Marvel Confirmed Spider-Man's Most Important Power Is Spider-Sense

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #83, available now from Marvel.

The mantle of Spider-Man has been an especially turbulent one as of late, with Ben Reilly reclaiming the superhero alter ego while Peter Parker endured a prolonged coma. Though Peter has since revived, he remains in physical recovery with his superpowers unstable as he tries to bring himself back up to speed as a friendly neighborhood superhero. And while Peter's first time back on the streets of New York City as Spider-Man seems simple enough on the surface, it quickly goes off the rails with a painful reminder of what his most important superpower is and how he needs to adjust his crimefighting accordingly.

Peter gets a rude awakening as he emerges from his coma, with his Spider-Sense now running on overdrive and overloading Peter's senses to painful levels. This becomes exceedingly apparent when Peter has to deal with particularly obnoxious medical orderly overseeing his hospital stay, with only Mary Jane Watson saving her boyfriend from being overcome by his own Spider-Sense. And in The Amazing Spider-Man #83 (by Patrick Gleason, Morry Hollowell, Nathan Fairbairn, VC's Chris Eliopoulos and Travis Lanham), Peter attempting to stop two common criminals in a routine patrol as Spider-Man nearly leads to the spectacular webslinger in being taken down by his Spider-Sense now acting as a liability rather than a vital strength.

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Spider-Man's Spider-Sense has been a hallmark of his powers ever since he was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, as a sort of precognitive ability that alerted him to incoming attacks and react in advance. Over time, this expanded to allow Spider-Man to sense those with malicious intent around him, even if they were not in the midst of carrying out a direct attack. And not only helping Spider-Man anticipate attacks and identify dangerous individuals, Spider-Man has used his Spider-Sense to attune to devices he refers to as Spider Tracers that his sense allows him to track.

This incident in the hospital is not the only time Peter's Spider-Sense has gone haywire with potentially disastrous consequences. Spider-Man realized how much his Spider-Sense protected him when he learned that Venom was not detected by it, giving the symbiote-fueled supervillain an edge in their longstanding feud as Venom could tail and attack Spider-Man without warning and often took advantage of this. Peter would temporarily lose his Spider-Sense during a battle against Scorpion, making him realize just how much he truly relied on this power. Shang-Chi would teach Spider-Man how to compensate for this loss by enhancing his natural senses through martial arts training though Peter would regain his Spider-Sense during the 2011 crossover event "Spider-Island."

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Spider-Man's Spider-Sense has saved his life on multiple occasions and steered the course of superhero career in more ways than he could ever realize. Spider-Man may have the proportionate strength and speed of a spider and a genius-level intellect that stands among the Marvel Universe's best, the Spider-Sense gives Peter an edge that many of his hero and villain counterparts decidedly lack.

The wallcrawler has a long way to go if he hopes to bring the same level of crimefighting competence he possessed before falling into a coma and the key towards making this full recovery lies in Spider-Man regaining total mastery of his Spider-Sense once again lest his greatest power be used against him as a weapon.

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Sam Stone is a 10th level pop culture guru living just outside of Washington, DC who knows an unreasonable amount about The Beatles. You can follow him on Twitter @samstoneshow and ask him about Nintendo, pop punk, and Star Trek.

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