You know it occurred to me that the ‘Spider family’ has become that expansive that stories and characters repeat themselves. Case and point a clone of Spider-Man becomes Scarlet Spider and Venom births another spawn. It isn’t really a lack of creativity per se more just a need to keep things moving forward.
Even take the main title at the moment; Superior Spider-man, Where Doc Ock is under the mask of Spider-Man and catching thieves just like flies. It is a bold concept seems fresh doesn’t it?, But let’s deconstruct it a little Genius inventor, Robot arms, No longer a villain and Now webslings. Well that’s what gave me an idea for this weeks ‘Where Are They Now?’ as I realized that Kid Ock (remember him?) followed a similar if a pinch less brainwashey route to heroics.
Week 11: Steel Spider, Going out on a limb
Who were they?: Essentially Kid Ock was a fanboy of Doctor Octopus, Who as well as being obsessed with the villain also shared some similarities such as an alliterative name (Ollie Osnick), Being a unfit teen yet also having an aptitude for science and invention. He first debuted in the 80’s and had a very short flirtation with mischief Spider-Man connected with the youth and put him on the right path. But being a fanboy this led him to replacing his earlier obsession with another as he then traded in the Ock costume for one with more webs.
The story itself wasn’t particularly important in the Spider-Man mythos but it was an interesting study of what makes Doc Ock and Peter so good as rivals. It is often said that the best villains should have life’s as a distorted parallel version of the hero and going on the qualities that made Ock appeal to Ollie you can see how they also apply to Pete who was also an unfit teenager with an aptitude for science and invention and on the more superficial level an alliterative name (but hey 95% of people in the Marvel universe have those, i mean even the Big Bang Theory pointed that out). But as Pete’s positive influence won out Ollie it does make you consider… Who is really Superior?
He was later showed sporadically and later adopted the Steel Spider persona as he grew older, No longer being an out of shape teenager but now as a man doing the right thing because of his role model.
What have they done recently?: Steel Spider last had a somewhat prominent arc in the Thunderbolts during Civil War in Thunderbolts 112-114 which was written by heavy hitter Warren Ellis and expertly drawn by Mike Deodato Jr. During this period Ollie strongly opposed the registration act and this put him on the radar of Norman Osborn. As head of the Thunderbolts, Norman was privy to files of unregistered superhumans via the governments Commission on Superhuman Affairs and upon looking for the Thunderbolts next target immediately burst into fits of laughter when he noticed Steel Spider mentioned in the files, So as an act of spite and not seriously a spearheading the act prepped a mission to take Steel Spider on.
As this was happening Steel Spider was taking increasing risks fighting crime, as his personal debts spiraled due to the cost of equipment and a great physical toll which is a given as he wasn’t bit by any radioactive Spider’s, he just happens to have really cool equipment. This leads him to upgrading his tentacles with various weapons e.g. a gun arm. As the Thunderbolts approached the city (Pheonix, Arizona), Ollie informally teams up with local heroes American Eagle and Sepulcher, But us the Thunderbolt’s are about to disembark their jet Ollie strikes first and with almost surgical precision beating The Thunderbolts before they have even left the jet knocking Venom off of the rooftop he was on.
As the fight progresses over the last issues we see the Steel Spider’s upgrades were very much successful as he holds his own against Venom and Radioactive Man with a little assist from Sepulcher and American Eagle. As the Thunderbolts tried to reassure American Eagle and Sepulcher that they only needed to capture Steel Spider who was at that time breaking the Registration Act and that they were going by the book until Venom got a fluke hit on Steel Spider and proceeded to eat his arm as though it it were Epic Meal time and the arm was made out bacon.
The fight was over, Steel Spider very very much maimed and beaten ready to be confined in the Marvel’s Civil War Guantanamo Bay stand in that is the Negative Zone.
What can we expect next?: As with many of these articles I can’t really say, merely speculate. But after Civil War he certainly has a graveyard worth of bones to pick with people like Tony Stark whose crusade for registration led to his imprisonment, Norman Osborn who sent his personal hit team to take him out, Venom and Scorpion who seriously maimed him. The possibilities for what they could do with that unresolved plot thread are certainly exciting. Not forgetting that his idol; Spider-Man is acting strangely is if he was actually another person who Ollie doesn’t care much for. All I am saying is it would make an interesting 2 or 3 issue arc if Dan Slott were to give it a whirl.
There is also that he hasn’t completely fallen off of Marvel’s radar appearing in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon last year in the episode “Spidah-Man!”, it would just be nice if that translated into something more substantial in the comics like any of the ways previously speculated.
That is all this week but next time you folks tweet
death threats to @DanSlott then why not suggest he use Steel Spider in some capacity, You never know till you try.