Arnold Van Patrick is the older brother of Dr. Michael Van Patrick, also known as Iron Spider, as well as the Chief Security Officer of the Stark-Fujikawa Corporation. Arnold gained his powers during the Initiative led by Tony Stark. He was a volunteer for a process aimed at re-configuring and maximizing the powers of Spider-Man driven by Tony Stark. This process re-sequenced DNA from arachnids, and Arnold received a nanotech uniform developed by Tony. At the time, the idea was that he would publicly join the Order, but after subsequent events (including "Secret Invasion," "Dark Reign," "The Siege," "The Heroic Age" and "Fear Itself") he decided to keep his super powers and his identity a secret. The only thing publicly known about him is that Tony Stark led the process that gave him arachnid-based superpowers. Arnold's idea was to stay away from the hero life, but when his younger brother desperately needed help during global destruction caused by Doctor Octopus, Arnold understood Peter Parker's maxim, "With great power comes great responsibility," and became the Red Spider-Man.
Arnold is quiet, making few friends, and has a tendency to take action at the speed of thought. It most resembles the Punisher (Frank Castle), except he has high morals and never kills.
Powers, Abilities and Equipment
Arnold Van Patrick possesses a variety of superhuman powers, derived from a process of reconfiguring arachnid DNA. Thus, he possesses the following superhuman abilities:
- Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes/reactions, coordination, endurance
- Superhumanly acute hearing and heightened senses
- Adhesive touch that allows him to cling to walls and other surfaces via electrostatic attraction
- Immunity to all forms of non-corrosive toxins and poisons after an initial exposure to them. These initial exposures make him dizzy, but his metabolism quickly recovers and renders him immune to further exposure.
- Immunity to all forms of radiation
- Venom blast: Red Spider-Man can discharge a powerful toxin with his body's excess bio-electricity, which he focuses through he hands. These bio-electric blasts affect the nervous system, and their intensity can be regulated to deliver a minor shock, render someone unconscious, or even kill. (Their concussive force is powerful enough to puncture metal.)
- Pheromones: These chemicals can make he extremely attractive to women.
- Psionic webbing: By using psychokinetic energy, he can bind ambient free-floating molecules into strands of solid force. He psi-webs can be used to wrap enemies, or focused into narrow web-lines that he can swing from. Due to its psychic nature, he psi-webs can be used in ways Spider-Man's webbing never could, such as causing webs to form from a distance, or controlling the movement of the webbing mentally.
- Moderate telepathy
- Precognitive flashes
Arnold had none of the training or experience of the earlier men who carried the Spider-Man mantle. Due to he inexperience he was not be able to make use of all of these abilities.
Arnold is an athlete and bodybuilder enthusiast. He is also a vaunted Judo fighter.
Iron Spider Costume
When Tony Stark first made the costume, its initial function was to give Spider-Man short range flight through mesh webbing under his arms, resistance from small caliber bullets thanks to his heat-resistant kevlar microfiber, built-in fire, police and emergency scanners, visual amplifications such as infrared and ultraviolet, carbon filter in the mouth to prevent inhalation of airborne toxins, and short-range GPS microwave communication system, all of which are controlled in the computerized control system in the titanium chest piece in the costume.
Tony again updated the costume before they headed to Washington. He upgraded the fabric of the costume to be a liquid nano-fiber that can more or less disappear when not needed and can appear again when Peter wants it to by just thinking about it, he also adjusted the fabric to change colors into other past costumes that Peter wore in the past like the classic red and blue or the black costume and because of this, the fabric is able to blend into its surrounding for the purpose of camouflage. Also, Tony added three spider-legs or "waldoes" that can pick things up with small claws that works as pseudo fingers and they also have cameras that can be display images in the costume's eyepiece. The waldoes are all hidden in the costume's golden circle on the back and can be deployed simply by mental command. Although Iron Man has stated that it cannot be used in battle, Spider-Man used the waldoes to fight both Titanium Man (to break the sensors in his helmet to make him blind) and Captain America during the Civil War.
Iron Man installed a secret override within the Iron Spider armor in case Spider-Man switched sides, which he did when he saw the inhumane treatment of the superheroes that did not comply with the Super-Human Registration Act. But Spider-Man knew about this, and he disabled the override on his own. The costume also feeds Iron Man subliminal information about the mechanics of Spider-Man's spider sense so that he can develop his own danger sense, but this proved to be ineffective when Vision was able to slip behind him, disabling his armor for Captain America to beat him down. Iron Man can also send out an electrical directive to the Iron Spider that will trigger the spider sense without any impending danger, thus distracting Spider-Man.
According to the author, he is in many ways the exact opposite of his brother. "Imagine Eddie Brock Venom at the height of the cowshed, athletic heavyweight body-builder, now imagine that he has spider-powers comparable and possibly superior to those of Spider-Man (Peter Parker), and instead of the alien symbiote uses the hyper-technical nanotech uniform designed by Tony Stark to be used by Peter Parker during the Civil War, and you have an idea of Red Spider-Man."