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Doctor Strange Introduces Spider-Man to the Web-Slinger's New Best Friend

The following contains spoilers from Doctor Strange #390 written by Donny Cates and drawn by Frazier Irving and Chip Zdarsky.

Spider-Man has always been at his best when his bad luck is exercised to comedic effect, usually to highlight how utterly inept he has at having any sort of stability in his dual lives. He's just a human disaster, albeit one with a good set of morals, who always manages to eke out a win. And in the latest issue of Doctor Strange, thanks to the Sorcerer Supreme, the Parker Luck is taken to a new and hilarious level.

As Stephen is grappling with having his magic restored and accepting that he has friends who recently helped him out of a hellish bind, Spidey and Stephen's former apprentice Zelda Stanton go to have a chat with him. Stephen and Zelda ended on a sour note several issues ago, but she’s coming to him to finally have the talk for which they needed. Spidey tags along because he wanted to check up on the Sorcerer Supreme (and also gawk at Strange's ghost dog Bats), but he also wanted a favor, and that's to be able to talk to the spider he kept in his pocket for just this occasion.

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Thus begins a short mini-comic from Cates and Chip Zdarsky where Peter (in a cute sweater with a spider symbol, no less) talks to his spider in a shared mindscape just to see what it would like to talk to the animal of his namesake. The only problem is that this is Peter Parker here, so of course he goes and fails spectacularly at impressing his little pet. To the spider, not eating criminals or living in webs doesn't make Peter an actual Spider-Man and more just a giant disappointment.

Peter's spider then tries to console him, but true to Zdarsky fashion, that's where things get hilariously bleak. The spider believes Peter's accomplished so much in a year, and since spiders typically live that long, it flat out says Peter's death is definitely in the near future, followed by a familiar Jonathan Hickman quote: "Everything dies." And then Peter returns to his brain, clearly traumatized and left to ponder if he's due to die yet again.

As hilarious as it is, the mini-story does reinforce the absurdity that is Spider-Man's life and weirdly helps him connect with Stephen just a little more. When he gives Stephen a pep talk by reminding him of the physical and mental toll being a superhero has on a person, it feels more genuine because he just got told he's about to die by a spider in his pocket. Even among mystical company, Peter's been through some weird stuff, and he offers a rather interesting perspective to it all in that he got a chance to walk away from it and found that he couldn't. And that makes him the perfect person to talk to Stephen Strange before he takes off to the stars.

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