Over the years, comic book publishers have been stepping up their game for Pride month. Now, along with this year’s anthology one-shot and variant covers, Marvel has revealed its first gay Spider-Man. The character will make his debut in the pages of Edge of Spider-Verse #5 this September. Created by Steven Foxe and Kris Anka, Spider-Man: Web Weaver is just one incarnation of the superhero being introduced ahead of Dan Slott’s The End of Spider-Verse event series.
To ramp up excitement for the series, Steve Foxe shared an image of Marvel’s first gay Spider-Man on social media. The photo gives fans their first look at the character’s yellow and black costume alongside fellow newcomer Hunter-Spider. Meanwhile, the blurb for Edge of Spider-Verse #5 (via ScreenRant) describes Web Weaver as a not-so-mild mannered Van Dyne fashion designer. After getting spider powers, he shows everyone a very different kind of Spider-Slayer.
The writer posted a follow-up tweet about Marvel’s first gay Spider-Man, discussing his characterization and standing in representing the LBTQ+ community. “Something I realized immediately when conceiving Web-Weaver is that he can’t, and shouldn’t represent ALL gay men. No single character can.” Steve Foxe added that his fearless femme identity is central to who he is, but that’s not what the story is about.
The character design for Marvel’s first gay Spider-Man was created by Kris Anka who looked at a lot of McQueen and Mugler for inspiration. “I cast a wide net for the original designs while also looking at new and unique spiders that Foxe recommended, which eventually paired down to this look,” Anka tweeted on June 23 via CBR. Anka was also a character and costume designer for Sony’s Across the Spider-Verse, the sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse which hits theaters on June 2, 2023.
The issue is additionally co-written by Dan Slott, Phil Lord, and Christopher Miller, with art by Bob McLeod and more. Released in 2014, the first Edge of Spider-Verse series successfully shared the origin stories of popular new spider variants like Spider-Gwen while also reintroducing older versions of the superhero. This year’s revamped series seems to take a similar survey of Marvel’s Multiverse of web-slingers. Among the characters already announced to appear are returning heroes Araña and Spider-Man Noir. The series will also introduce a handful of new variants alongside the first gay Spider-Man. This includes Kraven the Hunter’s Hunter-Spider, a web-slinging Tyrannosaurus Rex, Felicia Hardy/Black Cat’s new Night-Spider persona, and more.
Since the introduction of the Spider-Verse, during Dan Slott’s epic run on Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel’s community of spider variants has become more inclusive and diverse along the lines of race, ethnicity, ability, age, and gender. As such, the introduction of an openly gay Spider-Man is a welcome addition. Moreover, it’s even more special to have LGBTQ+ creators Steve Foxe and Kris Anka as the creative architects of Marvel’s first gay Spider-Man. The five issues of Edge of Spider-Verse will build to a mind-blowing finale aptly named The End of the Spider-Verse. It will be released later this year.