Peter Parker’s reign of terror has brought him face to face with a new version of the Sinister Six’s classic roster.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3 by Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry, Matt Hollingsworth and VC’s Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
While Spider-Man has grown accustomed to staring down the likes of the Rhino and Kraven the Hunter, the titular hero has become his own worst enemy thanks to his maniacal symbiote suit in the pages of Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow. Under the alien Venom symbiote’s spell, this What If? alternate reality has seen him embark on a supervillain killing spree. This causes the Sinister Six to reform to take Spider-Man down once and for all before he hunts them to extinction.
Luckily for Peter, he has at least one person looking out for him when he needs it most, even if it does just so happen to be his oldest nemesis J. Jonah Jameson who carries him out of the fray in Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3.
Ever since taking the life of the Hobgoblin, Spider-Man has been on a bloody tear throughout the city, chasing down his various rogues and ending their lives before they even have a chance to rear their heads as threats once more. Their archenemy having become a sadistic killer leaves the Sinister Six with no choice but to launch one final assault after luring Spider-Man into their trap. At a farmhouse outside of the city, away from the interference of any other superheroes, the villains lie in wait until their quarry shows himself. It doesn’t take long for the blood to spill, and within moments half of the Sinister Six are already dead.
When the barn begins burning, Jameson appears in Spider-Slayer armor to drag the hero into the flames. Jonah can only watch as the symbiote peels itself away to reveal Peter Parker underneath, and at that moment, Jonah’s heart sinks. An explosion rocks the barn, throwing Kraven the Hunter outside where he witnesses Jonah carry Peter out of the fire before dropping him on the ground. Before Kraven can land the killing blow, Jameson knocks him out from behind and wonders why of all people it had to be Peter.
Ever since his very first appearance in 1963’s Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, J. Jonah Jameson has been Spider-Man’s biggest critic. The Daily Bugle publisher has made a habit of running scathing, often misleading headlines regarding the wall crawler’s antics. Most recently, one of those headlines even drove Spider-Man to confront Jameson in his office, very nearly killing the man and promising that he would if any further stories featuring the hero were run. While Jonah was clearly prepared to end Spider-Man’s life if he had to, seeing the man beneath the mask made him change his mind in that regard — though not necessarily about what Peter has been doing for all of these years. Jonah recognizes that the suit itself was what turned Peter into a murderous monster, but he still can’t understand or forgive a decade of what he perceives to be menacing the city.
Even still, the fact that Jameson had such an incredible change of heart in the heat of battle — even while Peter was screaming that he would kill Jonah — is truly remarkable. The rest of the Sinister Six might be convinced that Jameson has always been a villain like themselves, and to a point, they are correct, considering Jameson was the one who organized and financed the Spider-Slayers as well as Mac Gargan’s transformation into the Scorpion. Then again, Jonah has only ever done what he believed was the right thing.
These recent events are a reminder that he has never had a hard time admitting his own mistakes before trying to make up for them, even if that means saving Spider-Man.
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