The Tantalization of Other Timelines in Peter Parker: the Spectacular Spider-Man 305

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Every time I read a news story about a tweet our current commander in chief sends out, I can’t help but think how his predecessor or opponent in the election wouldn’t debase themselves in such a way. This inevitably leads me to wonder what an alternate timeline might look like where the current president didn’t win the election. What would the country look like? Would the oval office still be dignified and one that engenders respect and appreciation? I have some ideas about that, but I can never be sure exactly what that timeline holds. This idea, of other timelines, is tantalizing and one all people think about, and as such, it dominates the narrative of the Spectacular Spider-Man 305.

Now that Osborn is president, or at least pulling the stings of the presidency, the world is pretty messed up in this timeline. This is a direct result of Peter going back in time to fight his old enemies before they get to strong. Peter feels a strong sense of responsibility for creating a timeline that allowed Osborn to rise to power, and his assessment isn’t totally wrong. However, when talking about his guilt to Captain America, Peter learns that maybe he isn’t all to blame.

This brings me back to the idea of different timelines. It’s quite easy for any of us to assume we are the center of the universe — that our actions impact our particular timelines in a great many ways. However, what Cap is saying here is that we aren’t as important as we may think. While Peter’s actions did indeed help Osborn come to power, they aren’t the only reason. As Cap says, the American people (cough,cough) are to blame for their current state of affairs more than just Peter’s.

What this means is that, while Peter may worry about his effect on creating different timelines, this worry may be unfounded. This places the hero of this story squarely outside of its narrative center, which is unique and fun.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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