Why Spider-Man’s Interdimensional Council Is So Surprisingly Dark

This article contains SPOILERS for Amazing Fantasy #1000!

Marvel Comics has a weird obsession with interdimensional “councils” that are composed of alternate versions of the same character, and not even Spider-Man was spared from this trend. The “Council of Peters,” however, is perhaps the most sinister of such covens shown until now.

The very first of Marvel’s interdimensional “councils” was the Council of Reeds, a group made by different iterations of The Fantastic Four’s founder, Reed Richards. After building The Bridge (a technology that its user can operate to observe alternate universes and travel to them), each of these Reeds decided that the smartest thing to do was to get together and use their collective genius to solve the problems of the Multiverse. The idea was so successful that it was parodied by Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, with the Council of Ricks becoming a prominent feature in the series. Most recently, Marvel introduced perhaps the most dangerous version of the concept, a Council of Reds created by the demon lord Mephisto using different versions of himself who are hellbent on conquering the Multiverse.


Related: Rick & Morty’s OTHER Council Explains the Central Finite Curve’s Purpose

Considering he is usually a very grounded hero, Spider-Man was the last character that Marvel readers expected would have a multiversal council, but they were proved wrong in Amazing Fantasy #1000, a special anthology issue made to celebrate Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary. “You Get It” is a story written by Jonathan Hickman (who created the original Council of Reeds in Fantastic Four) with art by Marco Cecchetto and Frank Martin, where Spider-Man uses the Bridge to do exactly what Reed did originally, and meet his own council. However, this Council of Peters has a very sinister look: they hang out on thrones made of webbing, make fun of Earth-616’s Peter as soon as he arrives, and even make jokes about cancer.

The reason why the Council of Peters looks so grim has to do with the story’s message. Earth-616’s Peter arrives looking for answers on why his life is so hard, and why Spider-Man is always down on his luck. The other members of the council tell him that the reason why bad things keep happening to Spider-Men is that they put themselves “in the center of the storm” every day because they will hold on as long as it takes, and keep getting up after falling down. Despite how uplifting this message can be, it still confirms that Spider-Man is the hero with the worst luck in the Multiverse; his destiny is to suffer only to prove that adversities can be overcome.

Every Spider-Man in the Council has had his share of tragedies: one has cancer (and still jokes about it), another one has doubts about the paternity of his kids and takes out his frustration beating up villains such as Hydro-Man. This is why the Council of Peters looks so grim, even compared to the Council of Reds, which has a pretty colorful and mischievous tone, considering it’s made by demons. With this story, Marvel and Jonathan Hickman gave Peter Parker his own interdimensional council but also made it original as a perfect representation of what makes Spider-Man a unique hero with his share of suffering and greatness.

Amazing Fantasy #1000 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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