In Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, Spider-Man uses an uncharacteristically dirty move in his fight against a foe who is a living Infinity Stone.
Spider-Man has fought an overabundance of super-powered villains over the years. From Doctor Octopus to Green Goblin and Venom, Spider-Man’s usual cast of rogues would prove difficult for even the most experienced hero in the Marvel universe. However, the web-slinger’s most recent battle brought a unique challenge, bringing him face-to-face with the power of the Reality Stone.
While enjoying a normal day, Peter Parker felt a strange sensation and was immediately thrown into a trance-like state. As Peter came out of his trance, he realized that someone was tampering with reality. Peter went through the usual reality-warping players but knew that none of them were behind what he had sensed. He then received a call from one of his former high school classmates with extremely upsetting news.
His classmate was now a teacher at the school and stated that a former student named Ripley Ryan- also known as the superhero, Star – was seen at the school earlier pretending to be a student. Ripley had recently been granted power from the Reality Stone. She had a rough upbringing where she dealt with abuse at home and at school. After a disappointing therapy session, she decided that she was going to do whatever she wanted which led her manipulating reality in the way that Peter had sensed.
Peter’s former classmate informed him that the school’s gym teacher had been brutally murdered and suspected that Ripley was behind it since the gym teacher bullied her in her school days. The informant then directed Peter to the home of another bully who could be Star’s next target. Spider-Man was then able to track Star down before she could harm anyone else.
Spider-Man was not nearly as affected by Star’s Reality Stone powers as everyone else since he had so much experience with reality-warping in the past. After a skirmish, Star mimicked his web-shooting abilities and began swinging through the city. When the web-head caught up with her, she vanished after declaring that she wanted to go home. Star was then transported to the home of her mother where the two bonded before it was revealed that Spider-Man had figured out a way to use her powers against her and had been masquerading as the elder Ripley.
Even though Peter was desperate to stop Star, impersonating a parent seems to be a rather low blow for Spider-Man, especially, considering the fact that Peter had to deal with his own parents reappearing as Life Model Decoys. Peter’s imposter parents first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #363 by David Michelinie, Mark Bagley, Randy Emberlin, and Bob Sharen. The Life Model Decoys were created by the Chameleon on the orders of Harry Osborn who wanted to torture Pete. Harry’s plan ultimately succeeded as Peter suffered a nervous breakdown when he learned that his parents had not actually returned.
While Spider-Man was ultimately trying to bring comfort to an emotionally struggling individual, he could have created a much worse scenario. Luckily, Star did not have the strength to continue their battle and used the power she had left to escape. This does, however, set the stage for an emotionally intense confrontation when next they meet.
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