Did Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 Predict the COVID-19 Pandemic?


Image from PushSquare.com

Blake Darmante, Reporter


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought forth an abundance of conspiracy. Some prominent theories include: “Was the pandemic planned? Is China trying to wipe out America? Is Bill Gates playing some sinister game with our lives? And could this pandemic be a ploy of the devil?” I was once skeptical of these theories, but after a recent playthrough of 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, my skepticism has turned into a mix of acceptance, fear, and vigilance. Spoilers ahead. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man starts off like any run of the mill superhero game. The city is under attack, the protagonist comes to save the day, the villain gets away swearing revenge, there is a dramatic cutscene revealing the villain to be a close friend of the protagonist, blah, blah, blah. There was nothing new or groundbreaking about the plot or the characters; I had seen it all before. Then, my attention was caught by one of the game’s less important antagonists, Martin Li. 

Martin Li is a Chinese man from Fujian (close to Wuhan) who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. One minute Li is a kind, intelligent man who contributes to the well-being of society, and the next he is trying to destroy it. His character is driven by his desire to release a virulent bio weapon known as “Devil’s Breath.” At this moment, I remember sitting on my couch thinking to myself, “Here I am, in the midst of a pandemic ーa pandemic which started in China, playing a game where  a man from China  is trying to release a virus on America’s most populous city. Hmm.”   

I also started thinking about the conspiracy theories relating Covid-19 to Satan and how some claim this pandemic is part of his plan to gain control over the world. This theory, in part, stems from the fact that, if you take the word Corona and correspond its letters with their placement in the alphabet, A-1, B-2, etc., all of the letters add up to 66. The letters in Corona add to 66, six letters in the word, and the number of the devil is 666. I find it ironic that the name of the virus in Marvel’s Spider-Man is literally called “Devil’s Breath.” That translates to “666 Breath” or “Corona Breath.”

I continued playing, and Martin Li eventually was able to facilitate the release of the “Devil’s Breath” in New York city (I make a crummy Spider-Man). Citizens were quickly told by authorities to lockdown and quarantine. Billboards were flooded with messages cautioning everybody to stay home, stay safe! People are shown walking the streets of Manhattan, NY with masks. This part of the game is almost a perfect mirror image of what New York has been like during the pandemic. 

The game describes the symptoms of “Devil’s Breath” as like the flu, but some of the infected are asymptomatic. Also, New Yorkers are told to watch for coughing and signs of sudden aches and chills. That sounds familiar. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), medical professionals are saying the same thing about COVID-19.

Some of the characters respond to the pandemic by turning to social media, while others take up leadership roles. During the second act of the game Politician Norman Osborn, who is also running in a mayoral campaign, tries to calm the growing tensions and promises a cure for the pandemic. Osborn calls in military force to enact his will. Similarly, Donald Trump, who is currently running for president during a pandemic, said that should a cure be found for COVID-19, he will call upon the military to help distribute  vaccines  to the public. During an interview with Global News, Trump said that “ when we have the vaccine, we have the military all lined up.” Osborn’s son Harry is stuck in Europe during the entirety of the Marvel game. Harry claims he is unable to return to the USA because of an illness that is left secret to players. In the USA, Trump banned all travel to and from Europe for a short period of time because of COVID-19. Maybe Harry had Covid-19 and was nott allowed to come back to the states? 

Just like in our society, the elderly in Marvel’s Spider-Man are more susceptible to the virus. One of the old characters, Aunt May, contracts this disease and eventually loses her life as a result. Theres an extra indent here If you have made it this far, I know what you might be thinking: “This conspiracy theory is bogus! Marvel’s Spider-Man came out two years ago. It is  2020. There  is no way it predicted COVID-19!” That may be so, but if other conspiracy theories are true, and COVID-19 really has been one big, planned event, then the chances of this video game predicting the pandemic is not too far off of the spectrum of rationality. 

I find it fascinating how similar the pandemic of Marvel’s Spider-Man is to COVID-19. The evidence to support this similarity is plentiful, from the man in China releasing the virus, its name being “Devil’s Breath,” the way New York responded by making its people wear masks, socially distance, and quarantine, to how Norman Osborn shares a likeness to Trump in regard to  combating the real-life pandemic. Harry, not able to get home from Europe due to illness, and old Aunt May dying as a result of being infected all makes sense to me.

I am not asking you to accept my beliefs or acknowledge that there is some shady inner circle trying to condition the people of the world. Everyone can decide that for themselves. What I am asking is for  you to open your mindーnot necessarily to COVID-19 conspiracies, but  to the world around you and the possibility there is more to what is happening than what the media is letting on. The media looks at these types of theories and is quick to disapprove of them and sum everything up to coincidence.  I do not believe in coincidence. Everything is created with a specific intent and, in the case of Marvel’s Spider-Man, the resemblance to today’s pandemic is too uncanny for me to overlook the facts. So what do you think? Did Marvel’s Spider-Man predict 2020? Or is this game just another coincidence?