Marvel is taking the exceptional step of giving their 50-year old wall-crawler a teenage sidekick. That’s right, Spider-Man will now have his Robin.
On June 27 on Fox Nation, Marvel Comics revealed that Alpha, the mysterious new character debuting in August’s Amazing Spider-Man #692, is a 15-year-old teenager named Andy Maguire who becomes the Spidey’s protégé in an anniversary issue that pays homage to Spidey’s 1962 origin.
According to Fox Nation,
“In this story, we find that Peter Parker’s days as photographer for the Daily Bugle are behind him and he’s now a scientist at a research firm. Andy is part of a student field trip that visits Parker’s lab. He’s in the wrong place (or perhaps the right place) at the wrong time when Parker’s invention malfunctions and zaps him with great power. Parker — haunted by the way he got his own super abilities and how his failure to use them led to the murder of his beloved Uncle Ben so many years ago — feels an even greater responsibility to help young Andy. He feels he must help him discover his powers and teach him how to use them responsibly.”
“Part of it is that Spider-Man is grown up,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel editor-in-chief, explaining the development. “He’s older, more seasoned, but young at heart. He’s still a young man, but he’s been around. It’s interesting because it flips the paradigm. Teen hero Spider-Man is now responsible for this teen hero sidekick. He’s responsible because one of his inventions caused this kid to get his powers. He’s directly responsible for the responsibility this kid now has with his new powers. He feels he has a responsibility to make sure this kid walks the right path, which won’t prove easy.”
Marvel says the Alpha/Andy story is not just a modern day retelling of the Spider-Man origin. “It is déjà vu with a twist.”
While Andy Maguire (homage to Toby?) is an outcast as well, he does not have any confidence problems. “Andy has a brashness, an edge, that Parker will find challenging, especially as he molds a potentially unpredictable teen who’s more powerful than he is,” read the article. “This may make Spider-Man and Alpha seem less Batman and Robin and more Odd Couple.”
“If you put Spider-Man and Batman in the same situation, you’re going to have way more fun with Spider-Man,” said Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott. “With Batman, he never really screws up the way Spider-Man does; he always seems to make the right decision. But with Spider-Man, he always screws up. He’s us as a superhero. Batman is a paragon of what we’d like to be, but in reality, we’re more like Spider-Man. He makes all the mistakes we make.”
“What we try to do with the 50th anniversary of Spider-Man is we try to play with the original clay of the book,” said Amazing Spider-Man. editor Steve Wacker. “When Spider-Man was first created in the 1960s, there was no other superhero like him. Pop culture had never really taken teenagers into account. What Stan and Steve did was sing to their angst, and we’re trying to sort of modernize that.”
With that, Crave Online lists the Top 10 Best Superhero Sidekicks:
- Robin (Batman)
- Krypto (dog) (Superman)
- Skeets ( Booster Gold – DC)
- Jimmy Olsen (Superman)
- Ebony White (The Spirit)
- Old Lace (Gertrude Yorkes/Chase Stein/Death – Runaway)
- Fallout Boy (Radioactive Man – Simpsons)
- Arthur (The Tick)
- Speedy (Green Arrow)
Let’s see in the next couple of years if Alpha would mark the comicbook world and become one of the best, even not a sidekick.