Rave : 2006 : New Avengers #19 - Is This Spidey? (SPOILERS)
I have just finished reading New Avengers #19 and I don't know who this is in the Spider-Man suit but I suspect it is some previously unknown poorly-developed, mentally stunted clone.
First of all, this poor sap doesn't appear to have a spider-sense (or any common sense for that matter). He just blithely goes along chatting with Iron Man while all of the agents of SHIELD surround him with guns and never seems to notice. I'm currently working on a Lookback for ASM Annual #3 and Spidey's sense tingles when Thor approaches him to offer Avengers membership, for crying out loud, but he can't sense a hundred SHIELD goons with guns or the evil intentions of SHIELD's fascist new boss?
Once this slow-witted Spidey figures out what is going on, he leaps to the ceiling and perches there momentarily while a SHIELD psi-agent orders him to sleep. The Spidey I know would have the speed and reflexes to get out of that room so fast that no agent would be able to do a thing about it. I also think, though I'm willing to give in on this one, that Spidey's experience with magic and mutants and mind control would steel him enough against any psychic assault so as to fight off this attack, at least temporarily. It's not like it's unexpected. Iron Man has just warned him that SHIELD has psi-agents. (But where did SHIELD get this and other psi-agents anyway? Or any of their psi-agents for that matter? Aren't they all mutants and shouldn't they have lost their powers? Plus, if they have an agent who can put people to sleep like this, why isn't she out in the field tracking down every wanted super-villain she can find instead of sitting around in the heli-carrier waiting for Spider-Man to make a run for it?)
Now, I know that Civil War is going to change a lot of things but I refuse to believe that Peter would allow himself to be unmasked, mindprobed and otherwise violated without making any effort to escape. He wouldn't try to break out of those manacles? He wouldn't be leaping around the room like a jackrabbit trying to get out? I think Bendis forgot that this is not Ultimate Spider-Man who gets unmasked and humiliated every single damn issue. This is (or at least we like to think this is) the original and the original would not stand for any of this. The unmasking is a huge deal (everyone involved in Civil War has forgotten what makes Spidey Spidey and that he is the last hero who would ever want or decide to have his identity revealed) giving SHIELD knowledge of his identity (again, this is NOT Ultimate Spidey). At the very least, after being released, Spidey would do something like web Hill's mouth shut. But it would be more in keeping with Spidey if he ditched the Avengers as a bad deal all the way around, got Aunt May and MJ out of the tower as soon as possible and got Dr. Strange to mindwipe the knowledge of his identity from every SHIELD agent who has it. (I know the JLA has had problems with mindwiping lately but, let's face it, it's still the way to go for any self-respecting super-hero with access to it.)
I'm all for making changes in the character. I'm all for Spidey changing his mind on things, for growing, for developing. But this guy in the new costume is so unlike the Spidey I've read for years that he might as well be Kaine or Spidercide; some twisted-up Peter Parker we can't even recognize who doesn't think straight and doesn't even seem to have the same powers.