The Comic Rack: Spider-Man thrown on the Altar?

Recently I was talking to a friend about comics and he kept referring to Kingpin as Daredevil’s arch nemesis. While I conceded that point now, it wasn’t always the case. Kingpin started out as a Spider-Man villain and the conversation started down a road of heroes and villians that began with one character and was moved to another. The character that this has happened to more than any other?


Arguably, Spidey has the best rogues gallery in comics (even though I would argue Batman has him beat), there is no question that the characters created in the Spider-Man lore are the ones that have been loaned or flat out taken to upgrade another hero. No hero in the Marvel Universe has benefitted more from this than Daredevil.

More after the jump…

Daredevil had fallen to a b-list hero. His sales were nice at best but nothing spectacular. It is a writer and artist’s dream to take a character to the next level. In this case it was Frank Miller who decided Daredevil would be his next project. Now, I don’t have knowledge as to how the conversations went but I’m sure Miller had to go to the Marvel editorial staff and tell them his plans. Those plans would include two characters associated with Spider-Man moreso than anyone else: Kingpin and Punisher. Probably it went something like this: “Look, the spidey crew ain’t usin’ them and I want them. What’s the problem?” The Marvel staff goes to the Spider-Man team and asks innocently if Kingpin and/or Punisher is scheduled for anything and they probably gave them a look and said no. Then they told them we’re going to hand off Kingpin and Punisher over to Miller for Daredevil. Hey, if it doesn’t work out, no harm no foul, but if it does, there’s another Spidey connection we can work on later. It’s all good. Famous last words. And that’s how Spidey got thrown on the altar for Daredevil. Well, the first time, anyway.

Oh, Spidey has sacrificed for the “greater good” in the Marvel Universe more times than I can count. The amazing thing about the character is his supreme resiliency to rise above. It wasn’t enough to give Daredevil a breakout star on the rise and a grade A level villian, then Ben Urich was pinched and the circle was complete. Now the Bugle was firmly entrenched in the Daredevil universe and to add insult to injury, Murdock figures out Spidey’s identity. At least the Spidey crew must’ve fought enough to even the score and have Spidey realize who Daredevil was also.

Still, other heroes have been thrown upon the altar and sacrificed and I’m sure others have their “moments”. Here’s some major ones I can think of:

Iron Fist losing Sabretooth forever…
Batman losing Catman to Green Arrow and then GA loses him to his own book…ha…
Batman losing Barbara Gordon and Huntress
The New Gods losing Darkseid first to the LSH and then the greater DCU as a whole. Highfather never knew what hit him…
JLA losing Dr. Light to the kiddies…
JSA losing Shade to Starman and now does Shade even make an appearance anymore?

There’s others and I’m sure any hardcore comic fan will find them and point them out. But, I will still maintain that Spidey has been sacrificed and pimped more than any single character in comic history. Hell, Marvel Team-Up alone was used to prop up every b-lister in the MU for years. Which is not to say MTU wasn’t a cool book, it was. And it launched some of Marvel’s top talent. Heck, they might think about bringing that bad boy back. DC has bought back Brave and the Bold, why not Marvel Team-Up?

Still, no one has launched poor Peter Parker on the altar like the current Editor In Chief. “One More Day” anyone? Mephisto? Come on, Mephisto? Your most moral hero (with the notable exception of Steve Rogers) and he cuts a deal with the devil himself? Talk about being tossed on the altar! I’m half shocked they didn’t stake poor Spidey to a freakin’ cross!!

Add whatever you got to the list…


~ by sladewilson on November 13, 2008.

One Response to “The Comic Rack: Spider-Man thrown on the Altar?”

  1. Check it out. The Purifiers got their own card:

    Good times.

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