Spoilers ahead for Dark Ages #1!
Of all of Spider-Man’s powers, his Spider-Sense is one of his best, but it comes with an unfortunate downside. In Dark Ages #1, on sale now in print and digital, Spider-Man reveals that while the Spider-Sense comes in handy, it can be vague on whatever threat he is facing.
Comic fans know the story of Spider-Man’s origin: after being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker gained the proportional strength of a spider and the ability to climb walls. He also gained another power in the form of his Spider-Sense. This ability is precognitive in nature—it allows Spider-Man to detect, and react to, incoming threats. It has saved the Wall Crawler’s life on many occasions, but in the new Dark Ages #1, Spider-Man reveals the downside to this amazing power. The book is written by Tom Taylor, with art by Iban Coello, colors by Brian Reber, and letters by Joe Sabino.
The story opens with Peter, Mary Jane, and their daughter spending a relaxing afternoon with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and their daughter. All of a sudden, Peter’s Spider-Sense goes into overdrive. Spider-Man does not know it at the time, but an ancient cosmic being name the Un-Maker has been imprisoned in the Earth for countless eons, and now he is returning. What Spider-Man and the others sensed was just the beginning. After the initial discomfort passes, Luke Cage asks what is wrong. Spider-Man replies that he is not sure, that his Spider-Sense is always clear when danger is near but is “frustratingly vague on the details.” All Spider-Man can do is warn Mary Jane and his family to stay put, because something bad is coming.
Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense has saved his life on many occasions, but he is correct in that it never really warns him specifically about what threat is near. However, there is no reason for it to tell him exactly what is coming; spiders work on instinct—they have no need to know the exact nature of the threat, they just need to know it’s there. They can worry about specifics later. While this is fine for spiders, as the most they worry about is finding a meal and not getting stepped on, Spider-Man could benefit from more information. Imagine if Spider-Man was able to discern who he will be fighting ahead of time. It would give him an opportunity to prepare a strategy and acquire whatever resources he might need. As it is now, however, it simply tells him to get out of the way.
While Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense has been proven invaluable countless times in comics, TV, and film, it’s clear there’s still room for improvement when it comes to one of Peter Parker’s signature superpowers.