Undoubtedly, Spider Man is Marvel Comics’ most popular and recognizable superhero, and part of the reason for that is because of his unique powers and abilities. However, in Marvel’s ultimate crossover with DC, Spider-Man was robbed of the one power that is easily his most iconic.
After Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, he gained a number of abilities, including the relative strength, speed, and agility of a spider, as well as the powers of wall crawling and the inherent knowledge of how to create super-strong webs. . In addition to all these powers, Spider-Man also has an ability known as spider-sense, which is essentially a precognitive ability that warns him of danger before it happens. Spider-sense is arguably his most useful power, something that is highlighted whenever he fights Venom, as he is at a huge disadvantage since his spider-sense doesn’t work on Venom. As well as being the most useful, Spidey’s spider-sense is also perhaps his most iconic power, with the phrase ‘my spider-sense tingling’ being one that has transcended all forms of pop culture media for decades. Despite that, apparently the Amalgam universe decided that spider-sense was not a necessary power for its Spider-Man variant.
DC & Marvel’s Amalgam Universe stole Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense
In the Amalgam Universe comic Spider-Boy Team-Up #1 by Roger Stern, Karl Kesel and Jose Ladronn, the amalgamation of Spider-Man and Superboy (Spider-Boy) battles a version of Spider-Man’s classic villain, the Vulture. This version of the Vulture (known as the Scavulture) is much more deadly than his Earth-616 counterpart, as he has a powerful laser beam device attached to one of his eyes, which Spider-Boy doesn’t seem to anticipate. After Scavulture shoots Spider-Boy out of the sky and then swoops in for a final attack, Spider-Boy comments about how he wishes he had some kind of power that would warn him of danger before it happened, indicating , that he does not have the special power – ie. he doesn’t have a spider sense.
The reason Spider-Boy doesn’t have a spider-sense goes far beyond being an alternate version of Spider-Man who has been fused with Superboy. Within the continuity of the Amalgam universe, Spider-Boy is a clone of Peter Parker created under Project Cadmus, which is a government/military project designed to create super soldiers. In fact, Spider-Boy was made to be an even better version of the hero, Super-Soldier (who is the amalgamation of Superman and Captain America). Consequently, Spider-Boy was given versions of some powers that more closely match Superboy’s abilities than Spider-Man, including one that was described as ‘gravity manipulation’. Essentially, Spider-Boy turned out to be a perfect amalgamation of Spider-Man and Superboy, as opposed to more loosely amalgamated characters like Dark Claw (who is basically just if Wolverine dressed as Batman) and Wonder Woman (who just Storm was raised on Themyscira). For that reason, Spider-Boy could not have all the powers of just one of his halves, but could only have half the powers of both of his original halves.
While it makes sense that the Amalgam universe Spider Man variant doesn’t have spider-sense, it doesn’t diminish the fact that the lack of his most iconic superpower is a huge bummer, both for fans and in-world characters, as even Spider-Boy knew he was robbed during Marvel and DC’s ultimate crossover.