Well, here I am again with another chance to catch-up and grade myself on my series of "Spider-Island" predictions. For those keeping track (and thanks for all the great responses in the comments section), I'm currently at a score of +2, with about 5 guess right, 3 guesses wrong, two guesses that were half-right, and one which has yet to be still be determined. So, let's get to it, shall we?
THE SPIDER-KING IS EZEKIEL SIMS: FALSE
Nor is it Ben Reilly, either. As revealed in the "Spider-Island" tie-in story for Venom #6, it turns out the second of the Jackal’s man-spider henchmen is none other than…Captain America?!
And as you might have guessed, this came as a complete WTF--and a very effective one at that. If you go back and re-read at what the Jackal said about his prize specimen in Amazing Spider-Man #666, you can now see, with hindsight, how what he said can apply perfectly to Steve Rogers, particularly about him being "the real firstborn of this era." And notice also that the Spider-King is even decked out in a red, white, and blue color scheme, providing readers a visual clue as well.
It also really gives credence to the theory that the mysterious female mastermind behind “Spider-Island” is the Queen, as Adriana Soria origins are tied to Captain America and the Super Soldier Program.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that poor Cap was also "impregnated" with and "gave birth" to thousands of mutated spiders to spread the infection even more? As if the Jackal wasn't already a twisted sicko enough.
PETER OPENLY USES HIS POWERS WITHOUT REVEALING HE’S SPIDER-MAN: TRUE
Sure enough, as indicated by the various preview images, Peter took this course of action. Being that most of New York now has spider-powers of their own, it makes perfect sense for Peter to openly use them in plain sight without having to be or reveal he’s Spider-Man.
Of course, he had to have some help in realizing this. Not only did his getting mistaken for an imposter and beat-up by his fellow Avengers lead to him having to leave the fight as Spidey (least he be mistaken for one of the imposters again), but that his ex, Mary Jane, is the one who makes him realize that he isn’t the only person who now has spider-powers, specifically pointing out how his girlfriend, Carlie, is the only one using them to help. This inspires him to not only publicly claim he‘s one of the infected, but also to give a rousing “call to arms” speech to the rest of New York. And it’s this make-shift army of spider-powered citizens which end up making all the difference in the fight, enough so that Mayor Jameson deputizes the lot. (Not to mention allows for a nice shout-out to the Ghostbusters--with Peter quoting another "Peter," no less!)
But while Peter also takes the opportunity to revel in the fact he can now use his powers openly, it doesn't come with a price of it's own.
PETER DELAYS IN FINDING A CURE: FALSE
Well, more like he wants to help find a cure, but is told by Reed Richards not to, as he and the mysterious “Number 6” from Horizon Labs have it covered. And it’s actually part of Peter’s larger dilemma throughout this issue, that despite being “Patient Zero” and thus the one person who has more personal experience with having spider-powers than anyone else, he’s the one being told what to do rather than him taking the lead. Not to mention Carlie essentially tells him that, because she’s a cop, she’s more qualified and experienced in using her new powers to handle the situation than he is; she even, of all things, figures out the Jackal is the one behind the infection before he does.
Oh, sure, he lead the group of spider-powered citizens against the Jackal's gang of Spider-Man wannabes. And yes he was given the task of reverse-engineering confiscated super-villain equipment to use in case of further attacks. But overall, Peter is fully aware that he's being relegated more and more to a supporting role. In other words, after riding to personal and professional highs since “Big Time,” Peter has wound up back into a situation in which he feels no one believes in him--which will undoubtedly make the crisis even worse.
However, the one person who will have faith in him--as suggested when she made Peter realize he could still use his powers to help--is Mary Jane. And while it may not lead to the two of them being romantically involved (but maybe some telltale sparks), it will make all the difference and remind Peter why MJ was so important to him in the first place.
THE SPIDER-POWERS ARE CONTAGIOUS: TRUE
Which was confirmed by the Jackal himself. Even though we have yet to see it actually happen in the story, we are informed that the more people use their spider-powers, the greater the chance they will mutate and spread the infection to other people. And the more spider-like they are, the more power the mysterious woman will have. Seems like all of Manhattan about to become a clutter of big and hungry eight-legged freaks pretty soon.
NEW REVELATIONS...AND NEW THEORIES
As I stated earlier, the elusive “Number 6” from Horizon Labs is working with Reed Richards to find a cure for the infestation of spider-powers and a pretty big clue was dropped: ”Number 6” is apparently a geneticist who is also an expert on “Parker DNA,” which also means that he may in fact know Peter is Spider-Man. That seems to obviously point towards the Jackal, but let not forget there are clones of Dr. Miles Warren also--six of them in fact. My guess is that one of the Miles Warren clones is “Number 6,” who also happens to be a saner version of the original. This is explains why Reed is agreeing to keep his identity secret knowing full well Peter would freak out if he learned the truth.
“But wait a minute,” you might ask. “What about Ben Reilly? After all, Marvel did hint that the Scarlet Spider may be returning in the aftermath of ‘Spider-Island.’” Ah, yes, but I have a strong suspicion that the Scarlet Spider some of you “Clone Saga” fans know and love will actually be a different person under the mask this time. And if it’s not Mary Jane, then it will be Peter’s other clone, Kaine, cured of his recent mutation but not of his mean disposition. After all, future teasers hint at another "Spider-Man" after Spider-Island who may be "a less than friendly partner."
Finally, we have a new candidate for the "long running member of the Spidey cast" who will have to "make the ultimate sacrifice," and it looks like it will be...Eddie Brock, a.k.a. Anti-Venom. Why? in another one of new Madame Web, Julia Carpenter's, prognostications, she states that both the original Venom and the new Venom, Flash Thompson, will both be needed but that for one of them, "this is where [their] story ends." Considering how Flash currently has the ongoing series and Eddie doesn't, it seems pretty clear who will probably die. If that's true, then Brock's "ultimate sacrifice" may involve something else which this issue revealed: thus far, he, as Anti-Venom, is the only one who can cure people of their spider-powers. Seems like Brock will heed the words of Spock from Star Trek II: "The needs of the many, outweigh the few, or the one."
Well this went back-and-forth like a game of tennis, didn't it? One point subtracted for getting the identity of the Spider-King wrong--again--but another point added for Peter revealing he has powers with actually revealing he's Spider-Man. Another taken away for him putting off finding a cure, but another for the fact that the spider-powers are contagious. However, I'm also going to dock myself another point for Peter thinking he may not have to be Spider-Man anymore, since Peter wanting the find a cure would have to also mean he still wants to be Spider-Man, doesn't it? Furthermore, I'm also going to deduct myself another point for the Spider-King being Ben Reilly, as I did allow for the possibility. Which means my previous +2 score now stands at...
Well, now my tally can really go either way, can it? And with the twist and turns coming in fast and furious already, who knows what will happen next--odd, I know, coming from a guy making detailed predictions and guesses. Until next time.
(Okay, it's really a reference to HBO's The Wire. But it's certainly a funny coincidence, don't you think?)
- Spidey Speculation on...Spider-Island!
- Spidey Speculation Scorecard for Spider-Island: Part 1
- Spidey Speculation Scorecard for Spider-Island: Part 2
- Spidey Speculation Scorecard for Spider-Island: Part 4
- Spidey Speculation Scorecard for Spider-Island: Part 5
- Spidey Speculation Scorecard for Spider-Island: Part 6
- Spidey Speculation Scorecard for Spider-Island: Part 7
- Spidey Speculation Scorecard for Spider-Island: Part 8