A couple years before this, SF writer J Michael Straczynksi, who I never quite got the appeal of, was on a long run on Spider-Man at Marvel. In the classic tradition of “why make up new stories about this hero if I can fiddle with their back-story instead?”, he decided to retcon Spider-Man’s origin to be nothing about Peter Parker being bitten by a spider and instead the spider-bite was just a coincidence, and Spider-Man was actually a… totem? Of an ancient Spider-God, or… something?
I think it’s all been thankfully swept under the rug. Anyway, this is kind of that. At least for the first few strips. It did give us the idea of earlier historical versions of Man-Man, including the 1980s’ Mr. Mister, which I really kind of like.