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Drawing Crazy Patterns – Spider-Man Unmasked!

by  in Comic News Comment
Drawing Crazy Patterns – Spider-Man Unmasked!

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.

Today we take a look at times Spider-Man has been unmasked in public (and the corresponding way in which he was able to successfully hide his secret identity each time).


The very first instance of this theme occurred in Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man #12, when Peter Parker fights Doctor Octopus while dealing with a very serious flu that makes him so weak that he can’t really compete with Doc Ock, leading to Doc Ock kicking his ass easily and pulling off his mask…

As you can see from above, since he did not really have superpowers at the time, it was simple to convince people that he was just a dumb kid trying to impersonate Spider-Man to be heroic.

Amazing Spider-Man #39 (by Stan Lee and John Romita) is a bit of a stretch, so I am including it here only because it was a memorable issue. So this installment you get SIX examples instead of just five! Wow, lucky you!

The Green Goblin captures Peter Parker while in his Peter Parker identity but pretty much reveals that he is Spider-Man in the battle. It is in the middle of Peter’s neighborhood, but it doesn’t look like anyone notices.

The next issue, it is resolved by the Green Goblin getting amnesia and forgetting Peter’s identity (for now).

I guess I could do a Drawing Crazy Patterns on people legitimately discovering Peter’s identity in the future!

Next up is Amazing Spider-Man #87, by Stan Lee, John Romita and Jim Mooney. In it, Spider-Man believes that he has lost his powers, so the only thing to do, of course, is to reveal his secret identity to his friends…

After doing so, he realizes his mistake and runs away. He then goes to the hospital to discover that once again, he has the flu (while you might ask, “REALLY, Spidey? The SAME thing that took your powers away last time and it didn’t occur to you?” but to be fair, Spidey’s brain was kind of addled FROM the flu, ya know?).

He then enlists the help of the Prowler to pretend to be Spider-Man to save his identity…

Next up is Amazing Spider-Man #105 (by Stan Lee, Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia), when Professor Smythe captures Peter changing from being Spider-Man on camera….

In the next issue (with Romita stepping in for Kane), Spidey has a pretty ludicrous plan…

And yet, when he puts it into action, it WORKS!

Luckily, Smythe was not big on thinking things over.

Next, in Amazing Spider-Man #151 by Len Wein, Ross Andru and John Romita, Spider-Man is photographed getting rid of the body of the Peter Parker clone…

J. Jonah Jameson eventually gets a hold of the pictures and in Amazing Spider-Man #169 (by Wein, Andru and Mike Esposito) tries to use them to prove that Peter Parker is Spider-Man (under the unusual “Peter is dead and Spidey is pretending to be him via a mask or whatever” theory). However, Spider-Man had come across the photos in Jameson’s office earlier so he was ready for Jameson when JJJ showed up to confront Peter…

Finally and perhaps most famously, in Civil War #2 (by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven and Dexter Vines), to show how much faith he has in the government’s new superhero registration program, Spider-Man unmasks to the public…

In Amazing Spider-Man #641 (by Joe Quesada and Paolo Rivera), we learn that Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic and Iron Man (after Aunt May is nearly murdered as a result of Spider-Man’s identity being public knowledge) conspired to put together a techno-magical spell that would remove the memory of Spider-Man’s identity from everyone in the world…

Spidey later pulls Mary Jane in with him so she remembers too, only she gets pissed off when she realizes that she’d prefer NOT to know. This causes her to realize that she can’t be around Peter right now and they break up (hence the status quo at the beginning of Brand New Day).

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