In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, Marvel Comics is set to introduce yet another LGBT+ character to their dwindling readership, this time in the form of a multiversal Spider-Man variant.

Source: Edge of Spider-Verse Vol. 2 #1 (2022), Marvel Comics. Cover art by Josemaria Casanovas.

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As revealed in their recently published September solicits, this new web-slinger is set to debut in the fifth and final issue of Marvel’s upcoming Edge of The Spider-Verse miniseries, whose anthology of stories will serve as a prelude to long-time Spider-Man author Dan Slott’s previously announced plans to “end” the concept of the Spider-Multiverse and send it out “in a blaze of glory“.

Created by writer Steve Foxe (X-Men ’92: House of XCII) and artist Kristafer Anka (All-New X-Factor), Web-Weaver is described as “a not-so-mild mannered fashion designer at Van Dyne [who] gets spider-powers and shows us a very different kind of Spider-Slayer”.

Source: Edge of Spider-Verse Vol. 2 #5 (2022), Marvel Comics. Cover art by Josemaria Casanovas.

Following the issue’s official public reveal, Foxe took to his personal Twitter to excitedly confirm, “SURPRISE: I had the huge gay honor of helping to co-create WEB-WEAVER, who’ll make his debut in EDGE OF THE SPIDER-VERSE #5 this September!”

“Designed by the one and only @kristaferanka, cover by Josemaria Casanovas, with our interior artist to be revealed soon!” he added.

Source: Steve Foxe Twitter

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Alongside his tweet, Foxe also shared an image of the issue’s aforementioned cover, which in addition to a Spider-variant of Kraven the Hunter known as ‘Hunter-Spider’, presented readers with their first glimpse at Web-Weaver.

Therein, the hero can be seen wearing a yellow and black costume that features a number of interesting design choices, including a high collar with ruffle, open flowing sleeves, and heavy eyelashes around the eyeports on his mask.

Web-Weaver is also posed in a somewhat stereotypical fashion.

Source: Spider-Verse Vol. 1 #2 “It’s The Little Things” (2015), Marvel Comics. Words by Dan Slott, Art by Ty Templeton and Paco Herrera.

Notably, some fans and major outlets, including CBR and ScreenRant, have taken to refering to Web-Weaver as Marvel’s “first gay Spider-Man” – the latter outlet even asserting that “It’s long past time that the LGBTQ+ community gets to be represented there more and more.”

But is that really the case?

Source: Edge of Spider-Verse Vol. 2 #4 (2022), Marvel Comics. Cover art by Josemaria Casanovas.

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The concept of the Spider-Verse is built upon the existence of different variations of Spider-Man, Peter Parker or otherwise, across different universes.

While it’s possible that Web-Weaver is intended to be a version of the actual wall-crawler, a closer look at the issue’s solicit hints that this may not be the case, as Marvel specifically refers to him as “a very different kind of Spider-Slayer”.

Source: Edge of Spider-Verse Vol. 2 #2 (2022), Marvel Comics. Cover art by Josemaria Casanovas.

This part sticks out due to the fact that Spider-Slayers were originally portrayed as villains, commissioned by J. Jonah Jameson and built by inventor Spencer Smythe to, well, slay Spider-Man.

Is the description saying Web-Weaver is supposed to be one of them? If so, then wouldn’t that mean he’s not really analogous to Spider-Man, but rather villains-turned-hero like Venom or the Prowler?

Source: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #317 “The Sand and the Fury” (1989), Marvel Comics. Words by David Michelinie, art by Todd McFarlane.

Further, while Web-Weaver may be the first gay male Spider-variant he is not the first one overall in Marvel history.

That would be the Mary-Jane Watson of Earth-8545, who made her debut as Spider-Woman in 2003’s Exiles Vol. 1 #20 and eventually came to fall in love with the version of Sunfire who was on the reality-hopping team’s roster.

Source: Exiles Vol. 1 #34 “A Second Farewell: Part 2 of 2” (2003), Marvel Comics. Words by Judd Winick, art by Jim Calafiore, Mark McKenna, and Transparency Digital.

Perhaps I’m not reading the description right, or perhaps there’s something else that I’m missing. Regardless, those who want to find out if Web-Weaver is indeed the first gay Spider-Man can read the comic book when it comes out in September.

What do you make of Web-Weaver? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

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