DC Comics Has Its Own Spider-Man
I recently watched through the Young Justice series (which I recommend, by the way). One of many things to like about the series is that it occasionally would bring in obscure characters that I’d not known of before. One of these characters appeared in Young Justice season 1, episodes 6 and 23. And I have to say, this character is surprisingly similar to a certain Marvel character.
He first appears swinging between tall city buildings, from one thread to another. Threads that he’s shooting from his hands or wrists. I saw this and wondered how Spider-Man got into a DC Comics show.
Then he hangs upside down from one of these threads and lowers himself to peek into a window. This is a classic Spider-Man pose. Wait, what’s Spider-Man doing here in DC-Comics-land?
He crawls up the side of a building to evade an attack, doing plenty of front- and back-flips. I can see he’s got a spider on his face mask, but he’s wearing a full bodysuit with essentially just two eyes on the front.
I study him a bit more. He sticks to walls and ceilings, and shoots webs from his hands or wrists. He even mentions “web slinging”. The character is even familiarly voiced by Josh Keaton, well-known for voicing Spider-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man and some video game titles.
Now, I consider myself to be a pretty big Spider-Man fan. But I’ve never seen this guy before, and figured his presence to be some sort of tongue-in-cheek inside joke between the Marvel and DC camps. It turns out, though (and yes, I had to look this up), that this character is “Black Spider”, and has been around since 1976 when he first appeared in Detective Comics with Batman (via Wikipedia).
I can’t easily find any information about the character on the DC Comics website. But I have to believe that, at least initially, this character was designed as a take-off of Spider-Man. Even way back in the 1970s, I think our friend Peter Parker was a mega-star in comic book superhero terms, while this guy is all but unheard of. I’d love to be able to hear or find a richer story, though, of what was behind the original character from the creators’ perspective.