Amazing Spider Man #48

(W) J. Michael Straczynski  (A) John Romita Jr; Marvel Comics 2002



At the end of his fight with Shathra, a stunned and weakened Peter had succumbed to her sting’s poison; But luck favored him when he entered a spiders’ den and she lost his scent; Unbeknownst to Peter, he is taken to Ghana by Ezekiel, a friend of his; There Ezekiel feeds him the story of the first Spider-Man, Kwaku Anansi; Ezekiel takes Peter to a holy place of Spiders, something he refers to as a “place of power”; He tells that Peter will have an advantage here; Peter is confused, but is forced to dress up when Shathra comes to the place; A bitter fight ensues.


As a Spider-Man fan I really enjoyed the Straczynski run.  Especially the Morlun/Ezekiel story.  But what I enjoyed the most was how JMS introduced the idea of the “first Spider-Man.” 

In issue 48 Ezekiel explains to Peter Parker that his power comes from the Spider deity Anansi.  Furthermore, he explains that he wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider by accident but instead he was “chosen” by the spider deity. 


Fans hated this idea.  That’s why no one really mentions it anymore.  

The idea was reintroduced in a Spider-Man spinoff called Spider-Man Fantasy issue 2 (2007) but I don’t believe the concept is considered canon anymore.  

As a final note, Anansi (Kwaku Anansi) was originally introduced in the Marvel Universe (Earth-616) in Thor #38 in 1988.  (Via, unconfirmed)

I appreciate Straczynski’s acknowledgment of Anansi folklore in his story but I kind of take issue with the idea he should be considered the CREATOR of Anansi.  Anansi is the deity of ALL stories.  Including Spider-Man’s.



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