How the MCU's Next Big Villain Created Marvel's Deadliest Spider-Man

Today, we look at how Kang created one of the deadliest Spider-Men of all-time, and the character then sat unused for over thirty years!

This is "I Remember Well," a brand-new feature spotlighting instances in which writers pull out long-forgotten plots or attributes of comic book characters. I have a similar bit called "I've Been Here Before" when writers pull out their own old plots/characters, but this is when different writers do it. I also have a bit called "Provide Some Answers," when writers resolve long-forgotten plots, but this is when writers don't resolve anything, they just bring back something that hadn't been used in a long time.

This time around, we see how one of Kang's earliest attempts to take down the Avengers was brought back thirty years later!

RELATED: How Did Spider-Man: No Way Home's Sandman Become... an Avenger?

KANG TRIES TO DEFEAT THE AVENGERS WITH...SPIDER-MAN?

In the early days of Marvel Comics, villains would often get repeat appearances soon after they debuted and Kang the Conqueror was no exception, showing up in Avengers #11 (by Stan Lee, Don Heck and Chic Stone) just three issues after making his debut in Avengers #8. In a rather fascinating example of using other issues as a tie-in, we see Kang noting that the Masters of Evil actually came very close to killing the Avengers recently by using a bad guy disguised as a super-villain, with the plan only failing because the bad guy, Wonder Man, decided to redeem himself and turn against his evil masters (his heart grew two Thor's hammers in size that day) and so Kang realizes that the problem was using someone with autonomy, so instead Kang decides to make a robot based on Spider-Man...

The hilarious thing here, though, is that he explains that he can't make robots based on villains because they might turn on each on other, but he just explained that that was specifically the POINT of robots! That they DON'T disobey you!

Lee and Heck then use MULTIPLE panels to just say "I built a Spider-Man robot who is a duplicate of Spider-Man"...

As if we weren't going to buy the story unless Lee spent a LOT of ink describing it. "Wait, is this accurate on a sub-atomic level? It better be, or I am out!"

It's nice that the Avengers have become a BIT less gullible since easily accepting Wonder Man to the team a couple of issues ago, but it's really weird that part of involves Wasp's "Wasp instinct," which, in this context, is simply, "I hate everything that involves Spiders."

Spider-Man convinces them that Iron Man is in trouble in Mexico, so the heroes travel to an ancient temple where the robot takes out Giant-Man and Wasp and then gets lucky and takes out Thor, too, with the whole "Separating the hammer from Thor turns him into Don Blake" deal...

A low-key hilarious aspect of the story is that back in those days, the Avengers didn't have a quinjet, so they each had to just arrange for their own travel to Mexico. Cap is simply parachuting in from...somewhere. The Spider-Man robot takes him down, as well, and uses the classic "C.A." nickname that everyone knows Captain America is known by (this is one of those classic "It only works on paper" bits of dialogue, like people calling Green Lantern "GL")...

Luckily, Spider-Man somehow tracked the robot to Mexico (because, well, shut up! It makes sense! Seriously, though, my pal Miken has an idea for how this could be explained that I'll detail in a future bit) and defeats the robot by, I kid you not, just pressing the off button...

This was in the days of the downside of the Marvel Method, as artists would often find that they had only a page or two left while still a lot of plot left to get to, so the final page would often be PACKED with wrap-up panels.

Well, as it turned out, after Spider-Man defeated this deadly robot and....uhmmm...glided back to New York, I guess? The Avengers, who were almost killed by this robot, apparently just left the deadly robot there in the temple.

RELATED: Batman: How the DCEU's Next Gotham Villain Was Completely Reinvented

THE SPIDER-MAN ROBOT RETURNS DURNG A STRANGE TIME FOR THE AVENGERS...AND SPIDER-MAN!

We know that because the robot returned over 30 years later in Spider-Man Team-Up #4, which had a stunning George Perez cover...

Perez wrote the issue with art by Steve Geiger, David Robertson, Dan Jurgens, Brandon McKinney, Chris Ivy, Andrew Pepoy and Tom Palmer. Some people were sneaking into the temple and were suddenly sucked of all of their lives by the Spider-Man robot's webs somehow!

Back at the Avengers Mansion, Scarlet Witch and Black Widow are going out for an art exhibit and I just love this page because there's a topical reference to Rich Little, of all people, and a super-topical reference to someone bringing a file over for Tony Stark, and they're, like, "Why didn't you modem it over?" Ah, 1990s computer references, never start being accurate!

Tony Stark, at the time, was a teen version of Tony who was brought to the present because the adult Tony had been corrupted by Kang (so the Avengers went back in time to get a Tony from before Kang had corrupted him). Adult Tony then redeemed himself by sacrificing himself defeating Kang, leaving Teen Tony stuck in the present. Here, he's an absolute creep to Pepper Potts to show, I assume, that there is a chance that this version of Tony could go evil, too?

Anyways, the Spider-Man robot attacks the Avengers and seemingly kills Cap, Thor, Hank Pym and Wasp by accelerating their aging with its webs. The real Spider-Man now shows up, but "real Spider-Man" at this point in time was Ben Reilly (Peter Parker's clone who thought that he was the real Peter Parker at the time)...

The robot believes Teen Tony is Kang because of the whole "Tony working for Kang" deal, but in the end, Teen Tony turns on the robot and eventually Vision uses his powers to explode the robot's head...

Spider-Man and Teen Tony discuss how Tony is not destined to be a creep like his older self, but he has to start by not being a jerk to people like Pepper in the present...

The robot has somehow not been used since! It's only a matter of time, I assume!

I'm sure you folks have other ideas for examples for this column, so send them my way at [email protected]!

KEEP READING: The Sinister Six: Why Spider-Man's Greatest Villains Vanished for DECADES

Spider-Man: How Ultimate Peter Parker Returned After Miles Morales
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Brian Cronin (15252 Articles Published)

CBR Senior Writer Brian Cronin has been writing professionally about comic books for over fifteen years now at CBR (primarily with his “Comics Should Be Good” series of columns, including Comic Book Legends Revealed). He has written two books about comics for Penguin-Random House – Was Superman a Spy? And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed and Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia! and one book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books. His writing has been featured at ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Times, About.com, the Huffington Post and Gizmodo. He features legends about entertainment and sports at his website, Legends Revealed and other pop culture features at Pop Culture References. Follow him on Twitter at @Brian_Cronin and feel free to e-mail him suggestions for stories about comic books that you'd like to see featured at [email protected]!

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