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When Flash Thompson Explained to Peter Parker That They’re Not Friends

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
When Flash Thompson Explained to Peter Parker That They’re Not Friends

In every installment of “If I Pass This Way Again,” we look at odd comic book plot points that were rarely (sometimes NEVER!) mentioned again after they were first introduced.

Now, as most folks know, Flash Thompson has been a part of Peter Parker’s life as long as there has BEEN a Peter Parker in comics. And right from the get go, he was a jerk to Peter…

However, over time, they began to hang out in groups, with Flash still giving Peter a hard time, but with it having a friendlier connotation to it. Then, over time, they just hung out as regular friends (Gerry Conway DID have them actually get to know each other in Amazing Spider-Man #138, when Peter crashed at Flash’s apartment for a night, but that was admittedly a pretty brief bit).

Steven Grant, though, clearly thought, “Huh, what an odd little evolution this was. When did they actually become FRIENDS?” and in Spectacular Spider-Man #207, a few months after their mutual friend, Harry Obsorn, died, Flash was attacked by the super-villain Tombstone (during Flash’s gig as an ambulance driver) and while he was recovering, he gave it some thought and decided that he and Peter were NOT friends…

I remember back in the day thinking, “Wow, whether I agree with him or not, Grant is really going somewhere new with this approach.” Then, of course, Grant left the series soon after that.

A few months later, in a Spider-Man Unlimited #6 back-up story by Tom Brevoort and Mike Kanterovich (with art by Scott Kolins and Keith Williams), Peter and Flash are right back to hanging out as buddies, while Flash deals with a former high school football opponent who bears a brudge against Flash…

Obviously, the Clone Saga did not have a lot of time for Peter/Flash stuff, but oddly enough, Ben Reilly DID make it a point to sneak a look to see how his old high school rival was doing, albeit in the creepiest way possible (sunglasses and pulled up hoodie and you’re just hanging in the background checking out kids? What the what? And how could you risk Flash still recognizing Ben as Peter?).

I like that Flash doesn’t seem to be too concerned about some stranger lurking around the kids.

Okay, so Ben Reilly becomes Spider-Man and ALL of the old supporting cast are replaced. But Peter and Mary Jane return and Norman Osborn gets all of the old gang together in a trap at the Daily Bugle. He tricks Flash into coming by making it seem like an invitation from Peter in Sensational Spider-Man #11, and Flash seems pumped about seeing his old buddy, Peter…

And once IN the Daily Bugle party, Flash specifically talks about how good of a friend Peter is…

So, yeah, everyone just ignored Grant’s plot. I would have liked to have seen the things he brought up be addressed, maybe see Peter put an actual effort into making a real connection to Flash.

Okay, that’s it for this installment! If anyone else has a suggestion of a plot point that was quickly ignored by everyone else, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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