How Spider-Man’s Best Superpower Was Shut Down by Marvel’s Top MCU Fighter

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Miles Morales: Spider-Man #32, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

The Web of Life and Destiny has granted the many spider-themed heroes of the Marvel Universe several fantastic powers, but the most impressive of them all is easily the Spider-Sense. Acting as an early-warning system that alerts its wielder to incoming danger, the Spider-Sense has provided Peter Parker and Miles Morales with an advantage in combat that has saved their lives countless times.

Despite this, their Spider-Sense is far from infallible, and several prominent villains have found ways to get around it over the years. In Miles Morales: Spider-Man #22 (by Saladin Ahmed, Carmen Carnero, Erick Arciniega and VC’s Cory Petit), a battle between Miles and Taskmaster reveals that the mercenary has figured out a way to work around the ability, making the already deadly villain an even greater threat to all Spider-Men.

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Having been hired by an unknown client to kidnap Miles' girlfriend and fellow Champion Starling, Taskmaster ambushes the two while they are out on a date in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #21 (by Ahmed, Carnero, Arciniega, and Petit) and quickly proves himself to be more than a match for the young heroes, abducting Starling and leaving a battered-and-beaten Miles sprawled out on a rooftop. But how did he get through Miles' vaunter Spider-Sense to capture such a resounding victory?

Although Taskmaster doesn't have any real superpowers, he does have an enhanced photographic memory, which allows him to memorize and replicate the physical techniques of anyone he sees. With this ability, Taskmaster has amassed an impressive pool of hand-to-hand combat skills and earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the world's deadliest martial artists, turning many of Marvel's hero's most iconic moves against them.

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Having fought with Peter Parker's Spider-Man on numerous occasions, Taskmaster has learned to "sense" when the Spider-Sense is going off by observing the physical reactions that its activation causes its users, allowing Taskmaster to hit Miles with well-timed feints and swift follow-up attacks. With this advantage, Taskmaster quickly begins to overwhelm Miles, who barely manages to turn the tables after Starling escapes from her restraints and joins the fight. Even then, Taskmaster only decides to withdraw after their resistance causes him to go over the job's strict time limit and miss out on his payment.

Taskmaster's newfound ability to get around the Spider-Sense makes the ex-S.H.E.L.D agent an even deadlier foe for both Miles and Peter, who rely on their Spider-Sense to stay one step ahead of their enemies. However, he's not the first villain to find a way to sneak past the Spider-Sense. Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, managed to coat Peter with a chemical that shuts down his Spider-Sense in Amazing Spider-Man #39 (by Stan Lee, John Romita Sr., Mike Esposito and Artie Simek), allowing Norman to discover his secret identity by following him until he removed his costume. The Venom Symbiote also gained an immunity to the Spider-Sense after bonding with Peter, which caused the Spider-Sense to view it as a non-hostile entity. This ability is also shared by the Venom Symbiote's many offspring, including Carnage.

RELATED: How Venom and Carnage Crashed a Marvel Take on Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead

With the MCU's version of Taskmaster recently making her debut in Black Widow and Green Goblin set to appear in Spider-Man No Way Home, Spider-Man's Spider-Sense may become more and more unreliable within the films. At the moment, the MCU's Spider-Sense ability to sense threats has been pretty much full-proof, narrowly saving Spider-Man from Mysterio during the climax of Spider-Man: Far From Home. However, the introduction of two villains who have managed to find ways to outsmart it could spell disaster for the MCU's youngest Avenger.

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About The Author
Drew Kopp (60 Articles Published)

Drew Kopp is a Comics Features Writer for CBR who holds a Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. As a die-hard fan of comic books, fantasy/sci-fi literature, and video games, he loves nothing more than injecting his love of storytelling into his writing, and he also loves nothing more than writing about all things nerdy. When he isn't busy obsessively theorizing over comic book plots or drooling over the next big indie game, he can be found writing about those topics.

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