Crazed comic book fans alongside fleets of eager entomologists will soon be waiting in line for tickets to see The Amazing Spider-Man. After all, Spider-Man is one of the few intellectual properties that combines both the hair-raising joys of arachnology and the high octane fun of saving mankind from doom.
Not that there's anything wrong with our eight legged friends... But what if Spider-Man had been bitten by some other miniscule, not-so-sexy creature who'd also been sippin' on the radioactive critter Kool-Aid?
These are the top five insect-inspired superheroes who could defend The Big Apple in place of Spidey.
After Peter Parker accidentally swallows a radioactive Armadillidium vulgare (Pillbug) in his sleep, he begins growing a hard plated exoskeleton. His flexibility increases tenfold and soon he's rolling around Manhattan faster than the average woodlouse! Need to be rescued? Never fear! Rolypoly-man will roll to your aid in no time.
After Peter Parked unwittingly ingests a unfortunate green butterfly, mistaking it for a lettuce leaf on a Caesar salad, he quickly develops the urge to flutter like there's no tomorrow. Thus is the birth of Butterflyguy. Don't be confused by Butterflyguy's not-so-badass name. This fella is one nectar-crazed hero with distinctly ferocious lepidopterous powers.
During a raging, drug-fueled house party in Forest Hills, Queens, Peter Parker accidentally smokes a ground up radioactive dung beetle. He soon develops an insatiable appetite for feces, which leads him to flee to the sewers of NYC. The Daring Dung Beetle starts off as a villain, but with a little coaxing from Gwen Stacy (who now studies Arthropodology instead of Biochemistry), he manages to turn into a poop-wielding hero.
While on a study abroad trip to England, Peter Parker drinks a cup of Earl Grey tea containing one unlucky, drowning, radioactive geometer moth larva. Peter Parker quickly shrinks down to inchworm size and develops a British accent. The Gentleman Inchworm also wears a monocle and has way better wall-crawling abilities than Spider-man.
After making pancakes from radioactive weevil-infested Bisquick, Peter Parker soon develops an insatiable taste for all things gluten-based. He hides out at the Shredded Wheat Bakery in Niagra Falls, NY before deciding to turn to a full-on life of crime. The Evil Weevil will stop at nothing to eat or destroy the world's sources of wheat. Hide your flour! Beware or be infested!
And here's one for all you neglected nematologists out there!
After Peter Parker accidentally traps a radioactive whipworm between his upper arm and a caffeine patch, he starts taking on traits of a slippery parasite. All he wants to do is burrow into and lay eggs inside of things, no matter what. However, true to Parker's character, he struggles to use his powers for good not evil, honing his whipworm-y sense to seek out the real criminal parasites of NYC.
Kristen Bobst is Comediva's ridiculously cool Managing Editor. Among other things, she's a grade-A comedy writer, an unstoppable sock puppeteer, and the world's foremost whimsy aficionado. She certainly believes the meaning of life really is 42; and right now Kristen is really into The Carrie Diaries.