How do we all know Spider-Man as? The neighborhood-friendly web-slinger man who fights against bad guys stands for what is right and definitely won’t think twice before giving everything to save the world. Well, it has been recently revealed that Spider-Man also has access to deeper powers within the Marvel Universe, including Doctor Strange’s astral plane. Spider-Man usually keeps his adventures contained to fighting his personal rogues on the streets of New York City, but when larger and potentially world-ending threats come to Earth, the wall-crawler doesn’t hesitate to swing into action.
Spider-Man’s familiarity with catastrophic threats often widens the hero’s adventures a little further than New York, in fact, they sometimes bring him to an entirely new plane of existence. In The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #42 by J. Michael Straczynski with art by John Romita Jr., Doctor Strange lent Spider-Man the Hand of Vashanti so he could enter the astral plane in pursuit of the villain Shade, marking Spidey’s introduction to the mystical artifact. More recently in The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 5 #51 by Nick Spencer with art by Patrick Gleason, Spidey once more needs access to the astral plane but this time Strange refuses to offer the web-slinger the assistance of the Hand of Vishanti.
After Doctor Strange refuses to help Peter travel dimensions, Spider-Man recruits the help of the greatest thief in the Marvel Universe and personal frenemy Black Cat to swipe the interdimensional transporter, marking Spidey’s second time using the Hand of Vishanti. While Spider-Man is capable of accessing the astral plane, the wall-crawler can only do so with the help, reluctant or otherwise, of Doctor Strange. Asking Black Cat to steal the Hand of Vishanti offered Spider-Man a bit of independence from Doctor Strange in terms of interdimensional travel, but the Sorcerer Supreme holds all the cards as far as mystical dimension-hopping goes.
it isn’t often Doctor Strange isn’t available to him either as a partner in heroism or a reliable consult and usually jumps at the chance to help Spider-Man, only refusing his services to him when the potential consequences outweigh the gain of Spider-Man having access to the mystic arts.
The level of demonic threats facing the two heroes in The Amazing Spider-Man #51 as well as Spider-Man’s potential susceptibility to them gave Doctor Strange pause and forced him to make the tough call of refusing his help to the web-slinger.
Before realizing helping Spider-Man may hinder the wall-crawler, in the very same issue Doctor Strange was more than happy to help him just as he did in The Amazing Spider-Man #42. Both instances of Spider-Man requiring the Hand of Vishanti proves Doctor Strange’s willingness to help Spidey so while Peter Parker can’t himself conjure the necessary powers it takes to travel dimensions, he more often than not has the full support of Doctor Strange which allows Spider-Man nearly unlimited access to the astral plane.