Warning! Spoilers for Gamma Flight #3 below!
In the latest issue of Gamma Flight, Marvel just gave Spider-Man‘s organic webbing an even grosser twist. When Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man introduced organic webbing instead of his classic web-shooters, Marvel chose to follow the popular example by changing that for the comics version of Peter Parker as well. While Spider-Man eventually lost that ability, the latest gamma mutate Stockpile just showcased her own version of organic webbing, accomplished by absorbing elements and expelling processed waste matter, a twist on Spidey’s webbing that fans did not see coming.
In the 2002 film starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, the bite from the genetically engineered spider gave Parker new and amazing powers including the ability to expel organic webbing. Strong, sticky and triggered by special hand gestures, Peter quickly learned the basics of these abilities, especially when he became New York city’s newest hero, Spider-Man. In 2005, organic webbing became comic book canon with “The Other” storyline, which saw Peter seemingly return from the dead, revitalized and with some new abilities that no longer require his old web-shooters. In the Gamma Flight series, the former members of the Alpha Flight offshoot team find themselves fugitives after disobeying orders to bring in the Hulk. Despite this new status, they teleport elsewhere to help a new gamma mutate who calls herself Stockpile, an angry and confused person who has escaped from a mysterious facility that will soon try to recollect her. After Gamma Flight fights the re-powered Skaar who tries to do exactly that, the arrival of the latest Hulkbusters has them attempt to teleport to safety.
In Gamma Flight #3 by Al Ewing, Crystal Frasier, and Lan Medina, Gamma Flight and Stockpile end up in an unusual and somewhat desolate place, one full of odd creatures and gamma-like zombies. While Gamma Flight defends themselves, Stockpile pleads that they not hurt the glowing green citizens and clears a path. Encouraging the team to follow her, she leads them through the wall of an old factory, now operating as a storage facility. Although the huge hole in the wall leaves them vulnerable, Stockpile solves the problem by absorbing any of the nearby debris or construction products. Once she does so, she’s able to process it and then expunge it from her body, plugging the hole with what appears to be a mix of organic webbing and her own flesh to buy the injured and exhausted team some time.
When the Spider-Man film was in production, director Sam Raimi decided to keep the organic webbing in Peter’s origin, believing that the audience would have issues believing in Peter’s construction and testing of mechanical web-shooters. Although Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland’s versions of Spider-Man would rely on these devices for webbing, it doesn’t change the fact that Peter’s organic webbing, like Stockpile demonstrates, is made from biological waste material. While Stockpile’s is made from things like concrete or stray debris, Peter’s is made from the processed food he eats, meaning for a time, he was swinging or webbing up criminals with threads of his own waste.
While the organic webbing has proved to be stronger and more durable than mechanical webs, its natural methods can’t ignore the hilarious yet disgusting reality. Peter lost the ability after the events of 2007’s One More Day and others like Cindy Moon, the spider-themed hero known as Silk, can produce her own organic webs while Peter returned to the expensive yet cleaner use of web-shooters. Although Stockpile has no problem absorbing more debris to power up in a fight, she may make fans reconsider if they’d really want Spider-Man‘s organic webbing after learning where it comes from.