In a recent interview Andrew Garfield got talking about how badly he wanted his version of Spider-Man to be bisexual, something I think a lot of people (including me!) would have liked very much. God bless Andrew, he’s been pushing for this for years. Back in 2013 he told Entertainment Weekly,
“What if MJ is a dude? Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking! …So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
We know, of course, that this didn’t happen in the movies. Andrew Garfield is rightly salty about it and hey, so am I. Something tells me Disney will never, ever, ever in a million years allow one of their flagship characters to lean that way either. But…
…There is one very obscure comic from 2018 that heavily implies a version of Peter Parker is, in fact, into boys! One boy in particular actually.
Welcome to Earth-44145! This is one of the several alternate universes visited during the “Spider-Geddon” storyline. In this world Norman is Spider-Man, an evil version with yup, six arms.
And the Peter Parker of this universe? Dead at Norman’s hands. This story is told via a letter Peter wrote to Harry before he died, and that letter gets very interesting.
With us so far? The Harry of this universe is out to avenge Peter and do away with his evil dad once and for all. Disobeying Peter’s advice in the letter, he marches in through the front door of Oscorp and non-lethally takes everyone down.
Harry makes his way through the building to find the top secret project Norman’s been working on.
This universe’s Peter must be a Doctor Who fan.
Also, yes, this story involves something as ridiculous as a “time bungee,” I’m sorry. But hey! That’s not the part of the plot we’re interested in!
As Norman readies his security forces, Harry makes it to another room and finds a suit of armour Peter left for him… the Kobold Armour.
“Don’t say I never got you anything” sounds rather… more-than-friends-ish, wouldn’t you say? Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
I want to talk about the Kobold armour here! Of all Harry’s superpowered alter-egos Kobold is my FAVOURITE. It fits him perfectly. Peter is correct about the basics of what a Kobold is, a folklore creature that adjusts its behaviour depending on how it’s treated, and isn’t that exactly what Harry does in some of his most famous arcs?
Harry finds what his father’s been working on, a Cosmic Cube, and gets a quick glimpse into the reality where Peter, not Norman, is Spider-Man. MJ and Gwen are there too. Neither seem to be around on this Earth-44145, there’s no mention of them.
Harry’s main reaction is:
“Peter. Look at you…”
Then Norman attacks Harry and the two of them fight. Norman smashes Harry’s mask while invoking Spider-Man’s most famous saying.
Harry then delivers one of the most satisfying blows I’ve ever seen in a Spider-Man comic, getting Norman RIGHT IN THE CROTCH.
Harry then fires at something offscreen-
-and turns out he’s aiming for the Cosmic Cube.
Spider-Norman and all his alternate versions watch in horror as it explodes. (Yeah, I don’t really get that either.)
AND THEN we get the last bit of the letter!
Ignore the inexplicably bad art in this bit, just look at the words-
“If there is an afterlife I will do my best to tell you somehow.”
I mean…really… what else could that even mean? The “love you, man” part, yeah you could take that either way (it’s not like “love” hasn’t been used in regards to Peter and Harry’s relationship in the main universe, heck it was used a mere four issues ago even) but “tell you somehow?” Tell him what? Well, I suppose that’s the question isn’t it.
Here’s the whole text of Peter’s letter, by the way:
First off, I truly hope you are not holding this letter in your hands… if you are, though, that means I’m no longer alive. Damn, that’s hard to wrap my head around. Anyway, unless I was randomly hit by a bus or choked on my lunch, we both know who is behind it. Spider-Nor-Man “Grand Poobah, self-crowned king, and High Jerk-o-polis” Osborn. Or, as you call him, “Dad.”
Actually, being that your dad owns all the transit systems, and probably controls restaurant food distribution in the city, I am just going to say it’s his fault…
No matter what, if I’m dead, Norman Osborn is to blame. And if I’m dead, then things are much worse than either of us could have imagined. It means he knows I have been working against him on the sciency side of things. And if he knows about me, you have to assume he knows about you working against him on the corporate side of things. You have to assume he is coming for you.
Oooooor… you could go to him. This is probably a terrible idea… Sneak in some way. Dress up as a cleaner or security guard. Hide your stupid hair… And find a way in that’s not just walking through the front door! If you do walk in the front door, they’re likely going to tackle you, drag you up to the top floor, and throw you off. So please don’t do that. Anyway…
Here’s the terrible idea…Your dad’s been pouring a ton of resources into this super-secret project for months now. You know about all the resources that have been allocated to it, but I haven’t had a chance to catch you up on the particulars of the stuff going on in the labs. For the last few weeks, Norman’s had us in the chemistry department working to refine my old web-fluid formula. Not just to make it as strong as it could be, but also giving it a particular level of plasticity. Dr. Ohnn’s lab has been running tests about the possible breakdown of string theory in relation to…well, can I just say timey-wimey stuff?Alternate-reality sort of stuff. Every department has this weirdly particular project that any lab could spend a lifetime researching, and Norman is flooding them with money and resources. Why? My best guess? Norman is building a Time Bungee…something to bungee jump through time and space…
Though, I am probably wrong. Anyway… That means all of Norman’s eggs are in one basket. And if we break that basket… maybe, just maybe, Oscorp will be weakened enough to loosen its stronghold on the world.
You have to get to the Kobold suit. It is your only hope of breaking into Norman’s lab.
A Kobold is a German house gnome/nymph/troll/goblin. If treated poorly, they set fire to you and everything you love.
Harry, Norman wants us to believe we have no choices. That we’re in a maze without any forks in the path. He wants us to believe we have no options. Harry, we always have choices. We always have options. Sometimes we just have to make them.
Well, here’s to hoping you make it through this okay and our work together wasn’t in vain. Please watch out for May and Ben for me. And Harry, if there is an afterlife, I will do my best to tell you somehow.
Love you, man.
And, from his battered and bleeding position on the floor, Harry gives his response-
And that’s it! That’s the last we see of Earth-44145 Harry. We don’t even know if he lives or dies.
Norman falls into the Web of Time and Destiny thanks to the blast and becomes one of the villains of the Spider-Geddon comics, but after that this universe was never seen again. And most people have no idea of this comic’s existence either!
But I kinda hope Andrew Garfield has seen it.