <a href=http://www.twitter.com/graemem>Graeme McMillan, Newsarama Contributor</a></i> <p>The spider is out the bag Marvel's <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/spider-men-interview-mark-paniccia.html><b>Spider-Men</b> series</a> will feature Miles Morales and the original Peter Parker teaming up to fight crime across two different universes, despite <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/spider-men-joe-quesada.html>younger Joe Quesada not being in favor of such crossovers</a>. <p>But with just <em>two</em> Spider-Men, is this really going to be the best celebration of ol' web head's 50th birthday? Think of all the other wall-crawlers that could've been invited to the party! Like these 10! <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
Yes, Venom isn't exactly Spider-Man as such but the Mac Gargan version did spend sometime as "Dark Spider-Man" during that crazy period when Norman Osborn managed to convince the Marvel Universe that all of his Avengers were the regular guys who'd all just changed their costumes and body shapes at exactly the same time. <p>Not convinced...? Well, the Venom symbiotic was also Spider-Man's costume for awhile, so that's got to count for something, even if it's just a one panel cameo at some point.
What's that? Ben's dead? Well, sure but if <b>Spider-Men</b> can push alternate realities together, why can't it also mix in a little bit of time travel to a point where Peter's Clone Brother believed that he was the original Peter Parker and took over the family business of web-slinging and quip-making for a brief but memorable period. <p>After all, Miles may think that the superhero business is pretty messed up already, but how weird would it be to meet a clone who didn't even know if he was the real deal or not?
Miles Morales was inspired by the sacrifice of a teenaged Peter Parker, and will get to meet a more mature version in <b>Spider-Men</b> but how would he react to the even older, less carefree Peter Parker known to fans of the still-missed <em>Spider-Girl</em> series? <p>More to the point, how would the regular Marvel U Peter deal with seeing a version of himself that <em>did</em> marry MJ and had a child with her? Given the multiply-cancelled-and-currently-disappeared status of the MC2 universe, it's incredibly unlikely that we'd get to see this team-up... but wouldn't it be great if we could?
The original alternate Spider-Man, Miguel O'Hara, has already met his regular MU counterpart in both the 1995 one-shot <em>Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man</em> (Snappy titles were apparently not a big thing back then. Descriptive, sure, but <em>snappy</em>...? Not so much) and 2009's <em>Timestorm</em> relaunch, but it'd be nice to see Marvel's first part-Latino Spider-Man meet its second. <p>If nothing else, they could address their similar costume color schemes and quite what is so inspiring about Peter Parkers of any universe.
For those who never got to read any of Yamanaka Akira's weird but wonderful Spider-Man-inspired manga (which sees Sho Amano become the costumed crime fighter instead of Peter Parker, having the kind of fun adventures that would probably make original Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko shake his head in confused disdain), you probably have no idea why both Miles and Peter would enjoy running into this webheaded analogue character quite so much. <p>Let's just say that, as good as <b>Spider-Men</b> is likely to be, the addition of Spider-Man J would up the ante on the "wacky" scale no matter how high it already was and, really, when <em>isn't</em> crazier Spidey better Spidey?
Another international version of the character, Pavitr Prabhakar may not have had the career his American counterpart has after his creation in 2005, he only made it through one four-issue storyline but considering his origin sees him being granted powers by a Yogi so that he could fight demons, maybe he could give Peter some advice about what to do if he ever happens to run into Mephisto again, considering how that went down last time.
Admittedly, Peter Parquagh isn't a Spider-Man <em>per se</em> (He called himself The Spider, after all), but the Elizabethan alternative to the busiest superhero in the Marvel Universe that isn't called Wolverine has all manner of qualities that would earn him inclusion in a supergroup of Spider-Men, not least of which are spying skills that require the kind of silence and determined focus that seem to elude both Peter and Miles during times of great stress... which is to say, most of their careers.
You may say that this idea is in bad taste, but think about it: How could any reality-spanning story where Spider-Man meets Spider-Man have a better villain than Spider-Man? <p>We've already seen the Zombieverse cross over with both the Ultimate and regular Marvel Universes, so there's precedence for this to happen, and how much fun would it be to see Peter and Miles chasing after an undead version of themselves/their inspiration, respectively, to stop him from eating their loved ones' brains? The comic potential alone would almost make the whole thing worth it...!
Everyone always forgets the alternate universe that is Stan Lee's daily comic strip Spider-Man, but if there was any reality-crossing webhead team-up action we really need to see, it's one where the newspaper Peter can explain to the regular MU Peter that his marriage also got retconned away, but then <a href=http://blog.newsarama.com/2009/05/24/spider-man-newspaper-strip-revives-the-spider-marriage/>brought back because the readers didn't approve</a>.
If ever there was a time to bring Peter Porker into mainstream Marvel continuity and that's something that everyone can agree needs to happen at some point, right? then it has to be a miniseries celebrating the appeal of multiple Spider-Men and the 50 year career of Marvel's most popular hero and all he's inspired. <p>It's not even as if there could be better way to make this happen than a reality-bending tale that neither lead character is likely to forget in a hurry (Unless, of course, it's never referred to outside of the core series, which is always a possibility on this kind of thing), which is what's already on the cards... Can we dare to hope that Brian Bendis or Sara Pichelli can make this happen at some point during the five-issue series? It's time to bring home the bacon, Marvel just not, you know, in <em>bacon</em> form, because, well. You know.