New Spider-Man Manga Understand the Hero Better than His Comics

Fans who have been disappointed with the current direction of Marvel’s Spider-Man comics need to read the new manga Spider-Man: Fake Red. This manga is not a typical Spider-Man story, not focusing on Peter Parker, Miles Morales, or any of the other super-powered characters who have taken up that mantle. Despite this, it serves as one of the best testaments of Spider-Man’s power and importance in any medium.


Spider-Man: Fake Red is a manga created by Yusuke Osawa that follows the high schooler Yu Onomae who lives in a version of the Marvel Universe. Yu is a social outcast who struggles both in school and his social life at the beginning of the story. He is also a major Spider-Man fan who one day finds his hero’s suit behind a dumpster, a reference to the iconic “Spider-Man No More!” story by Stan Lee and John Romita. While he has no superpowers himself, he begins to wear it and fill in for the real Spider-Man who has mysteriously vanished. As he saves people from disasters and supervillains, he learns to step outside his comfort zone and becomes a true hero.

Spider-Man: Fake Red Is Refreshing After The Current Spidey Comics

Spider-Man Fake Red

Part of what makes this story so satisfying to read is how it feels like a love letter to the character of Spider-Man without actually featuring Peter Parker all that much. This is a stark contrast to the current Amazing Spider-Man run by Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr, which many fans feel is ruining Peter Parker’s life just for the sake of depicting him as suffering and struggling. The biggest example is how Peter and MJ broke up again, and Mary Jane even has children with another man now. While Spider-Man: Fake Red does show Peter having some issues with his love life, it stems from his double life as a hero, which is more in line with the character’s roots.

This is actually Spider-Man: Fake Red‘s biggest strength. It is able to seamlessly incorporate many aspects of the Spider-Man mythos in new and exciting ways. The biggest example is how it deals with Uncle Ben’s famous line, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” (which Uncle Ben never actually said). Yu doesn’t have great power, but upon finding the suit he takes it upon himself to live up to the responsibility of the mantle. In doing so he reveals that despite the character’s penchant for suffering, Spider-Man is ultimately a symbol of hope that inspires others.

Spider-Man: Fake Red Shows What Makes Spider-Man Great

Spider-Man and Scorpion in Fake Red

Both old Spider-Man fans and newcomers to the character will find something to enjoy in Spider-Man: Fake Red. Yu’s journey makes for a satisfying story in its own right, but the manga also features some cameos of other characters from the comics for fans more familiar with the franchise. All of this makes Spider-Man: Fake Red a perfect Spider-Man story that serves both as a refreshing difference from the current Amazing Spider-Man run and as a perfect jumping-on-point for newcomers.

Spider-Man: Fake Red is available from Viz Media.

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