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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Spidey Can’t Sense People Who Look Like His Friends?

by  in Comic News Comment
The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Spidey Can’t Sense People Who Look Like His Friends?

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Reader David Pryde suggested I spotlight the change Gerry Conway made to Spider-Man’s spider-sense…

When Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense debuted, it was fairly nebulous thing. It was just some sort of supernatural instinct. Like, from Amazing Spider-Man #1…


But eventually it came to be a “danger” sense. In Amazing Spider-Man #80, Spidey can tell that Captain Stacy is really the Chameleon because of his spider-sense…



In Amazing Spider-Man #114, one of Gerry Conway’s first issues, he introduces a new wrinkle. Spidey’s spider-sense only warns him to danger from people he doesn’t already view as his friends! As you can see, this is how Aunt May is able to sneak up on him with a vase…



In Amazing Spider-Man #148, Conway continues this idea by having Spidey hang out with Miles Warren without any warning signals going off…


Later in the issue, Warren explains why that is…


This little retcon, though, has been pretty much entirely ignored since Conway left the book. Like from Amazing Spider-Man #388, where androids have been impersonating Peter Parker’s parents. They have been programmed to be nice until they discover Spider-Man’s secret identity, at which point their evil programming kicks in. So while they were nice, Spidey’s spider-sense did not go off. Now that they have been triggered…



There are plenty of other examples, of course (like Hogboblin specifically finding a way to block Spider-Man’s spider-sense so he can’t tell who he is). I just figured this example worked best.

Conway, by the way, even used the change back when he returned to the books in the late 1980s. Here, from Web of Spider-Man #51, is Peter’s spider-sense going off when the Chameleon impersonated J. Jonah Jameson…