www.cbr.com

Peter Parker Sure Likes to Create Fake Photographs, Doesn't He?

In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Note that these lists are inherently not exhaustive. They are a list of five examples (occasionally I'll be nice and toss in a sixth). So no instance is "missing" if it is not listed. It's just not one of the five examples that I chose.

This is a rare time where I think the recurring bit is SO distinct that I'm sharing it even though there are only four examples!

As everyone knows (as it is a whole part of his basic status quo), Peter Parker is a fairly unethical journalist in that he takes photos of his own battles as Spider-Man and then sells said photos to J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle without disclosing that he is the subject of his own photos. It's not QUITE as unethical as Clark Kent interviewing Superman, but it's the same basic idea.

But whatever, it was an accepted part of Spider-Man's whole deal for decades.

However, there are times when Peter took the next step and actually faked photos!

The first instance was really early on, in Amazing Spider-man #4 (by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko) when Peter defeats Sandman but realizes that he forgot to get any photos of the fight.

So he just throws some sand into the sky and punches it. What I love best about this is how Peter actually convinces himself that this isn't highly unethical.

"It just happened! This is close enough!"

The next time it happened, in Amazing Spider-man #9 (by Ditko and Lee), Peter at least has the decency to feel bad about it. He first tries to take down Electro to get the reward out for his arrest, but when that fails, his mind goes to a bad place...

Note that he's desperate to get money for a sick Aunt May, but come on!

Later, to clear his conscience, he trades some real photos to J. Jonah Jameson for the fakes...

How did that work? How could Jameson ever trust Peter again?

Fast-forward to Amazing Spider-man #169 (by Len Wein, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito) and Jameson has photos of Spider-Man with the "dead" body of the Peter Parker clone.

Peter knew that Jameson had these photos, though, so he stole them and faked the "original" photos that were "doctored" to make it look like Spider-Man was with Peter's body.

What's weird is that this was Wein's own plot, so it is odd how he is treating it like, "Ugh, finally, this dumb plot is over with."

1 2
Wheel of Time Has the Chance to Bring High Fantasy Out of England

More in CBR Exclusives