Time to dust off that resume, Spider-Man. You're fired!
Don't fret, the web-slinger will still be keeping New York City safe from Venom and Carnage and any number of other dastardly villains he's tangled with over the years. But beginning Wednesday, he's going to have to do it between trips to the unemployment line.
That's the day Peter Parker, Spider-Man's nice guy alter-ego, hears the words, "You're fired" from his cranky, long-suffering boss, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson. Worse still, Jameson not only sacks Parker, who makes his living as a photojournalist, he blacklists him with every news organization in town.
This of course raises all kinds of interesting questions:
-- How will Parker maintain his Spider-Man costumes? Dry-cleaning bills alone must run to several hundred dollars a year.
-- How will he keep buying the stuff he uses to spin those industrial-strength webs needed to hop from building to building? Surely he doesn't pick that up at the 99 Cents Store.
-- Where is his next meal coming from? Would he be reduced to spinning webs outside supermarkets and trapping shopping carts in them?
"Because we still want to sell comic books, I can't answer those questions," laughs Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, which reveals the web spinner's latest crisis in Issue No. 623.
But while hard times may lie ahead, Spider-Man has gotten through hard times before. Just two years ago his marriage to beautiful Mary Jane came to an end when the villain Mephisto erased everyone's memory of it.
He landed on the unemployment line this time not because of the recession or even a downsizing news industry. You probably guessed it already, it was because of an evil villain.
Spider-Man got wind of a plot to frame Jameson and exposed it by digitally manipulating photos he'd taken as Peter Parker. Of course to do that he had to violate journalism ethics by misrepresenting the images. Jameson, longtime publisher of the Daily Bugle, could never tolerate that.
And just why would Peter Parker/aka Spider-Man do such a thing anyway?
"Just because he has super powers doesn't mean he's perfect," says Quesada.