Marvel Uses a Spider-Man Clone to Call Out Its Silliest Trope


  • Marvel finally calls itself out for its silly disguise trope through the character Rek-Rap, who tries to imitate Spider-Man but fails to fool anyone.
  • The trench coat and fedora disguise trope is a common one in pop culture, especially in comic books, and Marvel has used it frequently throughout its universe.
  • The use of this disguise trope in comics often results in unintentional comedy, as characters like the Thing and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can roam freely without standing out. In this issue, the parody is intentional, highlighting the fact that Rek-Rap’s disguise doesn’t work. Marvel doesn’t seem to be retiring this trope anytime soon.



Warning: Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #36!Marvel finally calls itself out for its silliest trope, through Spider-Man’s silliest variant. Truth be told, Rek-Rap isn’t so much a variant as he is a demon who idolizes Spider-Man, who has inspired him to become the Spider-Man from Hell. Unfortunately, this Spider-Man also boasts one of the worst disguise tropes in Marvel history.

The Amazing Spider-Man #36 by Zeb Wells, Mark Farmer, Marcio Menyz, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Nick Lowe, and Ed McGuinness begins a new arc for Spider-Man after his reign as the new Green Goblin. Now, the return of Rek-Rap marks his latest team-up, but not before Rek-Rap dons a disguise that doesn’t fool anyone.

Spider-Man from Hell Rek-Rap in a bad disguise-1

His bad attempt at disguise recalls past attempts from other heroes that this is clearly parodying.

Rek-Rap Adopts Marvel’s Worst Disguise Trope

Spider-Man from Hell Rek-Rap in a bad disguise until Grave Goblin sees him

When Rek-Rap decides to investigate a homeowner’s attic for information, he is greeted at the door by the home’s renter. The renter in question is horrified at the sight of Rek-Rap, both because he’s a humongous and terrifying blend of magic and symbiotes, and because the renter recognizes him as the giant Spider-Man impostor who wreaked havoc on the city during the Dark Web event earlier this year. However, Rek-Rap is none the wiser to how he’s coming off because he’s certain that he’s in a foolproof disguise comprised of just a trench coat and a fedora. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to fool the renter or Rek-Rap’s archrival in the distance.

The Trench Coat/Fedora Combo Never Worked for Anyone

The Thing Trench Coat

This trope is a common one in pop culture as a whole, but especially in comic books. Perhaps no company constantly harkens back to the trenc hcoat and fedora look quite as often as Marvel. The Thing is a prime example of someone who has gone back to that well numerous times in his life. Perhaps the biggest example comes from the title characters of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic franchise, which can technically be lumped into the same Marvel Universe given their origin connection to Daredevil. In either case, the point still stands that the disguise trope has been and continues to be frequently featured in the Marvel Universe.

Whenever it is featured in the comics, it feels comical, whether the comedy is intentional or not. When the comedy is unintentional, it’s when the most ridiculous of figures (like the Thing and the Turtles) can go where they please in this disguise, and yet, don’t stand out as out of the ordinary. Here, in this issue, it’s obviously poking fun at the fact that, normally, no one can see through disguises like these by ensuring that everyone can see through Rek-Rap’s disguise. The Spider-Man from Hell wasn’t as lucky as others who donned the disguise, but it also doesn’t look like Marvel is retiring this trope anytime soon.

The Amazing Spider-Man #36 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.


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