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In the latest Amazing Spider-Man comic (#682), Spider-Man goes of to space and finds himself unable to operate his spinnerets inside the space station, even though there is air remaining. Is there any explanation for this? He's not in a vaccuum, and he seems to act as though it's an obvious consequence of zero-g, and thus no explanation is given. I can't see anything detailed in my previous question that would suggest space would interfere with his webs as they rely on pressure to shoot.

N.B Later on he is in a vaccuum (they flush out the air to knock out zombified crew members) and uses his magnetic webbing, so I don't think it's the vacuum that stops the spinneret device from working with normal webbing.

Why don't spider webs work in space?

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I guess in vacuum space, the "web fluid" may not sticky –  Eric Yin Mar 25 '12 at 22:17
    
That's a given from the answer to my other question, but in the comic he doesn't go into vacuum. Let me make that clear... –  Pureferret Mar 25 '12 at 22:19
    
Sorry, I never read the comic, I just a sifi fan :) –  Eric Yin Mar 25 '12 at 22:20
    
No worries, thanks for pointing out my inconsistency. –  Pureferret Mar 25 '12 at 22:21
    
Posting an image of the particular page might give us more clues. –  Kyle Jones Mar 25 '12 at 23:05
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1 Answer 1

They should work in the space station when it has air. They shouldn't work (as expected) in a vacuum.

The Marvel website states:

On contact with air, the long-chain polymer knits and forms an extremely tough, flexible fiber with extraordinary adhesive properties. The web fluid's adhesive quality diminishes rapidly with exposure to air.

Being in the space station with air his web-slingers should have behaved normally, except that for every action there is an opposite reaction. When Spider-man fired his slingers they should have pushed him backwards.

Where it does not make contact with air, such as the attachment disk of the web-shooter, it remains very adhesive.

When he vented all the air from the station into the vacuum of space, his webbing should no longer solidify, because it doesn't have air to dry it. This would mean when he fired his webbing it should have spouted out balls of extremely adhesive fluid, until his spinnerets clogged.

Because the fluid almost instantly sublimates from solid to liquid when under shear pressure, and is not adhesive in its anaerobic liquid/solid phase transition point, there is no clogging of the web-shooter's parts.

Ultimately my answer is that the writers did it as a plot device, because they thought it would be funny if Spider-man didn't immediately think of the "correct" action (using his magnetic webbing). This was an opportunity to create more back and forth with the Human Torch.

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