Marvel and DC Comics once shared a comic book universe that brought together the best of both worlds by creating unique composite heroes and villains that fans couldn’t get enough of. And in an End of the Spider-Verse-related comic, The House of Ideas secretly killed off one of these hybrid heroes named Spider-Boy, only to turn around and repurpose his codename for a completely different superhero just recently introduced!
Combining Ben Reilly’s Spider-Man and Connor Kent’s Superboy into Peter Ross aka Spider-Boy, this hero was one of the more visually appealing characters springing from 1996’s DC vs. Marvel comic event, as he perfectly blended Spidey’s more arachnid-focused outfit with Connor’s “bad boy” leather jacket design. Unfortunately for this version of Spider-Boy, Marvel decided he was better off dead, with the company not only brutally murdering him offscreen, but by the climax of the End of the Spider-Verse event, replacing him with another Spider-Boy, one that holds no ties to Marvel’s “Distinguished Competition.”
Morlun Killed Marvel and DC’s Spider-Boy Offscreen
Permanently culling the jointly owned Spider-Boy in 2022’s Spider-Man #2, by Dan Slott and Mark Bagley, this issue acted as part two of the End of the Spider-Verse event and explained how the brutal spider-villain of Morlun traveled to another universe looking for a portal device that would allow him to traverse alternate realities more easily. Shown arriving in Loomworld holding the severed arm of a spider-person looking awfully similar to Spider-Boy’s leather-jacketed arm and spider-patterned glove, it’s heavily implied that Morlun killed this Spider-Man and used his device for his own means, effectively erasing a character from Marvel continuity that hasn’t been seen in almost 30 years.
Tossing the dismembered arm to the side now that the OG Spider-Boy’s usefulness had run its course, it’s here where Marvel’s secret elimination of this hero gives way to an all-new, all-different Spider-Boy named Bailey Briggs, adding further insult to injury as the character is officially introduced in the finale to the very story that offed his Amalgam counterpart in the first place. Making perfect sense to kill the first Spider-Boy as Marvel couldn’t feature him in full for this event nor any other comic story due to the understandably tricky legal issues with DC, Bailey inheriting the Spider-Boy moniker is an inspired choice that simultaneously dashes any lingering hopes of seeing the Ben Reilly/Connor Kent version of the character pop up in the Spider-Verse ever again.
Spider-Boy’s Name Was Repurposed For A Totally New Character
So while it was already unlikely Marvel or DC would have utilized their shared characters again after the epic event that brought them together concluded, seeing the sneaky way Marvel did away with the Amalgam Universe’s Spider-Boy only to reintroduce the character as a Marvel-owned sidekick is not only a slick way to go about removing Spider-Boy from the overarching conversation, but also acts as the final “appearance” of this hybrid hero entirely. Marvel‘s composite Spider-Boy is dead, and although he technically lives on, it’s unfortunately in name only.
Spider-Boy is dead! Long live Spider-Boy! Read More