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What a title, right? Take that Marvel! However, before you jump on the phone to your army of Disney lawyers you should know: I haven’t read all of All-New All-Different. So, no, I can’t speak for literally everything, but for the issues I have read I’ve noticed a pattern. The pattern being everyone’s now Spider-Man.
So, first things first. Post Secret Wars, Marvel is rolling out All-New All-Different. It’s a shaken up universe very close to our old 616 universe, but one that’s also suspiciously close to the cinematic universe. Spidey is no longer the mascot, instead going with the wider known, more marketable Iron Man.
The thing is, we’ve apparently ended up with a bunch of Spider-Men. Not exactly the same, no, but they all share the same base elements. Let me show you what I mean.
First off is, of course, Bendis’ new Invincible Iron Man. Now Tony Stark has always made the jokey jokes, but he’s been about sarcasm, not quips. Not quips. However, in ANAD he’s a quip machine (especially with little asides in parentheses). Every page is filled with comments on everything.
There’s no Pepper in ANAD Iron Man, so you’d assume he’d be in full lady killer mode. While he does go on a date, he not only gets rejected (which I suppose isn’t that bad) but he also seems put off by his reputation as a “horn dog”. So now Tony Stark, Iron Man, has troubles with the ladies. Or lady, I guess, we’ve only seen him with one other woman and she was a hologram. Oh, also, his new assistant is Mary Jane Watson. Take that as you will.
Doctor Strange was the next to get the Spider-Treatment in All-New All-Different. In truth, I haven’t read a Strange book in a while, but he’s been in and out of Avengers and I’ve read a bunch of stuff from the 80s. He’s always, always struck me as a very serious, very studious person befitting someone with such a huge title. He’s the first line of defense for most of Earth’s mystical threats.
In ANAD, he’s quipping and optimistic and has a great weight of responsibility on his shoulders. Sounds like someone we know right? Though he is quite a skirt-chaser in this with a reputation regarding the ladies. So maybe he’s more like Tony Stark? That’s not good. When you have two formerly arrogant, world-class professionals who both had life changing tragedies that sent both their lives in new directions and both have goatees, you might want to differentiate them as much as possible.
He’s also kind of down on his luck when we meet him. I mean, he stopped Soul Eaters (and made out with their Queen, but they had to split up because they had no future… oh man he has trouble with the ladies too!), but things continued to not go his way throughout the issue. We also learn that he’s kind of shat upon in his community, which is classic Spider-Man.
The next was Spider-Gwen, but that’s cheating. I mean, she has boy trouble in this and a bunch of familial trouble. Also money troubles. Also she’s hated by her community. And there are Lizards. And betrayal in the friend group. Very Spider-Person, you guys.
Ironically enough, Spider-Man was one of the comics I hadn’t read from ANAD, and after reading the other comics I don’t feel like I have to. It’s strange that a company who promised to move in a new direction with a new mascot has fallen so far back into a well-worn comfort zone. Maybe All-New All-Different means simply All-New All-Different forms of Spider-Man?