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Doing Whatever a Spider Can: 13 Alternate Versions of Spider-Man

Spider Ma’am (Earth-3123)


In issue #23 of What If? (1980), the team of Steve Skeates and Alan Kupperberg explored the question: “What If Aunt May Had Been Bitten By a Radioactive Spider?” May Reilly-Parker gets her powers when Peter forgets his lunch and she tracks him down to the fateful demonstration where the radioactive spider-bite occurs – this time to her. After making her own costume, May went out and earned extra money for her family doing stunts, before becoming a crime-fighter.


Powerless Peter (Earth-40081)


Two-thousand and four’s Powerless was a six-issue limited series in which psychologist William Watts dreams of the Earth-616 universe (regular Marvel continuity) which turns out is populated by super-powered versions of his real-life patients. In William’s universe, Earth-40081, Peter Parker is a high school student whose arm atrophied after a venomous spider-bite. His aunt May puts him into therapy to cope with his disability, as well as the death of his parents and the murder of his uncle.


During his sessions, Peter admits to being pressured by Norman Osborn, his friend’s father, to commit corporate espionage at Stark Industries, where Parker is an intern. Following some insightful sessions with Watts, Parker is inspired to act with “responsibility” and he derails Osborn’s attempt to steal information from Stark and even foils the kidnapping of Gwen Stacy.


Spider-Man: India (Earth-50101)


Pavitr Prabhakar moves to Mumbai with his aunt and uncle after receiving a partial scholarship to study at a prestigious school. Threatened and bullied by other children, Pavitr is given the powers of a spider by an ancient yogi who challenges him to fight the greater evils that threaten the world. However, he does not choose to become Spider-Man until his uncle is murdered while saving a troubled woman Pavitr ignored.


A rogue’s gallery including versions of Doctor Octopus and Venom emerge when Nalin Oberoi, a local crime lord, uses an amulet in a special ceremony that releases demons which, in turn, possess him and his underlings (Oberoi, himself, becomes a version of the Green Goblin).