Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.
Today’s question comes from Lynn J. and, to an extent, Charlie E., as the main question is an old Lynn question about who currently knows Spider-Man’s secret identity, while Charlie wrote more recently specifically asking about Deadpool’s knowledge of Spider-Man’s identity. So let’s get on with it – who currently knows Spider-Man’s secret identity?
In Civil War #2 by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven and Dexter Vines, Spider-Man reveals his secret identity to the world…
He soon regrets this and in the ensuing chaos, his beloved Aunt May is almost killed because he dodged a sniper’s bullet meant for him (sent by the Kingpin, who, now knowing who Spider-Man was, wanted revenge on him).
Spider-Man turned to Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic and Iron Man to make the world forget his identity, and they worked out a scientific and magical spell that did so. In Amazing Spider-Man #641 by Joe Quesada and Paolo Rivera, we see the spell in action (this is a flashback – the spell went into action as of Amazing Spider-Man #546), as Peter decides to bring Mary Jane into the spell, as well, to make HER not forget his identity, as well…
This move backfires when Mary Jane finds out and thinks about it and decides that, honestly, she would have preferred NOT remembering his identity, since there is so much stress on her being a part of this life. This leads to their break-up.
Okay, so Spider-Man and Mary Jane open up as the only people who know Spider-Man’s secret identity post-Amazing Spider-Man #546.
The deal with the spell is that if Spider-Man reveals his identity to someone, they’ll remember it, but they won’t be able to figure it out themselves without him revealing it.
In Amazing Spider-Man #591, by Dan Slott, Barry Kitson and Jesse Delperdang, the spell is first sort of revealed, and Spider-Man reveals his identity to the Fantastic Four…
In New Avengers #51, Spider-Man reveals his identity to his New Avengers teammates, so Clint Barton, Mockingbird, Iron Fist, Spider-Woman, Carol Danvers, Wolverine, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Bucky Barnes and then Doctor Strange all learned his secret identity…
Peter’s clone, Kaine, knows his identity since he’s, you know, his clone (and thus, is “unmasked”) and as a result of Kaine being “unmasked” to them, Kraven’s family perhaps knows Spider-Man’s secret identity, as well (Dan Slott says that he doesn’t think they do know, so we should likely defer to him on this, seeing as how he writes Amazing Spider-Man, after all)…
(Spider-Girl, Madame Web and the current Madame Web, Julia Carpenter, all learn his secret identity at that time, as well)
That’s the same reason the Jackal learned Spider-Man’s identities. He had all of these clones of Spider-Man that are also clones of Peter Parker, so that worked as “unmasking” Spider-Man for him…
Since Peter is walking around without his mask around Steve Rogers in Avenging Spider-Man #5, let’s assume Steve knows, as well…
Things changed in Amazing Spider-Man #688 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos. Go to the next page to find out how!
In that issue, where most of the people of New York City got Spider-Man’s powers, Peter Parker essentially “unmasked” himself to the city to convince them all to use their new powers (along with his “new” powers) to help save the day…
What he didn’t realize was that this would count as “unmasking” for the spell, so now, there was no longer any protection from the spell. People who didn’t remember will still not remember, but now people CAN figure it out on their own. Which is what Peter’s then-girlfriend, Carlie Cooper, does, in Amazing Spider-Man #673 by Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli…
In Spider-Men, we learn that Mysterio learned it as he switched between the regular and the Ultimate Universe (as Peter’s identity was public knowledge in the Ultimate Universe followning his death). Mysterio ended up trapped on the Ultimate Universe, but I don’t know his status today. Miles Morales learned Peter’s identity in that story (again, Peter’s identity is known to everyone in the Ultimate Universe)…
Doctor Octopus learned his identity when they switched bodies, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #699 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos…
While in Spider-Man’s body, Doctor Octopus dated a brilliant scientist named Anna Maria Marconi. In the relaunched Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, she figured out Spidey’s identity…
and then three issues later, we meet Silk, who was ALSO bitten by the radioactive spider at the science experiment way back when, so she knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man…
Obviously, all of the alternate Spider-Men of the Spider-Verse crossover know his secret identity since they’re Peter Parker, as well.
In Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 by Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness, we learn that Deadpool does NOT know Spider-Man’s secret identity…
Iron Man definitely doesn’t know, from 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man #2…
So I guess I’d say the following people know Spider-Man’s identity:
Anna Maria Marconi
(presumably Franklin and Valeria Richards) – Dan Slott confirmed that they were never told Spidey’s secret by their family
The Kravens (Dan Slott thinks that they don’t know, so I don’t mind removing them)
Mysterio (Dan Slott suggests that when the Ultimate Universe ceased to exist, Mysterio returned to the regular Marvel Universe sans the information about Peter’s identity, which is fair enough to me)
Madame Web knew, so the current Madam Web knows, as well
I was counting Spider-Man 2099 as an alternate Spider-Man, but fair enough, Spider-Man 2099
Name other people who know in the comments section and I’ll add ’em in!
Thanks to Lynn and Charlie for the question! If anyone else has a question they’d like to see answered, drop me a line at email@example.com