Following last issue’s surprise moment in which Peter Parker and Spider-Man came face-to-face, Amazing Spider-Man #3 from writer Nick Spencer and artists Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, and Laura Martin goes about solving the mystery of how such a thing is possible in the most “Spider-Man” way ever.
Spoilers ahead for Amazing Spider-Man #3.
As it turns out, Peter and his doppelganger’s split is a result of his contact with the Isotope Genome Accelerator – the same machine that irradiated the spider that bit him as a teenager. After coming into contact with the machine, there are two Peters – one with all of his spider-powers and which is tied to the Spider-Man identity, and the other a seemingly normal guy in a relationship with Mary Jane.
But there’s more to the twist – for the whole issue, Peter feels like something is wrong, despite how well the arrangement of having both Peter Parker and Spider-Man running around is working out. When he finally discusses the Isotope Genome Accelerator with Curt Connors, Connors shows him a mouse and its duplicate, created by the machine.
While the original mouse maintains all of the potential and knowledge of its peak performance, the duplicate mouse is left as a witless , inhibited shell – or, as Connors says it, one gets all the power, the other all the responsibility.
Peter realizes what this means for him just as his Spider-Man doppelganger manages to rewire and hijack a Tri-Sentinel that is destroying Midtown Manhattan.
The story continues in August 22’s Amazing Spider-Man #4.