Marvel Accidentally Gave A Spider-Man Villain TWO Separate Lives
The following contains spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #42 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, Nathan Fairbairn, and VC's Joe Caramagna, on sale now
With all the minor characters populating the vast Marvel Universe, it’s easy to unknowingly create a storyline for a lesser-known figure that contradicts what previous writers and artists already established. Not every character receives the same scrutiny as Spider-Man or Captain America, after all, so unintentional inconsistencies can pop up now and then.
Recently, however, Spider-Man’s giant monster character Gog just received a tragic tale in The Amazing Spider-Man #42 that seemingly contradicts a different story about Gog established in Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse #1. While it’s unknown whether or not Marvel will reconcile these two stories down the line – or if they’re aware of the discrepancy at all – the paradox offers fans plenty to speculate about.Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now
Gog the Misunderstood Giant Monster
The Amazing Spider-Man #42 reintroduces readers to Gog, a giant monster who’s been making sporadic appearances in Spider-Man stories since 1971. Originally a tiny alien who fell into the possession of Kraven the Hunter, Gog quickly grew to a gigantic size making him the perfect pawn for Kraven to use against Spider-Man. Spidey defeated the rampaging monster, but Gog would fall under the control of various other super villains, including Doctor Octopus, who continued using him as a weapon.
Finally, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four manages to shrink Gog using Pym Particles and sends him back to his home dimension. Unfortunately, The Amazing Spider-Man #42 reveals Gog’s homecoming was anything but joyous. Originally the pet of a boy in an alien civilization, Gog was lost when his planet was forced to evacuate its citizens, separating him from his owner “Boy.” Placed in a cargo ship, Gog accidentally wound up on Earth where he spent years being manipulated by villains.
Although Gog manages to find “Boy” once he returns to his dimension, the war is still raging and “Boy” immediately dies in an explosion. Heartbroken, Gog is later charged by the planet’s queen – and Boy’s mother – to protect the Tablet of Life, a mystic artifact that wound up on their world thanks to one of Doctor Strange’s spells. Gog eventually returns to Earth to hide and protect the Tablet, growing once more into the gigantic monster Spider-Man fought. Still child-like in nature, Gog appears ready to battle Spider-Man and Boomerang at the end of the issue.
Gog the Noble Warrior
Strangely, however, Spider-Man already encountered Gog much earlier and learned a very different story about who and what Gog really is. In Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse #1, the “mainstream” Spider-Man journeys to an alternate dimension with the Web Warriors – Ghost-Spider, Spider-Ham, Spider-Punk, and Miles Morales. Hoping to find what happened to Gog after Reed Richards sent him home, Peter uses a device supplied by Richards to track Gog to the dimension he wound up in.
Turns out there’s been a significant time jump between dimensions for Gog’s grown-up – sort of. Still human-sized, Gog has nevertheless matured and become more intelligent. Now able to converse in English, Gog explains that while Reed was able to send him home, Gog was unable to grow back to his usual gigantic size and his people – the Tsiln – rejected him.
Feeling like a freak, Gog used his teleportation bracelets to travel to a new dimension where an alternate Doctor Octopus raised him as a foster son. Unfortunately, the Web-Warriors learn this Ock is just as corrupt as theirs – and has been mind-controlling Gog to keep him at his diminutive size and to make him part of his Sinister Six. Ultimately, Spidey and his team are able to free Gog from Ock’s mind control and allow him to grow to his gigantic height. Still intelligent, a grateful Gog teleports back to his home dimension.
Could There Be Two Gogs?
Since Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse involves traveling through the multiverse, it’s tempting to just say the Gog that Spider-Man encountered wasn’t the “mainstream” Gog but an alternate version. However, Gog clearly states that he is from Earth-616, the same Earth that the mainstream Spider-Man is from, and a member of the Tsiln race, just like the Gog reintroduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #42.
The Amazing Spider-Man #42 provides more contradictions as it establishes that the Tsiln remain small in Gog’s home dimension (although they can grow large in other dimensions) and are viewed as pets by the dominant species. The Gog that Spider-Man met in Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse #1, however, states that he was rejected by his people for not being as big as they are. While these changed premises are almost definitely the result of different writers, let’s speculate on how Marvel can reconcile them.
The simplest explanation is that the Gog now appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #42 is a Gog from a different universe than the one Spidey encountered in Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse #1. This Gog experienced events almost identical to his counterpart (including his manipulation by various Marvel supervillains) but came from a dimension where his kind were docile pets. Meanwhile, the “original” Gog Spider-Man met in 1971 grew to be the noble warrior who fought alongside the Web-Warriors before returning to a home dimension populated by giant monsters.
Another (admittedly) weirder theory is that when Reed Richards sent Gog to his home dimension, the process accidentally split Gog into two separate beings (similar to how a transporter accident split Commander William Riker of Star Trek: The Next Generation into two men who went on to live separate – and very different – lives). One Gog could have been sent to a place where his kind did become giant warrior monsters while the second Gog returned to the place where he lived his life as “Boy’s” pet. A bizarre explanation – but in a Marvel Universe full of clones, broken timelines, and alternate universe duplicates… it’s actually pretty standard.
Of course, Spidey doesn’t seem to remember his meeting with the human-sized “warrior Gog” in current issues of The Amazing Spider-Man (likely because his writer Nick Spencer doesn’t either). Still, considering all the crazy and wild adventures Spider-Man has been through, it’s reasonable to assume some of those events have slipped his mind.