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Remember to Forget – That Time Spider-Man’s Parents Turned Out to Be Robots

by  in Comic News Comment

In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are best left forgotten. Here is an archive of past installments.

Today we take a look at the three-part storyline from Amazing Spider-Man #386-388 that revealed that Spider-Man’s long-lost parents were actually robots, all part of one of the oddest master plans a Spider-Man villain ever had.

Our story began in Amazing Spider-Man #365 (by David Michelinie, Mark Bagley and Randy Emberlin) where Spidey learns that his presumed long dead parents are actually alive…


They were just in a Russian prison camp for twenty or so years.

So the next twenty issues show Peter getting to know his parents. However, Aunt May is not so convinced. She hires a private investigator, and the P.I.’s search comes up negative, which is where we are when Lifetheft begins in Amazing Spider-Man #386 (by the same creative team of #365)…




You have to love the way Peter made it all about himself there. “Aunt May might have Alzheimer’s? Why do all the bad things happen to ME?”

The next issue, Peter reveals his secret identity to his parents…



All nice, right?

WRONG!

As you can see from the next page…


Oh boy.

This sets up #388, where we learn that they are basically robots…


Later, we learn their purpose…



If you’re thinking, “But wait, isn’t that a whole lot of time and effort and scientific breakthroughs just to possibly learn Spider-Man’s secret identity from a guy who Spidey knows?” Well, you are correct. It makes no sense.

Spidey shows up, of course. And his mom-bot fights her programming…


His dad-bot, though, not so much. This leads to a rather bizarre confrontation…



That’s some creepy stuff right there.

In any event, in the end, mom-bot destroys dad-bot. She is then “killed” by the Vulture, though. As she “dies,” she tells Peter how proud she is of him.

After seeing that, the upcoming Clone Saga (which was only issues away) was in some ways a step UP for the Spider-Man titles, plot-wise. By the way, Lifetheft led into a storyline where Spidey hunts down the Chameleon to get revenge (at the end, Spider-Man learns that Harry Osborn was the one who suggested to the Chameleon to go after the Parkers. Even in death, the Green Goblin was a jerk).