In Marvel’s Heroes Reborn event, Peter Parker is powerless yet his notorious and almost supernatural “Parker Luck” is somehow even worse.
Warning! Spoilers for Heroes Reborn #2 and Heroes Reborn: Peter Parker, The Amazing Shutterbug #1 ahead!
Peter Parker is powerless in Marvel’s Heroes Reborn event, yet his almost supernatural bad luck is somehow even worse. In the event, Marvel rewrites its own history. The Avengers never existed. Captain America was never discovered frozen in ice. Peter Parker was never bitten by a radioactive spider. Yet the powerless Peter Parker is not all that different from the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man we all know and love. He’s incredibly smart, has a knack for heroism, and suffers from luck so notoriously bad it’s been given its own name: “Parker Luck.”
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For the original Spider-Man (before history was rewritten in Heroes Reborn), bad luck started early. When he was six, his parents died in a plane crash. In his teenage years, his uncle Ben was shot and killed. His first love was pushed off a bridge. Making matters even more tragic, Gwen Stacy’s death was a direct result of Spider-Man’s attempt to save her. His bad luck seemingly has no end. It spans from the mundane like bullying to the outrageous like clone drama and having his body taken over by Doc Ock.
You’d think skipping becoming a superhero would improve Peter’s general luck. Yet the Peter of the Heroes Reborn universe seems to suffer from “Parker Luck” even worse. This can be seen in both Heroes Reborn #2 by Jason Aaron, Dale Keown, Carlos Magno and Ed McGuinness and Heroes Reborn: Peter Parker, The Amazing Shutterbug by Marc Bernadin and Rafael De Latorre. He’s bullied relentlessly and never finds his way to a relationship with Mary Jane. Uncle Ben survives but Aunt May does not. Worse yet, Peter witnesses her death firsthand and is powerless to stop it. She dies from a careless act of excessive force by Marvel’s Superman analogue Hyperion. In an unchallenging battle against a G-list villain, Hyperion throws a billboard and unintentionally kills May in a nearby building.
To support Uncle Ben, Peter drops out of college and gets a job at the Daily Bugle. His job is to take pictures of the very superhumans he despises. He floats aimlessly through life until a pep talk from Uncle Ben leads him to the decision to quit his job at the Bugle. He’s asked to take pictures one last time and heads to the roof. Always in the wrong place at the wrong time, his “Parker Luck” finds him when at random the Hive of Annihilation heads straight for him. Hyperion saves him and flies off to the next threat. When Peter realizes the last of the hive survived and everyone in the building is in danger, he falls naturally into selfless heroism. He devises a distraction to evacuate the building and then faces the deadly bug head on. Given his luck, his timing is off and the bug infects him. He promptly begins to transform into a spider-like monster. To save everyone in the building, he jumps out the window. We learn he survived the fall in a Daily Bugle headline that reads “Parker Luck Strikes Again!” He broke all eight legs in the fall. In the Heroes Reborn universe, the “Parker Luck” is notorious enough to make a newspaper headline. Even Hyperion refers to Peter as “the unluckiest man who’s ever lived.”
The even stronger presence of the “Parker Luck” in the Heroes Reborn version of Peter Parker further exemplifies the fact that his bad luck is the crux of what makes him the beloved hero he is. No matter how hard life gets, no matter how many times he gets knocked down, no matter how much the world always seems to be against him, with great power comes great responsibility. He will always do the right thing and fight for what’s right. Even if he gets nothing in return. Even if it only makes his life worse. Peter Parker’s “Parker Luck” isn’t a weakness, it’s what makes him a hero.
Heroes Reborn #2 and Heroes Reborn: Peter Parker, The Amazing Shutterbug #1 are available now in print and digital platforms.
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