Big Wheel (comics)
The Big Wheel.
Art by Ross Andru and Bob McLeod
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #182, (1978)|
|Created by||Marv Wolfman
|Alter ego||Jackson Weele|
|Abilities||None, drives large metal wheel|
Fictional character biography
Jackson Weele is a businessman who has embezzled from his company. Fearing that he might be caught, he hires a youthful criminal, Rocket Racer, to steal the evidence that incriminates him. However, Rocket Racer opts to use the evidence to blackmail Weele instead. Despairing, Weele tries to commit suicide, but Rocket Racer prevents him from doing so. However, Racer is not particularly kind to Weele, disparagingly referring to him as "Big Weele". Humiliated by Rocket Racer's taunts, Weele visits the mechanical genius and underworld supplier the Tinkerer, who the Rocket Racer boasted had upgraded his equipment. At Weele's urging, the Tinkerer creates a large metal wheel that can climb up buildings, complete with guns and waldo-arms.
With this new vehicle, Wolfman transforms Weele into "Big Wheel", the supervillain. Newly empowered, Big Wheel hunts down and chases Rocket Racer across the city. In the process, he ends up fighting the title character Spider-Man. Spider-Man is also seeking Rocket Racer, whom he had battled in a previous issue. Unfortunately, Weele lacks practice in using his new device and, in the heat of battle, the Big Wheel topples off a high rooftop and plunges into the Hudson River. Spider-Man tries to save him, but comes up empty-handed. He presumes Jackson Weele died when the Big Wheel vehicle sank to the bottom of the river.
Big Wheel did not appear in another comic book for more than twenty years. However, the story was picked up again by writer Cristos N. Gage. As often happens in the comics medium, Weele survives his seemingly deadly encounter. He turns up again with his Big Wheel while Spider-Man is in combat with Stilt-Man. This time, Big Wheel attempts to help Spider-Man. However, due to his interference, Stilt-Man escapes. Confronted by Spider-Man, Weele reveals that, in the interim since their last meeting, he went to jail for embezzlement and joined Vil-Anon, an analog of Alcoholics Anonymous for super-villains. In fact, his attempt to help the hero was part of his twelve-step program. Out of pity, Spider-Man lets Big Wheel accompany him for the rest of the day. While foiling a bank robbery, the pair confronts the Shocker. Although they defeat him, Jackson Weele finally realizes that he is not cut out for super-heroics. He now makes his living using his Big Wheel rig in demolition derbies and speaking at events for Vil-Anon.
Although poorly received by Spider-Man fans in his initial storyline, Big Wheel's appearance in Spider-Man Unlimited generally received positive reviews. Despite the character's limited exposure, he is often cited as one of Spider-Man's least powerful foes.
The Big Wheel is discussed in The Spectacular Spider-Man #21 (Jan. 2005) during a super-hero poker game. Spider-Man tells Reed Richards that the Big Wheel is one of the craziest things he has ever seen (along with a gang of mimes). The Human Torch says he has met the man at the 'Rusty Nail' and he is working as a security guard. The Torch also claims the Wheel's first name is Axel, although he may be joking. 
During the "Civil War" storyline, Big Wheel is shown being chased by the Harbor Patrol, implying that he returned to super-heroics despite the doubts he harbored in Spider-Man Unlimited.
However, his original vehicle later resurfaces in possession of Overdrive, who upgrades it with his powers over technology and uses it as a personal vehicle during his tenure in the Sinister Six. The Superior Spider-Man is later able to reverse the changes, restoring the Big Wheel to its intended apperance and power.
In other media
- Big Wheel appears in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series episode "Rocket Racer" voiced by Michael Des Barres. In this version, Weele is the head of a band of high-tech thieves whose technology is stolen by Rocket Racer. He states at one point that he once worked in aeronautics, and has achieved everything from proper timing/planning. He is defeated by the combined efforts of Spider-Man and Rocket Racer.
- Big Wheel appears as one of the villains in the Game Boy Advance game Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace.
- Big Wheel appears in the PSP and PS2 versions of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. He appears as an assist character who will run over enemies.
- A Marvel 2099 version of Big Wheel appears as a villain in the Nintendo DS version of Spider-Man: Edge of Time voiced by Steven Blum.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #182
- The Amazing Spider-Man #183
- Spider-Man Unlimited vol. 3 #12
- The Spectacular Spider-Man #21
- Civil War: Frontline #8
- The Invincible Iron Man #7
- Ghost Riders: Heaven's On Fire #3
- The Superior Spider-Man #1
- Posted Oct 3, 2011 7:35 pm (October 3, 2011). "Spider-Man: Edge of Time Available Now". Marvel.com.
- Big Wheel at the Marvel Universe wiki
- Big Wheel at Marvel Directory
- Profile at Spiderfan.org
- Review of Spider-Man Unlimited #12
- Stupid Villain Showcase Satirical analysis of Big Wheel by Seanbaby