The Norman Osborn Spider-Man Is Spider-Geddons Worst Enemy

The Norman Osborn Spider-Man Is Spider-Geddon\s Worst Enemy

Doc Ock Has Some Thoughts About Japans Giant Robot Tropes

Share Tweet Comment Email Copy Link Copied WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Geddon #3 by Christos Gage, Carlo Barberi, Todd Nauck, José Marzan Jr., David Curiel and VCs Travis Lanham, on sale now.

Before Marvel kicked off its Spider-Geddon event, it released a miniseries titled Edge of Spider-Geddon that was meant to introduce brand-new heroes into the mix. One such character is the opposite of what youd call a hero, and he made his debut in Edge of Spider-Geddon #4: the Norman Osborn Spider-Man of Earth-44145.

Unfortunately, readers didnt get the full backstory of how Norman grew four additional arms and gained the powers and abilities of a spider. What we do know is Peter Parker and Normans son, Harry, were working together to bring Oscorps reign over the world to an end. Norman killed Peter before the story began, but Harry was able to avenge his best friends death by sacrificing himself to destroy Normans Cosmic Cube (well get back to this plot device later).

Marvels ongoing Spider-Geddon crossover event has already given us some intriguing developments, mostly in how its shown us it can keep a renewed battle with the Inheritors from Spider-Verse feeling fresh by offering a moral divide to fracture our heroes reunion. The question now lingering over Spider-Geddon is not so much if the Inheritors can be defeated again, but instead: Should they be killed in order to prevent this happening again?

That question has seen two factions of Spider-heroes form—the kill side spearheaded by Otto Octavius, re-donning his suit as the Superior Spider-Man; and the dont kill side, by Miles Morales and Peter Parker—and traipse across the multiverse seeking like-minded Spider-heroes to grow their respective causes. Both sides have been busy, but this weeks Spider-Geddon #3—by Christos Gage, Carlo Barberi, Todd Nauk, José Marzan, David Curiel, and Travis Lanham—opens with Otto (and another of his recruits, the Spider-Man of the recent PS4 video game) finding a crucial ally. Its Takuya Yamashiro—star of the wonderfully weird Japanese Spider-Man show from the 70s—and his iconic giant robot, Leopardon.

Leopardon swings into battle!Image: Carlo Barberi, Todd Nauk, José Marzan, and David Curiel (Marvel Comics)Advertisement

Otto and PS4-Pete find Takuya a bit busy when they first encounter him, fighting a giant monster in his equally giant robot, as all good Japanese superheroes frequently do. But with time on no spiders side, Otto takes a jab at one of the oldest tropes in the tokusatsu book: Why doesnt Takuya just open with Leopardons all-powerful ultimate attack and win immediately?

Please note how completely ecstatic the PS4 Spider-Man is to be inside a giant robot.Image: Carlo Barberi, Todd Nauk, José Marzan, David Curiel, and Travis Lanham (Marvel Comics)Its both a perfectly Otto-ish thing to say, but also a riff on the tropiness of the giant robot fights seen in the likes of the old Toei Spider-Man series or the Super Sentai franchise that Leopardons creation went on to heavily influence. You scrap for a bit, start with a few basic attacks, get predictably shocked when they dont work, and then eventually build up to your ultimate special move. Thats just…thats just how it goes. And has been going for decades! But he takes Ottos advice, deploying the Sword Vigor just as he did in practically every episode of the old Spider-Man show, and what do you know? The ultimate attack works.

Whakaboom is a very good word.Image: Carlo Barberi, Todd Nauk, José Marzan, David Curiel, and Travis Lanham (Marvel Comics)Even if Otto is right, so is Takuyas retort: If he did that every time, giant robot fights would be awfully boring. And who wants that? Super Sentai and its tokusatsu ilk may be a little predictable, but at least its giant robots arent dull.

The Secret History between Marvel and Super Sentai ShowsMarvel's Spider-Verse Sequel Is Becoming a Battle for the Soul of All Spider-HeroesDelightful Fan Video Sets Spider-Man: Homecoming to the Japanese Spider-Man Show's Opening The New Video Game Spider-Man Just Got a Fascinating Introduction to Marvel's Comic UniverseHappy 40th Anniversary to Hell's Greatest Emissary, Spider-ManThe New Video Game Spider-Man Is Heading to Marvel Comics' Spidergeddon EventAbout the authorJames WhitbrookJames WhitbrookJames is a staff writer for io9. He reads comics so you dont have to—but sometimes you should anyway!

Posted in Norman