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"Spider-Man never made you special. Being Peter Parker makes you special!"—Mary Jane Watson
Peter Parker's life has really turned a corner. He has a great new job, is a well respected super-hero, in a new relationship with Carlie Cooper and getting along well with his ex, Mary Jane Watson. Things then take a turn for the strange when Carlie reveals she has the same powers and abilities as he does. And she's not the only one. New Yorkers everywhere (except for MJ) are developing spider powers. All courtesy of The Jackal and his secret benefactor.
The major Bat Family Crossover of 2011 for Spider-Man, the majority of the story was seen running primarily through the Amazing Spider-Man book with some important side chapters appearing in the recent Venom ongoing as well. There were other loosely connected tie-ins with Black Panther and Herc, as well as mini series and one-shot tie-ins created for the event in the form of the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, Cloak and Dagger, Deadly Foes, Spider Woman, Amazing Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon), Heroes for Hire and The Avengers.
Spider Island provides examples of:
- A God Am I: The Queen, once she achieves her full power. Completely justified considering she takes out the Red Hulk & Wolverine in one move.
- Bat Family Crossover
- Benched Hero: Spider-Man is ordered to sit the battle out by the rest of the Avengers, as they kept hitting him in battle as everyone with spider powers was running around in Spidey costumes. He takes a third option and begins operating without his mask & as Peter Parker instead, since people would just assume he was one of those infected with the disease.
- Big Bad: The Queen, a semi-obscure villainess from a single storyline during Avengers Disassembled.
- Big Damn Heroes: Peter Parker pulls one off early in the story. Mary Jane pulls one off towards the end of the story.
- Body Horror: The eventual fate of all those with the "Spider-Flu" is to transform into a giant spider monster.
- Boss Battle: The last issue is literally called "Boss Battle" as Spider-Man, the Avengers, X-Men, Future Foundation, the rest of the remaining super heroes and Mary Jane make a final stand against the villain for the fate of New York and the world.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The "Spider-King". Actually, a mutated Steve Rogers, whom the Queen subjugated.
- Kaine was also brainwashed by The Jackal as his faithful servant.
- Brought Down to Normal: Inverted. Everyone else in New York has all the powers Peter has. That is, they do until they become giant man-spider monsters.
- Played straight with Eddie Brock, who gives up being Anti-Venom in order to cure those infected.
- Also played straight with Mary Jane, who was cured of the infection before she mutated into a giant spider monster.
- Call Back: Post-Face Heel Turn, Kaine notes to Spider-Man that he hates wearing Peter's classic costume because the last time he wore it, he died & woke up with some weird new powers. Spidey notes that he can relate to that, that very thing having happened to him during "The Other".
- Comes Great Responsibility: After finally gaining spider powers, Mary Jane states that she understands that her powers come with a great responsibility.
- Covers Always Lie: One of the covers shows Bucky in his Captain America outfit among the heroes who join Spidey in the story, but he never appears in any capacity within the comic
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: At the very end, Eddie Brock, formerly Anti-Venom, is being called the true hero of Spider Island, and Spidey is rightfully peeved. This is of course before Mary Jane shows him the Empire State Building, lit up in red and blue.
- Foreshadowing: Carlie reveals her powers to Peter not long after they first have sex and Peter says that this never happened with Mary Jane despite them being together for years. Reed Richards later hypothesizes that the reason MJ's contraction of the infection was so slow was because she was with Peter for years.
- Giant Spider: Those infected with the Spider-Flu transform into a human sized spider. The Queen herself transforms into a 28 story tall spider monster during the final battle.
- Genki Girl: Carlie is VERY excited to have spider-powers.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Reed Richards hypothesizes that the reason Mary Jane's infection was so slow was because she was "so... close..." to Peter for years. Once Peter and MJ encounter each other during the final battle, MJ starts to explain Reed's theory when Peter summarizes it as because they "shared a toothbrush."
- God Save Us From the Queen
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Peter publicly calls out to the good New Yorkers for help against the evil spider powered New Yorkers.
- Heel Face Turn: Kaine
- Heroic Bystander: Mary Jane.
- Hive Queen
- I Just Want to Be Special: Mary Jane is a little jealous of all the spider powered civilians she sees.
- Naked People Are Funny: Oh, Hercules. Please never change.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Peter Parker "outing" himself as having spider powers to rally the civilians broke a spell placed by Doctor Strange that would prevent anyone from figuring out he's Spider-Man.
- Rousing Speech: The page quote is part of a rousing speech Mary Jane gives to Peter. He actually thinks the speech was pretty terrible but it still did its job.
- Peter also gives one to all of New York, calling upon the people of the city to band together and help fight the villains.
- Ship Tease: Between Peter and Mary Jane, as MJ declares her love for Peter in the final battle, though she makes sure Peter doesnt hear her out of respect for his relationship with Carlie. Considering Carlie breaks up with Peter a few hours later, hindsight is not her strong point
- What the Hell, Hero?: Carlie breaks up with Peter when she realizes he is Spider-Man and their whole relationship was a lie.
- You Are What You Hate: J. Jonah Jameson is amongst those who get spider powers.
- You Have Failed Me: The Queen eventually kills The Jackal for his repeated failings. In the epilogue it was revealed that the Jackal who died was one of the clones, and the real Jackal had kept his distance the entire time.