Real Name: Axel (later 'Jackson') Weele
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The origin of Big Wheel is told in issues #182-183 of the Amazing Spider-Man. Jackson Weele is a businessman who has embezzled from his company. Fearing that he might be caught, he hires a youthful criminal, Rocket Racer, to steal the evidence that incriminates him. However, Rocket Racer opts to use the evidence to blackmail Weele instead. Despairing, Weele tries to commit suicide, but Rocket Racer prevents him from doing so. However, Racer is not particularly kind to Weele, disparagingly referring to him as "Big Weele". Humiliated by Rocket Racer's taunts, Weele visits the mechanical genius and underworld supplier the Tinkerer, who the Rocket Racer boasted had upgraded his equipment. At Weele's urging, the Tinkerer creates a large metal wheel that can climb up buildings, complete with guns and waldo-arms. With this new vehicle, Wolfman transforms Weele into "Big Wheel", the supervillain. Newly empowered, Big Wheel hunts down and chases Rocket Racer across the city. In the process, he ends up fighting the title character Spider-Man. Spider-Man is also seeking Rocket Racer, whom he had battled in a previous issue. Unfortunately, Weele lacks practice in using his new device and, in the heat of battle, the Big Wheel topples off a high rooftop and plunges into the Hudson River. Spider-Man tries to save him, but comes up empty-handed. He presumes Jackson Weele died when the Big Wheel vehicle sank to the bottom of the river.
Big Wheel vs. Rocket Racer
Big Wheel vs. Rocket Racer
This might have been the end of the character. Big Wheel did not appear in another comic book for more than twenty years. However, the story was picked up again in Spider-Man Unlimited Vol. 3 #12 by writer Cristos N. Gage. As often happens in the comics medium, Weele survives his seemingly deadly encounter. He turns up again with his Big Wheel while Spider-Man is in combat with Stilt-Man. This time, Big Wheel attempts to help Spider-Man. However, due to his interference, Stilt-Man escapes. Confronted by Spider-man, Weele reveals that, in the interim since their last meeting, he went to jail for embezzlement and joined Vil-Anon, an analog of Alcoholics Anonymous for super-villains. In fact, his attempt to help the hero was part of his twelve-step program. Out of pity, Spider-Man lets Big Wheel accompany him for the rest of the day. While foiling a bank robbery, the pair confronts the Shocker. Although they defeat him, Jackson Weele finally realizes that he is not cut out for super-heroics. He now makes his living using his Big Wheel rig in demolition derbies and speaking at events for Vil-Anon.
Although poorly received by Spider-Man fans in his initial storyline, Big Wheel's appearance in Spider-Man Unlimited generally received positive reviews. Despite the character's limited exposure, he is often cited as one of Spider-Man's least powerful foes.
Big Wheel recently reappeared in Civil War: Frontline #8 where he is being chased by the Harbor Patrol, implying that he returned to super-heroics despite the doubts he harbored in Spider-Man Unlimited.
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #182
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
#2 Civil War: Front Line (2006)
- 'Benny Beckley to Crazy Eight'
Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt (2011)
#6 Fin Fang Four (2008)
- 'Youth in Revolt Finale'
Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire (2009)
#2 Invincible Iron Man (2008)
- 'Are You There, Devil? It's Me, Danny.'#3
- 'The Brothers Ghost Rider'
#4 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'The Five Nightmares Part 4: Neutron Bomb Heart'#7
- 'Clifton Pollard The Five Nightmares: Epilogue'
Spider-Man Unlimited (2004)
The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
#182 Web of Spider-Man (1985)
- 'The Rocket Racer's Back In Town!'#183
- '... And Where the Big Wheel Stops, Nobody Knows!'
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