WARNING: The following article contains mild spoilers for the two most recent issues of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man.
Since it first hit shops last summer, the current volume of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man has been a blast to read. Writer Chip Zdarsky (who just signed a Marvel-exclusive deal) brings his considerable comedy chops to bear while still delivering the same sort of thrills and action that Spidey's been giving readers for over 50 years. Zdarsky and his various collaborators are known for sneaking in all sorts of background jokes and details, and the one that popped up in this week's Peter Parker calls back to a deep, yet important cut, in Marvel and television history.
The climax of Spectacular Spider-Man #300 saw Dr. Doom use his vaunted but modified time platform to send Spidey, his pseudo-sister Teresa, and J. Jonah Jameson (who, as of Peter Parker #6, has learned Spidey's true identity) back in time two weeks to stop the invasion of the cyborg alien race the Vomdi that the Tinkerer set in motion.
In the next issue, titled "Amazing Fantasy, Part 1," the reader learns that Doom's platform malfunctioned and sent them way too far back in time. All the way back to Spider-Man's teenage years, in fact! But the most surprising thing about the issue is a little background detail that might've slipped past you.
In a panel from a scene (pictured above) where the trio is trying to convince Teen Spidey that they are who they say they are, a toy robot can be seen on young Peter's desk. But a closer look reveals that that's not a random robot drawn by current series artist Joe Quinones and colorist Jordan Gibson.
That robot is none other than...Leopardon!