The shocking twist that ends Spider-Man: Far From Home presents a predicament Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) comic book counterpart has faced multiple times in the pages of Marvel Comics. Major spoilers follow.
Far From Home ends with J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) revealing Spider-Man’s secret identity on national television after labeling the wall-crawler a menace responsible for the murder of “superhero” Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a fraud who created a tape framing Spider-Man for his death in London.
While it’s not the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man has blown his cover — carelessness led to best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and caretaker Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) learning his secret, also discovered by enemy the Vulture (Michael Keaton) — it seems there will be no putting the cat back in the bag after being outed on such a major platform.
Spider-Man first had his identity exposed in the pages of 1964’s The Amazing Spider-Man #12, “Unmasked by Dr. Octopus,” where the teenaged superhero was forced to confront Doc Ock while suffering from a nasty cold, which left Spider-Man temporarily powerless.
When Ock handily defeated the weakened Spider-Man, Peter was unmasked in front of then-girlfriend Betty Brant and the Spidey-hating Jameson, and it was quickly realized Peter impersonated Spider-Man in an attempt to rescue the kidnapped Betty.
Spidey found himself in a similar situation in 1970’s The Amazing Spider-Man #87, where a feverish and weakened Peter struggled with waning powers, the result of what he believed to be radiation poisoning.
Stumbling to the birthday bash for girlfriend Gwen Stacy and believing his career as a costumed crimefighter was finished, an ill Peter confessed to the gang — Gwen, her police captain father George Stacy, and friends Harry Osborn and Mary Jane Watson — that he was the masked menace Spider-Man.
As Peter’s friends debated if his sudden confession was the truth or the ramblings of a sick man, Spider-Man learned his illness was the flu. To keep his secret under wraps, Spider-Man tracked down Hobie Brown, a.k.a. the costumed Prowler, who he once neglected to turn over to the police. Hobie returned the favor by posing as the webhead and crashing Gwen’s party while Peter apologized, proving Peter Parker and Spider-Man are two different people.
Peter encountered another Spider-Man imposter, one he had nothing to do with, in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1. Peter had quit acting as a superhero and was surprised when “Spider-Man” leaped into action to battle the Scorpion; it was later learned the impostor was Mattie Franklin, a teenager with similar spider-powers who would later go on to become Spider-Woman.
Far From Home is also not the first time the webhead has been framed for murder. In Peter Parker: Spider-Man #88, “Who Did Joey Z?,” Spider-Man was fingered as the murderer of a small-time crook. In The Amazing Spider-Man #432, Spider-Man was attacked by bounty hunters seeking a $5 million dollar prize posted on his head by the Daily Bugle for the murder of Joey Z and Spider-Man’s assault on Norman Osborn; another crime Spidey had nothing to do with.
Though his identity remained secret, Spider-Man was public enemy number one and was under constant attack. The events of “Spider-Hunt” continued into the “Identity Crisis” crossover, where Peter created four new costumed characters: heroes Prodigy and Hornet as well as criminals Ricochet and Dusk. While acting as these four not-Spider-Mans, Peter was able to clear his name.
Spider-Man’s true face was famously revealed to the public in 2006’s Civil War #2, a decision made by Peter himself during his time as Tony Stark’s underling and one of the new Avengers. His unmasking led to numerous consequences: Peter Parker was vilified by the public at large, opened to a lawsuit by Jameson and the Daily Bugle, and, worst of all, his Aunt May was nearly killed by an assassin sent by a revenge-seeking Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime.
During this time, a desperate Peter committed nine felonious acts during the “Back in Black” storyline, which saw Peter sport a cloth version of his black suit. Peter and his then-wife Mary Jane would ultimately strike a deal with the demon Mephisto to save May’s life, which came at the cost of their marriage and a mild reboot.
Later, during the “One Moment in Time” arc in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #638-641, readers learned how Spider-Man’s once-public identity was forgotten: Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Stephen Strange teamed to fuse “magic and radically unstable digigenetic viruses” to create an “anamnesis storm” to wipe all history of Spider-Man’s true identity, both recorded and remembered, from existence.0comments
Spider-Man’s secret identity is once again secret and known only to a few trusted individuals, including members of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and allies in Peter’s social circle, including Mary Jane.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is now playing.