The House of Ideas’ latest is something that indeed could diplomatically be described as an “idea:” Marvel has confirmed after a brief period of teasing that Spider-Man hasn’t gotten enough attention for all the wrong reasons lately.
After releasing a shadowed teaser image earlier this week ominously heralding the return of “The Most Notorious Spider-Man Story Ever Told,” today Marvel comics explicitly confirmed in a preview included with this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #31 (via Popverse) the arrival of a sequel to The Night Gwen Stacy Died.
Wait, sorry, that’s not right. The most notorious Spider-Man story ever told? A sequel to One More Day? That’s not right either. Sins Past? Nope. Clone Saga? They already did that, multiple times. Superior Spider-Man? They’ve already announced that one.
No, the most notorious Spider-Man story ever told, this time at least, is Spider-Man: Reign, a 2006 miniseries written and illustrated by Kaare Andrews. Set 30 years into the future of Marvel Comics’ ever-fluid timeline, Reign is for the most part a fairly forgettable story about an old, traumatized Peter Parker donning the mask once more to become Spider-Man and navigate this grim, dystopian near-future. Why people actually remember Reign is in the opening moments of its third issue, where a grief-stricken Peter cradles the decaying body of Mary Jane Watson, his deceased wife, and reveals that the cancer she died of was in part brought on by contact with his radioactive bodily fluids, including, yes, specifically, the ones he used in the act of “loving” her.
It’s as ridiculous as it is an extremely gross note in the long and peculiar history of Marvel editorial’s up-and-down relationship with the concept of a married Peter Parker. And now, it’s back! Marvel was even nice enough to include Mary Jane in the announcement teaser, although thankfully more as a ghost-like figure instead of a literal corpse wrapped around Spider-Man’s neck.
Lovely! No further details have been confirmed about Reign 2, other than that it’s set to arrive some time in 2024. It comes at a time when the main Spider-Man ongoing has been under fire recently for a storyline that saw Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, killed in action after appearing in the series as a minor supporting character. She got better, because comics, but people were still rightfully annoyed that one of Marvel’s biggest success stories of the 21st century received a largely pointless “shock” death (the details leaked well in advance, putting Marvel on the back foot) in the pages of a largely unrelated character’s series. Now the controversy is ready to move on to something else, it would seem.
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