Just like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, Spider-Man once had a mentor similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi who opened Peter Parker’s eyes to mystical forces.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the biggest superheroes of all time and an iconic part of pop culture. As a result, the main points of his origins are pretty well known. Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, which granted him powers like increased strength, agility, and the ability to stick to and climb walls. While he initially used his powers for his own personal gain, the death of his Uncle Ben taught Peter a valuable lesson: with great power, there must also come great responsibility. Peter then chose to use his powers to help and protect others as the Amazing Spider-Man. However, comic writer J. Michael Straczynski introduced the mysterious character known as Ezekiel in 2001, who opened Peter’s eyes to a whole new way of looking at his origins and powers, much like Obi-Wan Kenobi did for Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
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Ezekiel Sims suddenly appeared in Spider-Man’s life one day, knowing exactly who he was and his secret identity, while also sticking to walls and leaping from rooftop to rooftop, seemingly having the same powers as Spider-Man himself (much to Spidey’s shock). After introducing himself, Ezekiel asked Peter a very important question about his origins: did the radiation enable the spider to give anyone its powers, or was the spider intentionally looking to pass its powers onto Peter before the radiation killed it? Spider-Man had never thought about it in that context before, and Ezekiel would go on to teach and guide Spider-Man about his greater destiny in the world.
Ezekiel revealed to Peter that his powers were granted to him by the spider itself, which connected him to a greater force. He’d become a mystical Totem, bridging the gap between man and other species (in this case, a Spider-Totem). Ezekiel also shares that their world exists in a balance. Just as there are Totems connected in this greater balance and force, there are also darker forces that seek to destroy said Totems. Ezekiel would then go on to try and prepare Spider-Man for the imminent arrival of Morlun, an Inheritor who would relentlessly hunt Spider-Man due to his existence as a Totem.
It’s not hard to draw comparisons between Ezekiel and that of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker’s Jedi mentor and teacher in the Star Wars films. Obi-Wan opened Luke’s eyes to his greater destiny as a Jedi and his power in the Force in a very similar fashion. Not only that, but Ezekiel would seemingly sacrifice himself to save Peter when Morlun did indeed attack along with other Totem hunters, much like Kenobi did for Luke when he fought Darth Vader in A New Hope. However, the comparison can go even further. Years later, in the 2014 Original Sin event, Spider-Man would learn that Ezekiel had omitted the truth from him about another person who was bitten by the same spider and granted powers of her own. Her name was Cindy Moon and she would go on to become the hero Silk after Peter rescued her from the bunker Ezekiel had made for her in order to keep her safe from Morlun. This is very similar to Luke’s discovery of another Skywalker in Return of the Jedi: his sister was revealed to be Leia, who also has power in the Force. Obi-Wan and Yoda had kept her separate from Luke in order to keep them both safe from the powers of the dark side.
While Ezekiel’s physical time in Spider-Man’s life would be brief (like Obi-Wan’s in the life of Luke), he did leave quite a big impact going forward (just like Obi-Wan). The concepts and mystical forces Ezekiel introduced would serve as the foundations for more than a few big Spider events in Peter Parker’s future, such as Spider-Verse and Spider-Geddon, seeing Spider heroes from across the multiverse fighting Morlun and his entire family of Inheritors who sought to destroy and consume them. Ezekiel served a very similar role for Spider-Man in Marvel Comics that Obi-Wan Kenobi did for Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: that of a mentor, teacher, and guide into a greater destiny and power neither Peter nor Luke were aware of beforehand.
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