Warning: contains spoilers for Immortal X-Men #4!
Marvel’s Spider Man is officially a mutant and belongs to the X-Men – at least that’s what the Daily Bugle believes. Peter Parker is New York’s most visible hero in the Marvel universe, and while he is loved by many citizens, he is equally hated and vilified by the press. Now in Immortal X-Man #4J Jonah Jameson takes advantage of a recent X-Men controversy to spread the lie that Spider-Man is, in fact, a mutant.
Peter Parker was rather famously bitten by a radioactive spider back in Great fantasy #15 in 1963, and gained spin powers about a day later. Radioactivity became the source for many Silver Age superhero powers, including the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Hazmat, and more — and while adaptations like Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider Man movie turned the power source into a genetically engineered spider, the comics never changed that aspect of the origin. Very few people except Spider-Man himself know the source of his power, and he keeps it a secret along with his entire identity.
In Immortal X-Men #4Written by Keiron Gillen with art by Michele Bandini, the secret of the X-Men’s immortality is revealed to the world beyond Krakoa. This is shown in an incendiary headline “IMMORTAL X-MEN: The Conquerors of Mars have conquered much more!” A separate headline in the corner of the front page asks if Spider-Man is a mutant. “We’ll look at some of the signs that indicate ‘yes!’” promises the bugle.
J. Jonah Jameson is nothing but an opportunist, and his idea of printing an article stating that Spider-Man is a mutant is genius right now. The revelation that the X-Men (and all mutants) can reliably cheat death with their resurrection protocols means sentiment against mutants is at an all-time high. By linking Spider-Man to the mutants, Jameson can, in his mind, force the people of New York to hate the local wallcrawler as much as the X-Men. Jameson has hated Spider-Man for many years and has made it his life’s goal to see him leave New York thanks to his own articles in the Daily Bugle.
Unfortunately for Jameson, Spider-Man is loved by New Yorkers. Peter’s name has often been dragged through the mud, and he has always come out on top; Despite Jameson’s best efforts, Spider-Man continues to swing through town and save people, regardless of the negative press. Plus, it seems New Yorkers probably don’t even… concern about the origin of Spider-Man’s powers – even if he’s a mutant, he’s bound to the city in such an iconic way that not even an association with the X-Men will bring him down.
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