Spider-Man has been through some trippy experiences in the past, giving him the ability to resist not one but two of Marvel’s Infinity Stones.
Warning: contains spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2!
Spider-Man‘s been in some sticky situations, both physical and metaphorical, but in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, it turns out they’ve given him the experience to do the seemingly impossible – resist the powers of not one, but two of the incredibly powerful Infinity Stones.
Ripley Ryan, aka Star, gained her superpowers from theft and experimentation. Deeply dissatisfied with her life, Star used a Kree device to not only steal powers from Carol Danvers, but also to siphon energy from New York’s citizens. But while she was quickly defeated by Captain Marvel, she was soon after selected as the host of the Reality Stone, gaining even greater power despite having demonstrated absolutely no responsibility.
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Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 – from Karla Pacheco, Eleonora Carlini, Erick Arciniega and Joe Caramagna (and including an ‘Infinite Fury‘ chapter by Jed MacKay and Juan Ferreyra) – begins with a mystery, as citizens, businesses, and even Peter Parker realize they just gladly handed over their belongings to a mysterious person for no good reason. When the crimes escalate from petty theft to murder, Spider-Man follows the clues from a local high school to their former alumni and finds Ripley and her reality-warping powers – powers which, Star discovers, Spider-Man is able to resist once he’s ready for them, observing, “I’ve been through the kooky-wooky brain stuff way too many times in my life, so you’re not getting me twice on that one.”
Most casual fans may think of Mysterio when they imagine Spider-Man dueling villains with trippy powers, but the little comment is actually a fun nod towards more metaphysical and mind-bending comic book encounters. With Spider-Man’s previous interactions with the other-worldly Beyonder’s reality-bending powers, he was provided excellent training for remaining aware of what is real and what’s not. It’s not just Beyonder, though, who has messed with the Wall Crawler’s reality – Marvel’s Satan stand-in Mephisto bent reality for a heavy price just to allow Peter to save his dying Aunt May. While Peter is supposed to be unaware of the changes to his life made by Mephisto, recent comics have suggested he may have an inkling that something has changed – the same sort of inkling that allows him to remain curious and explore the mystery of Star’s crimes. If there is a positive of having your brain twisted and toyed with, it’s that the signs of someone trying to do it again become clearer for next time.
Surprisingly, this prior experience offers Spider-Man some resistance to the Reality-Stone powers of the admittedly inexperienced Star. What’s even more shocking is that Web of Spider-Man #105 revealed Spider-Man is also able to resist the powers of the Mind Stone. Facing a Mind Stone-empowered Moondragon, Spider-Man’s Spider Sense allowed him to move without thinking about his actions, preventing her from reading his mind and countering his movements. Combined in the Infinity Gauntlet, the Infinity Stones have the power to change the very fabric of reality, but Spider-Man‘s unique life experiences mean that until that time, Peter Parker is able to take on heroes who boast the Stones’ incredible power – or, at least, he can survive tangling with them, since Star is ultimately able to give him the slip by the issue’s end.
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