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Marvel reveals that Spider-Boy’s origin is a lot more tragic (AND HORRIFYING) than we originally thought.

The origin of Spider-Man’s kid sidekick is filled with intense body horror.

Boy-Spider (Spider-Boy's monster double)
Image credit: Marvel

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Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. Miles Morales was bitten by a radioactive spider.

Bailey Briggs’ origin is a bit more gruesome.

The young hero known as Spider-Boy has been a bit of an enigma since he debuted in ‘End of the Spider-Verse.’ Where did Spider-Man’s kid sidekick come from, how did he get his powers, and where are his parents? Spider-Boy #4 (written by Dan Slott, art by Paco Medina and Ty Templeton) gave us some of these answers, and they’re downright horrifying. Let me put it this way – Bailey Briggs’ heroic origin is filled with some sick body horror.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Spider-Boy #4!

What we know so far about Spider-Boy

Spider-Boy argues with Peter and Miles
Image credit: Marvel

Before we get into the latest revelations, let’s bring you up to speed on what we know so far. According to Amazing Spider-Man #31 (2023), Bailey was genetically altered by a mad scientist named Madame Monstrosity. The fate of his parents is unknown, but according to Spider-Boy #1, his mother is still alive. During some point in the past, Spidey rescued Bailey from Madame Monstrosity’s lab (Spider-Man #11). Bailey was then trained by Daredevil, who helped him gain control of his powers.

However, Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Madame Monstrosity have no memory of this. That’s because Bailey was removed from the Web of Life during the ‘End of Spider-Verse’ storyline. Although the Spider-Heroes were able to restore Bailey, he had been gone so long that the world lost their memories of him.

(For the scoop on Spider-Boy’s creative origins, check out our exclusive interview with Dan Slott)

This still leaves some unanswered questions, such as the whereabouts of Spider-Boy’s parents, and the circumstances of his transformation. The latest issue of Spider-Boy gave us some answers, and they’re downright unsettling….

The horrifying details of Spider-Boy’s origin

Madame Monstrosity reveals how she created Spider-Boy
Image credit: Marvel

We already knew that Madame Monstrosity genetically turned Bailey Briggs into Spider-Boy, we just didn’t know how. We see a brief flashback to Bailey’s origin in Spider-Boy #1, and it appears that the boy was zapped with some science ray that spliced his genetic structure with spider DNA.

That’s pretty typical Marvel fare, but apparently we were only getting half of the story.

Madame Monstrosity goes into more detail in Spider-Boy #4. In order to draw Spider-Boy out, Madame Monstrosity decides to use Bailey’s “biological remains” to create a Boy-Spider. “His batch number is still clear as day. As are these biological remains inside. All the parts of the spider that were not spliced into the boy, and all the parts of the boy that were removed to make way for the spider,” Madame Monstrosity explains.

In other words, Bailey wasn’t just given spider DNA. The young boy had his organs harvested and replaced with spider parts. This is beyond the genetic splicing that Marvel scientists like the High Evolutionary do. Keep in mind, Bailey is a young boy.

It’s even sicker when you realize that Madame Monstrosity kept Bailey’s discarded organs and body parts. It also means that when Bailey confronts Boy-Spider, he’s looking at a creature that has pieces of his original body. Imagine how unsettling that must be, especially if you’re a child.

Madame Monstrosity’s defeat can’t come soon enough.

Who are Spider-Boy’s parents?

Spider-Boy's mother revealed
Image credit: Marvel

What about Bailey’s parents? The child is currently unhoused, living in the F.E.A.S.T. shelter. There has been speculation that Spider-Boy might be connected to Bailey Briggs, a murder victim from Dan Slott’s She-Hulk run. Slott was playfully coy when Popverse asked him about the connection.

Bailey’s mother has been mentioned a few times, and the young hero claims that she’s still alive. But who is she?

It turns out that we’ve already met her. A human/cat hybrid named Tabby has been seen alongside Madame Monstrosity in Amazing Spider-Man #31 and Spider-Boy #3. Tabby is seen again in Spider-Boy #4 as Madame Monstrosity discusses Bailey’s genetic origins. “I saw everything I needed to identify that troublesome toddler. Care to guess,” Madame Monstrosity playfully asks Tabby. This exchange took on a new meaning by the end of the story.

When the monstrous Boy-Spider (Spider-Boy’s double) becomes agitated, Madame Monstrosity has Tabby comfort the creature. “Why do you think I brought you along, Tabby? I might not be able to read Spider-Boy’s real name on that storage drawer, but I could read every line of his DNA samples inside. Enough to know that it’s a perfect match for his mother’s, Tabitha Briggs.”

Bailey’s mom is the prisoner of Madame Monstrosity. Why haven’t Spider-Man and Spider-Boy tried to rescue her? I suspect we’ll get answers to that question in upcoming issues. Don’t forget, everyone has lost their memory of Bailey, and this includes Tabitha. Can you imagine how emotionally devastating their reunion will be? Put yourself in the shoes of a young boy reuniting with a mother he hasn’t seen in years. Now imagine the devastation when that mother doesn’t recognize you.

Spider-Boy is heading for a major heartbreak.

An advance review copy of Spider-Boy #4 was provided ahead of release by Marvel.

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