NEW YORK CITY — Representatives of the New York Police Department have gone public with their concerns regarding their formerly friendly relationship with local vigilante Spider-Man.
“I used to think of it as one of the perks of the job,” said patrolman Duane Riggs, a five-year veteran of the force. “Sure, the pay’s bad and nobody likes you, but you could get Spider-Man to show up to your kid’s birthday party if you promised you’d feed him. Now if you see him swinging by, he might give you this weird little wave but never says hi back.”
Added Riggs, “It’s so weird. I personally can’t think of a single event in the last few years that would’ve made anyone suspicious of the police.”
Observers of New York’s superhuman community have noted Spider-Man’s shift in priorities, which roughly coincided with the appearance of a second Spider-Man. This new vigilante, sometimes referred to as “Spider-Man Black” for the primary color of his costume and no other reason, is theorized to be responsible for the red-and-blue original’s diminished ties to law enforcement.
“Spidey II likes to hang around Brooklyn and Harlem,” said Danika Hart, host of the New York-focused Danikast podcast. “Since he hit the scene, he’s been really focused on community work, and that’s had a visible impact on Spidey I. He used to float around Manhattan handing out concussions, but now he’s helping people directly through the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man app. It’s like calling the police, but neither Spider-Man will randomly decide to unload a pistol into your dog.”
The Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man app, or FNSM, has replaced the original Spider-Man’s previous reliance on social media. The app currently has over 10,000 five-star ratings, where reviewers credit the Spider-Men for “prompt service,” “cheerful assistance,” and “have never burned down the wrong house with a flash grenade.” Many of the one-star reviews, conversely, are obvious burner accounts for New York newspaper owner J. Jonah Jameson.
“We’re just disappointed that the current political climate seems to have affected our ties with New York’s superhuman community,” said Assistant Chief Gordon O’Brien. “While I obviously don’t condone vigilantism, these costumed ‘heroes’ have proven to be real assets in emergency situations. We’d rather work with them than at cross purposes with them, but someone’s clearly convinced Spider-Man otherwise. Frankly, I think he’s been listening to the wrong podcasts.”
At press time, O’Brien had announced he would step down from his position, following the discovery that police in his precinct had defrauded the city of New York for $6 million in falsified overtime wages.
On the same day, New York’s fire marshals announced they had elected both Spider-Men as honorary New York firefighters, celebrating with a Spider-Man-shaped ice cream cake.