In this feature, I spotlight storylines that have been, well, left unresolved. Click here for an archive of all storylines featured so far.
Today, we take a look at the recent “reveal” that Spider-Man has a sister that he didn’t know about.
It’s kind of weird. I think of this as a super recent plot development, but someone cited this the other week and I realized, “Oh, hey, this is actually almost two years old now. That’s not NOT recent, but it’s not really all that recent.” Time flies, I suppose.
Anyhow, in the 2014 original graphic novel, Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business, by Mark Waid and James Robinson and Gabriele Dell’Otto and Werther Dell’Edera, some mysterious bad guys suddenly try to kidnap Peter Parker. He breaks free, but then lands on a car that has been following him – a car driven by…his sister?!?!
He’s incredulous, of course, but she shows her proof…
Then she reveals that she’s part of the “family business”….
She later explains how she discovered her parents’ identity…
Later, they meet with a former colleague of the Parkers, and he explains to them why the bad guys want Peter so much…
But, as you might have noticed, he picked up her tea cup to do some sort of test with it.
Okay, so the Kingpin is trying to access the Sleepers and he needs Peter to do it. But Peter and Teresa, naturally, want to get to the bunker to get rid of the Sleepers because, you know, they’re good guys. Along the way, Teresa discovers Peter’s secret identity.
So they get to the bunker, but the Kingpin is there. He also happens to have some shocking news along with him. Go to the next page to see what his shocking revelation is…
Well, first off, he now knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.
But moreover, we learn that the Kingpin used the telepathic villain Mentallo to MAKE Teresa and Peter think that they were related!
Still, Peter can’t let Teresa be hurt, so he agrees to access the bunker. He then has to fight the Sleeper. He wins, of course, but then has to convince Teresa not to kill the Kingpin for the emotional trauma he put her through. He succeeds. But then the Kingpin manages to get the upper hand and is about to kill Teresa when Mentallo (who was sort of out of it this entire story, just doing Kingpin’s commands) snaps and wipes EVERYONE’S short term memory, so now they all forget that they know Spider-Man’s secret identity and Teresa has forgotten the whole “Teresa Parker” story entirely. So she and Peter part as just allies…
But then the epilogue…there’s always an epilogue, people!!
Note that Waid and Robinson are obviously smart writers and play that ending cagily, so perhaps it doesn’t even count as NOT resolving the story, as the reaction of the Parkers’ colleague doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but I think combined with the flashbacks it is enough to at least suggest that whether Teresa exists is an open-ended question.
Anyhow, you all should really get a copy of this graphic novel. It was an absolute blast – great art, fun story, interesting new character and possibly even a long-lasting piece of Spider-Man history (or not).
If you have a suggestion for an interesting unresolved comic book story, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!