Marvel's New Spider
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Marvel's New Spider

Jun 11, 2023

Uncanny Spiderman #1 sees Nightcrawler take on the role of Webslinger. One forgotten power from his early days could help him acclimate to the gig.

With the dream of Krakoa currently in ruins, Nightcrawler, the fan-favorite X-Men hero, is bamfing into a brand-new status quo as Marvel Comics’ Uncanny Spider-Man. As he seeks solace from the torture he’s endured at the hands of Krakoa’s enemies, Kurt Wagner is once again proving himself to be the swashbuckling hero that fans know and love by adopting an identity inspired by longtime X-Men ally, Peter Parker himself.

Nightcrawler, well-known for his teleportation powers, will showcase another forgotten power upon taking the Webslinger mantle. Introduced in Uncanny X-Men #103, written by Chris Claremont, Kurt can turn invisible when in shadows. Subsequently, this power has been downgraded to simple light refraction, at best, or completely forgotten at worst, but a new identity – and a new Nightcrawler origin – is the perfect opportunity to revisit the underrated power.

Related: X-Men Changes Nightcrawler's Origin Forever as He Becomes the New Spider-Man

Kurt Wagner's shadow invisibility is the perfect skill for an all-new Webhead. Stealth maneuvers are a major part of being Spider-Man, but even Peter Parker can’t turn invisible. Reinvigorating Kurt’s camouflage powers, while also emphasizing his agility and teleportation, adds a whole new angle to the arsenal of powers associated with the Spider-Man identity. Additionally, there is already a precedent set for invisible Spider-Men. Fan-favorite Spider-Man Miles Morales is known for having camouflage abilities of his own. More than once, Peter Parker has expressed jealousy over his successor's ability to do something he can’t. Should Nightcrawler’s invisibility make a comeback, that would be yet another camouflaged Spider for Parker to compete with.

With the future of the X-Men frought as the Fall Of X arrives, making Nightcrawler the new Spider-Man also gives Marvel that opportunity to provide some levity for at least one of its famous mutant heroes. However, replacing Peter Parker as Spider-Man is always a precarious creative move. In the case of Miles Morales, it worked beyond Marvel's wildest expectations, not only adding a second iconic Spider-Man to its roster, but opening up the door to the Spiderverse, which has been successful both on the page and on screen. Similarly, the Superior Spider-Man arc saw Doc Ock become Spidey, in a storyline that was well-received by readers.

There was also the infamous Clone Saga, which for a time saw Ben Reilly replace Peter Parker, a move less fondly remembered by Spider-fans. Nightcrawler, as a long-time member of the X-Men, is already a strong and capable hero in his own right, whose abilities and experience should make stepping into Spider-Man's massive shoes easier than for most. Nightcrawler’s identity as Spider-Man is a great opportunity to take the character in bold new directions. It is also the chance to bring back a fan-favorite power that Kurt Wagner has lost to the past. Whatever happena, Nightcrawler is sure to have his work cut out for him as Marvel Comics’ Uncanny Spider-Man.

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