Spider-Man: Fake Red isn’t your ordinary story about Peter Parker and his internal struggles of being your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Instead, this is about a young high school student, Yu Onomae who found the original Spider-Man’s suit in a garbage can. Spider-Man No More anyone? And how he responsibly uses the suit by helping people and not for his selfish gain.

Magna author Yusuke Osawa creates a new version of the Web-Slinger while making a new likable character embodying the relatable character concept but with differences from his hero. Yu’s grades aren’t great and he’s not much of a bookworm but like Peter before he was bit by the spider, he wasn’t the most physically fit either. His life is boring and is determined to do the right thing but is afraid of danger. But after finding the Spider-Man suit, he learns the responsibility of putting it on. 

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The Story

With every great Spider-Man comic, or in this case, manga, comes a great story. Usually in some cases, there are too many spider people, but Yu Osamae is different from other versions of Spider-Man. This kid is just a huge fan and a wannabe who just so happens to find his hero’s costume. In doing so, he embarks on numerous dangerous scenarios that include saving a child from a burning building, a carjacking, and of course, you can’t forget Screwball screwing with the city and Spidey, Yu in the suit, for her internet fame.

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Without giving away too many spoilers about the story, there are guest appearances who help further the story’s plot of a missing Spider-Man. The result is an exciting adventure that introduces a new character for the Marvel multiverse: Yu Osomae.

No Power, Great Responsibility

Despite having Spidey’s suit, Yu doesn’t have radioactive spider abilities or any other special powers, and this is what stands out from other webheads like Peter Parker and Miles Morales, but this doesn’t stop him from trying to do what Spidey would do. This is what makes Spider-Man: Fake Red a great story, it’s not the power that makes Spider-Man a great superhero but his actions and the sense of duty he has to do the right thing. The story supports the fact that Spider-Man is a source of hope in the city as well. 

Yu wanted to help people before wearing the mask but was too afraid to act. However, when putting on the suit, he was still scared, but he put on a brave face to help the ones who needed help. What he does with it is what makes him a good person.

When Peter gained extraordinary powers, he used them for selfish fame and money but Yu quickly realized he had to use that suit to help others. The impact Peter has had on people as Spider-Man has sent the right message of great responsibility. It provided Yu with the push he needed to overcome his fears and help others. 

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My Thoughts

As a long-time Spider-Man fan of both comics and films, this book was worthwhile and a fun read. There are some things that needed more development between certain characters and other things I would’ve done differently but despite those flaws, Spider-Man: Fake Red is what a good Spider-Man story should be.

It highlights the fact that anyone can wear the mask if they are willing to do the right thing and put on a brave face for others to follow. The story also references other Spider-Man films and combines those film’s themes and the author’s creation to make an all-new original Spider-Man story.

As I said before, there are many Spider-People in the multiverse but what makes Yu Osomae particularly a little more unique is the fact that he doesn’t have any powers or doesn’t go through a tragic event that pushes him to become a hero. He does it because he has the will to and he even tells himself what Spidey would do.

The story makes clear that Spider-Man is an inspiration and a responsible figure, which Peter aspires to be after losing his Uncle Ben to a burglar he could’ve stopped but decided not to. In my opinion, Peter has already lived up to that aspiration a long time ago and is inspiring others like Yu through his actions and selflessness. The story makes it clear that that’s the case with Peter. 

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What about Yu? What does he take away from putting on Spidey’s costume? He did run into danger, he risked his life, and almost died a couple of times doing what the original Spider-Man would’ve done. But despite that, he still did what he could for his city and its people. And that’s what being Spider-Man is about. Power and Responsibility. 

Spider-Man: Fake Red is available June 13, 2023.

THE GOOD
Great Read
Good Pacing
Amazing Elseworlds story
THE BAD
Needed more of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man
Needed to be longer!
7.5
Good

Review Summary

Spider-Man: Dark Red is a story that adds to the theme of power and responsibility to another character other than Peter Parker and the author realizes that it’s what makes a great Spider-Man story. I hope to see more of Yu Osomae in future comic books or a sequel to Dark Red.

Nathan Gonzalez
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