Spider-Boy 8 cover by Humberto Ramos cropped
(Image Source: Marvel / Humberto Ramos)

Spider-Boy #8 Reveals More Annoying Riddler

It is not uncommon for Marvel and DC to spoof one another. Both comic publishers have created characters over the year that parodies popular characters at their competitor. Spider-Boy #8 continues this tradition, introducing a villain who seems to be an even more annoying version of the Batman villain The Riddler.

Written by Dan Slott, with art by Jason Loo, Spider-Boy #8 introduces the character of Krys Crossman. A puzzle writer for the Daily Bugle, Crossman is forced to remove his word game app from the paper’s website due to glitches. Blaming the wall-crawling tween for this, Crossman adopts the identity of the Puzzle Man, and sets out to seek his revenge.

Puzzle Man Introduced in Spider-Boy 8
(Image Source: Marvel / Jason Loo)

Said revenge is remarkably sedate, as far as supervillain schemes go. Rather than trying to kill the young hero, Puzzle Man seeks to challenge his intellect. This leads him to magically summon different puzzles into reality, further annoying the already frustrated Spider-Boy.

Puzzle Man turns Spider-Boy #8 into activity book

The battle which follows is a fourth-wall breaking fiesta. Many of the comics’ pages feature a thematically appropriate puzzle. These range from mazes, to word searches, to a crossword puzzle of Marvel villains. The battle ends with Spider-Boy himself asking the reader to help him find where Puzzle Man is hiding in a crowd, in a send-up of Where’s Waldo?

Puzzle Man Taunts Spider-Boy with Crossword Puzzle
(Image Source: Marvel / Jason Loo)

While Krys Crossman is a new character, the Puzzle Man name has been used before at Marvel Comics. The first Puzzle Man appeared in several comics in August 1981, but was never given a secret identity or background. Curiously, this Puzzle Man resembles the Puzzle Master – a villain from the 1976 title Stan Lee Presents The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Fun Book. Stranger still, the Puzzle Master was ultimately unmasked as Stan Lee himself.

Spider-Boy #8 is now available at comic shops everywhere.