One of the most interesting things about the past of Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) is the history of his parents. They were both spies, fighting against Hydra and others during the second World War. In this graphic novel Spider-Man: Family Business we see that they actually left behind some post-war secrets that Wilson Fisk wants to get his hands on. Even more amazing though is the proposition that Peter may have a sister named Teresa Parker. But how could this be? How could he not have known all these years?
The story starts off with Fisk retrieving Mentallo from a Tunisia asylum. Meanwhile Peter in New York City is broke as smoke and can’t even pay his power bill by midnight. Peter is suddenly ambushed by a bunch of soldiers who destroy his apartment windows. He manages to escape with the aid or someone claiming to be his unknown sister Teresa Parker. She has a photograph of Peter’s parents in the maternity ward as proof, and she even has a resemblance. She also happens to be a field agent, just like Peter’s parents as well. This is why the title of the graphic novel is Spider-Man: Family Business.
They hop a jet to travel to Monaco, Peter gets fitted for a Tuxedo and the two of them go to the Monte Carlo Casino. When things go sour Peter sneaks into the bathroom and changes into his Spider-Man outfit. The super-powered mercenary Cyclone makes an appearance, which Spider-Man solves by blocking the cooling unit on the back of his neck so he can’t use the powers coming from his suit.
It is clear that Peter is being hunted, but why? Teresa claims that she is protecting her brother. The two of them visit a man named Emile Chigaru, who was the mission controller for Peter’s parents. He lets them know that their parents had a safe house in Switzerland. After arriving, it is noticed how there are family pictures of Peter, but not of Teresa. (Gee, I wonder why?) While inside Peter accidentally activates a computer system that thinks he is his father. He sees a map of their next destination which are the Egyptian pyramids. At that moment a helicopter with missiles destroys the safe house. The two narrowly escape, thanks to Peter’s Spider Sense. The explosion causes Peter to reveal his Spider-Man costume under his clothes, showing Teresa that he is Spider-Man.
After arriving in Egypt Teresa gives Peter a new black costume to replace his typical Spider-Man costume that was damaged in battle. They go to the location that the map led them to and find a sealed off room with a giant wall with old Nazi carvings to match the the look of hieroglyphics. The Kingpin, it turns out, is present with soldiers and Mentallo. It turns out that Mentallo manipulated Teresa’s mind to make her think that she was Peter Parker’s sister, and even disguised her appearance to resemble Peter’s family. I guess this puts a damper to Spider-Man: Family Business since it was all a sham. Even the photo she had was not real. Peter’s mask happened to be off while wearing his costume, and when Kingpin showed up he could see that Peter was in fact Spider-Man.
After a scuffle fighting a giant robot Mentallo does something that makes Teresa and Kingpin conveniently forget about Peter being Spider-Man. So this fun little graphic novel wraps up nicely and has some sweet painted artwork as well. I feel that Kingpin was portrayed a bit too large to be believable, but that is just my opinion. Be sure to buy this novel and slide it onto your shelf with pride.