Spider-Man’s mentor, Ezekiel, completely changed his world, but whatever happened to the Web-Head’s mystical guide?
As a teenage superhero, Spider-Man was the first of his kind. Beginning his career when he was only fifteen, Peter Parker was never anyone’s kid sidekick. It wasn’t until adulthood that Spider-Man got his own unique mentor: Ezekiel Sims.
Introduced in the Amazing Spider-Man #30, by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna and Dan Kemp, Ezekiel had a major impact on Peter. As Spider-Man was swinging across Manhattan, he saw Ezekiel: an old man in a business outfit, crawling on walls just like him. At this point, there were very few spider-people around, so Ezekiel’s powers greatly surprised Peter. This spider-powered man also reminded Peter of his Uncle Ben. Moreover, Ezekiel knew Peter’s secret identity, rocking him to his core.Continue scrolling to keep reading
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A few days later, the web-head finally got some answers. Through mystical ritual, Ezekiel had apparently received the same powers as Peter. Unlike the web-slinger, however, Ezekiel amassed a fortune, instead of helping others. Ezekiel further revealed a potential mystical component to Peter’s origins, explaining the different totems that underlie every animal-themed hero or villain. News of the spider-totem came as a massive revelation, although Spider-Man remained skeptical.
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The larger issue, however, was Morlun, a vampiric foe who hunted and consumed different totems. Ezekiel told Peter that Morlun was hunting him and that the wall-crawler needed to hide. Of course, Spider-Man knew that Morlun would harm others to reach him, choosing to fight the villain instead. Although hesitant at first, Ezekiel eventually found the courage to face Morlun alongside Peter. Ezekiel seemingly perished during this fight, but he was later revealed to be alive.
When another mystical predator, Shatra, targeted Peter, Ezekiel came to rescue his new pupil. Indeed, Ezekiel took Peter to a temple in Ghana where they laid a trap for Shatra. Ezekiel convinced Peter to give in to his instincts in order to defeat the predator. Later on, Ezekiel appeared to mentor at-risk youth in rough neighborhoods. These kids, who fell through society’s cracks, were given an education in order to become productive members of society.
Ezekiel’s final appearance came when he warned Peter of the third and final predator: The Gatekeeper. Apparently, The Gatekeeper was out to kill Peter, since Spider-Man got his powers by accident rather than by design. When Peter refused to travel back to Ghana with Ezekiel, a swarm of spiders attacked New York. These spiders formed into The Gatekeeper, who eventually informed Peter that he was actually after Ezekiel.
Indeed, Ezekiel had actually stolen his powers, revealing that predators such as Morlun and Shatra were after him, not Peter. By the time Peter found this out, however, Ezekiel kidnapped him and took him back to the temple. There, Ezekiel and Peter fought before Spider-Man was drugged and used as a sacrifice for The Gatekeeper. At the last minute, however, Peter’s spider-sense bonded his mind to Ezekiel’s, and they experienced each other’s lives. Ezekiel saw all of Spider-Man’s heroics, choosing to sacrifice himself so Peter could live.
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Years later, it was discovered that Cindy Moon was bitten by the same radioactive spider as Spider-Man. Ezekiel had trained Cindy to use her powers before locking her in a special room to protect her from Morlun. When Peter learned of Cindy’s existence, he freed her from this room. Cindy later went on to become Silk.
Now, Silk has become a superhero in her own right, and a major member of Spider-Man’s web of heroes. Silk is only part of Ezekiel’s many contributions to Spider-Man’s lore. Ezekiel introduced the overarching concept of spider-totems to Peter’s world, questioning exactly where Spider-Man’s powers originated. Peter’s potentially mystical origins connect him to a whole web of spider-people.
Without the spider-totems, “Spider-Verse,” by Dan Slott, Olivier Coipel and Giuseppe Camuncoli, would never have taken place. This seminal event set the precedent for a vast network of spider-powered heroes in the comics today. Of course, Peter also changed Ezekiel greatly. Teaching Ezekiel more about selflessness and responsibility, Peter made his mentor into a better man, who eventually sacrificed himself for Spider-Man.
Ezekiel may have taught Peter a lot of things, but Spider-Man was also a big influence on his mentor.
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About The Author
(247 Articles Published)
Nabeel Gaber is a longtime reader of a plethora of comic books. He’s based in Houston, Texas, following all of the latest comic book media from movies to television. Nabeel is a graduate of Trinity University, working now as a freelance comic book features writer. In his spare time, Nabeel enjoys running, improv comedy, and all the comics he can get his hands on!
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