In I Can’t Cover What I Am, I spotlight a collection of comic book covers that follow a specific theme.
This time around, we’re looking at ten Spider-Man covers where his secret identity is seemingly revealed! I’ll explain why it wasn’t revealed in the instances where it was not, in fact, revealed.
First up, we have 1964’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #12, a cover drawn by Steve Ditko.
In the comic, Peter Parker had lost his powers due to illness. He still tried to fight Doctor Octopus, but when the villain kicked his butt and unmasked him, everyone just assumed Peter foolishly tried to take Spider-Man’s place against Doc Ock. Since his powers were gone, it seemed believable that it wasn’t him.
Next is 1966’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #39, a cover drawn by John Romita.
This one was legit, as Spider-Man was, indeed, unmasked by the Green Goblin, who turned out to be Norman Osborn, father of Peter’s friend, Harry. Luckily for Peter, Norman’s memory went away at the end of the issue, so Peter’s secret was safe once more (well, safe-ish).
Next is 1970’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #87, a cover drawn by John Romita.
A feverish Peter Parker assumed that he was dying, so he decided to reveal his identity to his friends. However, he was not, in fact, dying. He used his friend, the Prowler, to impersonate Spider-Man to convince everyone that he was just delusional due to his fever.
Next is 1971’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #106, a cover drawn by John Romita and Frank Giacoia.
In this issue, Professor Smythe caught Spider-Man on camera changing, so he saw Peter Parker’s face. However, Peter quickly designed a latex mask of his face and then showed himself again without his mask on, only to reveal it as a mask, convincing Smythe that the original face was also a mask. Plus, Smythe did not know who Peter Parker was, so the face didn’t really mean anything to him.
Next is 1977’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #169, a cover drawn by John Romita and Frank Giacoia.
Here, Peter Parker convinced J. Jonah Jameson that the photographic evidence seemingly proving that Spider-Man was Peter Parker were actually staged double exposure photos designed by Harry Osborn, during the time when Harry had gone nuts and had become the Green Goblin temporarily.
Next is 1983’s “Spectacular Spider-Man” #87, a cover drawn by Al Milgrom.
This one is legit. Spider-Man does, in fact, unmask himself to the Black Cat.
Next is 1984’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #262, a cover which was a photograph by Elliot Brown.
A slimy photographer (by the way, who is Peter Parker to ever judge any other photographer’s ethics? Peter sold fraudulent photos for years!) caught Spider-Man while he was changing. Eventually, Spider-Man tracked him down and got the photo (and the negatives) before the photographer shared them with anyone else.
Next is 1999’s “Amazing Spider-Man” (Volume 2) #14, a cover drawn by John Byrne.
This one is legit. Mattie Franklin does discover Peter Parker’s Spider-Man identity. She even tried to get involved with him romantically. He shut her down.
Next is 2001’s “Amazing Spider-Man” (Volume 2) #37, a cover drawn by Kaare Andrews.
This one is legit. Aunt May discovered Peter Parker’s secret identity in this issue.
Finally, we have 2006’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #533, a cover drawn by Ron Garney.
This one was also legit, as Spider-Man revealed his secret identity as part of Civil War, something he regretted almost instantly. He later got the genie put back into the bottle as a result of a scientific and magical solution by Reed Richards, Doctor Strange and Tony Stark.
That’s it for this installment of I Can’t Cover What I Am! If you have a suggestion for a cover theme you’d like to see, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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