Spiderman He has earned many fans over the years, both in the real world and on the pages of his own comics. Some of these fans, like cancer patient Timmy Harrison, saw their hero as a source of strength and ended up befriending Spidey. Others, like Oliver “Ollie” Osnick, took their hero worship down a darker path, focusing on Peter Parker’s violent activity over and above his moral core and his desire to help others.
Ollie Osnick would become the brutal vigilante Steel spider – finally colliding with Spider-Man’s foe Venom in one of Marvel’s darkest and most horrible “hero” fights, but it didn’t start out that way. In fact, when Ollie first appeared in The Spectacular Spider-Man # 72, It seemed more foolish than dangerous, although in hindsight, there were a series of red flags.
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The story introduced fans to Ollie; An overweight nerdy kid who more than anything wanted to be like… Doctor Octopus. Ollie’s fascination with Spidey’s multi-limbed foe was so great that he actually stole some equipment from his wealthy father and built a set of mechanical arms just like the real Doc Ock. He also tried to get his friends to form a “Super Villain Society” and dress up as the enemies of Spidey, Electro, Sandman, and Vulture. However, when Ollie started trashing his house with his arms, his friends left.
Feeling discouraged, Ollie went out with his mechanical arms, hoping to locate the real Doctor Octopus and join him. He robbed a convenience store to buy comics and candy, then broke into a toy store, attracting Spider-Man’s attention. Thinking he was dealing with the real Doc Ock, Spidey nearly hit the boy, but when Ollie started crying, Spidey took pity on the boy and even covered up his crimes. Unfortunately, this only caused Ollie to shift the focus of his obsession.
The Spectacular Spider-Kid
Ollie reappeared in The Amazing Spider-Man # 263 In a Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz story with a very different appearance, he now wore a version of Spidey’s red and blue costume (with the eye holes cut out so he could wear the goggles over the mask). He also reworked his mechanical legs to make them more segmented and spider-like. Convinced that he was now destined to be Spider-Man’s partner, the newly christened “Spider-Kid” patrolled the streets looking for criminals, but usually tripped over their metal legs.
Spider-Kid attempted to contact Spider-Man, going so far as to build his own version of a “Spider-Signal” and asking to work with his new idol. Dismayed by Ollie’s career choice, Spidey tried to convince the overzealous boy genius to hang up his nets, but Ollie was not deterred. Things got even more ridiculous when Spider-Kid met Frog-Man (the son of Spider-Man’s forgotten villain Leapfrog) and the X-Men villain Toad. While the three initially fought for the right to be Spider-Man’s partner, they later decided to band together and form a crime fighting group called “The Misfits.”
The Steel Spider
Ollie eventually withdrew his Spider-Kid identity (after having a girlfriend) and most readers forgot about the joke character. But in the 1990s, grim, brave heroes were all the rage and writer Eric Fein and artist Mark Tenney decided to give Ollie a major makeover in Spider-Man Unlimited # 5. The short story ‘Street Justice’ revealed that in his senior year, the once chubby Ollie had become obsessed with exercise and was now a muscular and intense teenager.
However, when his girlfriend Jane was beaten up and possibly paralyzed in a shooting, Ollie decided to open up his old gear to get revenge. While he had ditched superheroes, he couldn’t help but play with his mechanical legs and upgraded them to include a grapple launcher and pepper spray. Wearing a dark blue costume, he located the gang that shot his girlfriend and brutally beat the shooter with mechanical arms. Fortunately, the police arrived before Ollie could finish the job, and the Steel Spider retreated, haunted by the fact that a part of him had actually wanted to kill the man.
Despite his anger issues, Ollie continued to date as the Steel Spider and fought alongside the New Warriors during the Onslaught event when the Sentinels attacked New York City. While his new look was cooler than his original outfit, most of the heroes made fun of Steel Spider behind his back and considered him a C List loser. Ollie continued to become more and more mentally unstable and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. , where he stole money from his parents to improve his mechanical legs by adding a gun, acid, and a taser gun. He separated from his girlfriend and began brutalizing criminals on a regular basis, attracting deadly attention.
The Thunderbolts attack
At this point, the Superhumans Registration Act had passed, but Ollie refused to register, especially after seeing the way his hero Spider-Man had switched sides and joined Captain America’s anti-registration team during the Civil war event. This put the Steel Spider in the crosshairs of Norman Osborn, who was now the manager of the Thunderbolts, a government-approved team of “reformed” villains. Targeting Steel Spider because of his psychotic obsession with Spider-Man, Osborn sent his goons, including Mac Gargan, the new cannibal Venom, after Ollie.
Ollie gained some allies in the local heroes American Eagle and Sepulcher and faced the Thunderbolts. His improved equipment and bloodthirsty demeanor actually made him a match for the villains until Venom informed him that they were allowed to go to any lengths to kill the Steel Spider, and he quickly bit off of the (real) left arm of Ollie. While the Thunderbolts managed to cauterize the wound and save his life, the Steel Spider was later thrown into a Negative Zone prison.
Tragically, fans know that things could have turned out differently for Steel Spider. In the alternate future depicted on the pages of the MC2 book Spider girl, Ollie managed to become a respected superhero for a time, even joining the Avengers. However, when his wife left him, Ollie’s self-destructive tendencies resurfaced. He regained all the weight he had lost and took out his frustrations on random street criminals. Fortunately, after receiving a pep talk from Spider-Girl and American Dream, Ollie regains some of his self-esteem and tries to rebuild his life.
Considering how he started out as a fan of super villains, Ollie’s violent streak actually showed quite early. Unfortunately, instead of seeking treatment, he kept evolving into darker versions of Spiderman until his actions literally tore him apart. While it seems shocking that a goofy character like Spider-Kid could end up being partly eaten by Venom, in hindsight it actually seems inevitable. Steel spider it’s a practical lesson that dressing up like a hero and even being sincerely inspired by him is not enough. If what you really want is to hurt others, the Marvel Universe tends to give it back in kind.
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