Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Spider-Man, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Spider-Man, culminating with the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film in July. Future installments will deal with Spider-Man creators and Spider-Man stories, but this month will be about Spider-Man’s supporting cast and his villains.
You all voted, now here are the results! We continue with Spider-Man’s supporting cast #10-7…
Here is a master list of all the characters revealed so far.
10. Betty Brant
Betty Brant dropped out of high school and took a job as J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary. It was there that she first met Peter Parker and the pair began a relationship. It was a cute little chaste thing…
For awhile there, they had a bit where Betty blamed Spider-Man for the death of her brother so she hated Spider-Man. Looking back, this was a familiar refrain for Peter. It did make it easier for them to do the retcon where Mary Jane knew Peter was Spider-Man all along, as she is the only one who never pulled the “I hate Spider-Man but I like you, Peter” routine.
Eventually Betty pulled away from Peter because he couldn’t devote enough time to her. She ended up marrying Daily Bugle reporter Ned Leeds. Of course, he then ended up spending a lot of time overseas. She even ended up back together with Peter, as the two had a brief affair. Peter pushed her back to Ned, as he realized what they were doing was wrong.
After Ned was killed (and then revealed to be the supervillain known as the Hobgoblin), Betty went through a tough period. She came out of it a better person, though, and became a well respected jouranlist in her own right. She even eventually cleared her late husband’s name by proving that another man was the Hobgoblin and Ned was just a pawn in the game.
Currently, Betty is working as an independent news blogger. She has an on and off relationship with Flash Thompson.
9. Joe “Robbie” Robertson
Joe “Robbie” Robertson (I don’t believe Stan Lee actually had the Band in mind) is essentially the Yin to J. Jonah Jameson’s yang. The guy who keeps the Daily Bugle a well-respected newspaper despite Jameson’s often flagrant abuses of power and good sense.
Robertson has also always been a strong advocate for both Spider-Man and Peter Parker.
During the brief period following Civil War when Spider-Man’s identity was revealed to the public (before Doctor Strange did a spell erasing the knowledge from everyone’s memory), Robertson made a spirited defense of Peter to Jameson…
Damn, that is one up right dude.
After Jameson was forced to sell the Bugle, Robertson stayed on as its top editor but eventually quit when he could not abide by the policies of the new owner. Robertson went to go work for Ben Urich’s independent paper, the Front Line. Eventually, Jameson allowed them to change the name of the paper to the Daily Bugle. Robertson still works there, doing the right thing as always. He’s a really good guy.
8. Harry Osborn
When Harry Osborn was introduced (he was part of Peter Parker’s incoming Freshman class) he was a real jerk. The one good thing about him was that he was friends with Gwen Stacy, which meant that she would often be around, which is always a good thing. Soon, though, he and Peter became close friends…
Harry’s father, Norman Osborn, might have bought his son some stuff, but in general, he was a total jerk and really did a number of Harry’s self esteem. This led to Harry having a severe drug problem and more than one mental breakdown.
When his father was killed (and revealed to be the Green Goblin), Harry’s mental problems got even worse. He eventually became the Green Goblin himself (but not before first having a sustained period of wedded bliss with Peter’s old high school friend, Liz Allen. Liz and Harry had a boy named Norman).
He seemingly was killed but recently was revealed that just like his father, the Goblin Formula had kept him from dying even though it initially appeared as though the Formula was poisoning him to death. He and Peter renewed their friendship (Harry, naturally, is divorced now – you can’t go into hiding after faking your death and still stay married). Harry eventually got the nerve to stand up to his father. He is now living his own life and doing a fine job with it.
7. Flash Thompson
In the early days of Spider-Man, Lee and Ditko had a lot of fun with the idea that Flash Thompson, the bully who hated Peter Parker, was Spider-Man’s biggest fan!
Eventually, Stan had Flash go fight in Vietnam. This dictated Flash stories for a number of years (he had a Vietnamese girlfriend for awhile).
Flash and Peter soon became friends (although Steven Grant wrote a fascinating story where Flash and Peter realize that it was their mutual friendship with Harry that really made them friends). Eventually, we learn that Flash has a drinking problem (just like his father, who was abusive to Flash his whole life). His life spiraled for awhile but he slowly built his way back up (even dealing with a brain injury).
Now healed, he re-enlisted and fought in the Middle East, where he won a Medal of Honor…
Sadly, he also lost his legs in battle. Recently, Flash was given a chance to walk again by being part of a project where he bonds with the Venom symbiote (which the military had captured). He currently fights crime as the new Venom. He is in an on and off again relationship with Betty Brant.
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