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Doctor Strange helps Spider-Man make a new friend: an actual spider

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A surprising cameo in this week’s Doctor Strange

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From Doctor Strange #390, Marvel Comics (2018). Donny Cates, Chip Zdarsky/Marvel Comics

Today marks the release of Doctor Strange #390, the finale of Donny Cates’s popular run on the title. But you don’t have to be familiar with Cates’s Doctor Strange to enjoy the best part of the issue: Two pages in which Spider-Man gets to talk to an actual spider.

Broadly, Doctor Strange #390 is all about providing emotional closure to Stephen Strange and his supporting cast, including his former apprentice, Zelma Stanton. But peppered in-between all that is some consistent comic relief from your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Peter is visiting the good Doctor at his current place of hiding from his responsibilities — a veterinary clinic — and he’s heard that in the course of treating his furry patients, Dr. Strange has been using his magical abilities to talk to them.

From Doctor Strange #390, Marvel Comics (2018). Donny Cates, Frazer Irving/Marvel Comics

Yes. Yes, he does.

What immediately follows is a two-page interlude, written by Cates and drawn by that expert in comedic comics, Chip Zdarsky, in which Doctor Strange’s spell apparently creates a separate little realm where Spider-Man and a man-sized spider can walk around and have a little chat. It also gives Spider-Man a yellow knit sweater to wear over his costume.

The spider is friendly enough to Peter, but not particularly impressed.

From Doctor Strange #390, Marvel Comics (2018). Donny Cates, Chip Zdarsky/Marvel Comics
From Doctor Strange #390, Marvel Comics (2018).
Show me another comic this week where you can see a spider doing air quotes. YOU CAN’T.
Donny Cates, Chip Zdarsky/Marvel Comics

It turns out there are several things a “spider can” that Spider-Man declines to do. I won’t spoil how the scene concludes, but it ends like most things do for the eternally luck-less Peter Parker:

From Doctor Strange #390, Marvel Comics (2018). Donny Cates, Frazer Irving/Marvel Comics

The finale of a series might not seem like a good issue to recommend if you’ve never read the rest, but, thanks to Spider-Man, Doctor Strange #390 is a surprising exception. You can pick it up at your local comic shop today or grab it online.