The Steel Spider.
Art by Mike Deodato.
|First appearance||(As Ollie Osnick):
The Spectacular Spider-Man #72 (Nov 1982)
The Amazing Spider-Man #263
(As Steel Spider):
Spider-Man Unlimited (comic book) #5
|Created by||Bill Mantlo
|Alter ego||Oliver "Ollie" Osnick|
|Team affiliations||The Misfits|
Wears mechanical spider legs and gauntlets containing a grappling hook launcher and pepper spray blasters
Fictional character biography
Ollie Osnick is an overweight, gifted teenager who idolized Doctor Octopus. Using his genius, Ollie designs his own mechanical tentacles. He influences a group of kids to dress up as super-villains, but they soon ran out on him. Ollie eventually runs away from home and breaks into a toy store.
There, he renders an elderly guard unconscious, although Ollie believes he has killed him. When Spider-Man arrives on the scene, he believes that it was actually Dr. Octopus at work, so he chases Ollie. Fortunately Spider-Man realizes in time that it was not Ock he was facing. When Spider-Man and Ollie fall into a water tank, Spider-Man easily rips apart a tentacle, something that he was never able to do with Ock. Dragging Ollie to the surface, he learns it was actually Ollie he was chasing. By then the guard regains consciousness, and Spider-Man returns Ollie home safely.
Impressed with Spider-Man, Ollie modifies his tentacles into spider-legs and dons a Spider-Man Halloween costume, calling himself the Spider-Kid. Ollie's heroic activities often resulted in him having to be saved by Spider-Man. He was involved (along with Frog-Man and the Toad) in a short-lived super-hero team called The Misfits. Ollie was eventually convinced to hang up his costume and became a normal child.
However, in his college years, Ollie had radically changed. He had devoted himself to exercise and became very athletic. Ollie still fantasized about being a hero, continuing to invent new weapons and modify his spider-legs. When his girlfriend was paralyzed by muggers, Ollie seeks revenge and creates the identity of "Steel Spider", donning a dark blue costume, and equipping himself with all of these new weapons (including gauntlets containing a grappling hook launcher and pepper spray blasters). Steel Spider locates and brutalizes his girlfriend's attackers. He removes his costume, realizing that he never wanted to be a vigilante and would rather build a life with the girl he loves.[volume & issue needed]
Equipped with a new set of arms, Ollie Osnick now displays a more rebellious attitude towards the Superhero Registration Act. As an unregistered superhero, Ollie becomes a target for the government's Thunderbolts team. Mention of his name also causes Thunderbolts director Norman Osborn to collapse into fits of laughter, as it reminds him of Spider-Man. After having beaten several drunken misfits, Ollie becomes afraid of the government sponsored Thunderbolts.
Ollie fights the Thunderbolts, and is joined in his battle by American Eagle and Sepulchre. After successfully defeating Venom, Radioactive Man, and the new Swordsman, he uses the gadgetry in his metal limbs to square up against Radioactive Man, Songbird, Venom and Penance, commenting that having allies "almost makes this a fair fight. I bet they weren't expecting that." As the fight continues, Ollie seems to be holding his own until Venom unexpectedly bites off Ollie's left arm and eats it. Ollie is later shown being incarcerated in Prison 42 in the Negative Zone.
In the MC2 continuity, Ollie Osnick never quits being Steel Spider and is even a member of the Avengers. He modifies his costume into a powerful exoskeleton and becomes a highly respected superhero. However, when his personal life fails and his wife leaves him, Steel Spider goes looking for criminals to take out his frustrations. However, the crooks he finds are so afraid of him they surrender without a fight. Steel Spider has a tantrum, until he sees that he is being watched by Spider-Girl and American Dream. They tell him how much of an inspiration he had been to them, and he helps them defeat a terrorist cell called "the Sons of the Serpent". After this, he sets about rebuilding his shattered personal life. 
Powers and abilities
Ollie Osnick has no superpowers but he wears mechanical spider legs which allow him to climb. He also wears gauntlets that contain a grappling hook launcher and pepper spray blasters. He's also a gifted inventor with a genius-level intellect.
In other media
- A version of Spider-Man that is similar to Steel Spider had a brief appearance in the 1994 Spider-Man animated series finale "I Really, Really Hate Clones", voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes. This incarnation is an alternate universe version of Spider-Man (Peter Parker) who has defeated Doctor Octopus once and for all and had taken his tentacles, which he controls using a device worn on his head, and was also based on a small moment in the comics where Spider-Man temporarily takes up Doctor Octopus' arms only to lose control of them and have them destroyed. The tentacled Spider-Man is among the Spider-Men summoned by Beyonder and Madame Web in order to help Spider-Man fight the Spider-Carnage.
- Steel Spider appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Spidah-Man", voiced by Jason Marsden in a Boston accent. This version of Ollie Osnick is a teenage genius from Boston and a great fan of Spider-Man who endorses the web-slinger's transfer to his hometown which he does with the support of the unnamed Mayor of Boston. But he becomes upset after Spider-Man rejects his offer to be his sidekick since it would've been too dangerous for him. As a result, he armors up some low-level criminals that Spider-Man had recently captured (a bank robber, a female museum thief, and a purse snatcher) as the Boston Terroriers (the bank robber becomes Plymouth Rocker, the female museum thief becomes Salem's Witch, and the purse snatcher becomes Slam Adams) and attacks as the Steel Spider (depicted as a high-tech suit of armor). After Steel Spider fights Spider-Man, the Boston Terroriers then turn against Steel Spider upon hearing about J. Jonah Jameson's reward for Spider-Man's unmasking. Steel Spider realizes the error of his ways and teams up with Spider-Man against the villains. Spider-Man and Steel Spider end up hitting the shut-off switches on the Boston Terroriers' armors. In the end, Spider-Man returns to New York while Steel Spider becomes Boston's own superhero.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #263
- The Amazing Spider-Man #266
- Spider-Man Unlimited #5
- Green Goblin #12
- Thunderbolts #112
- Thunderbolts #113
- Thunderbolts #114
- Thunderbolts #115
- Thunderbolts #116
- Spider-Girl #32