AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #73 Will Retcon One Of Spidey's Worst Storylines...And It's NOT "One More Day" - SPOILERS
Some leaked pages from this week's Amazing Spider-Man #73 confirm that writer Nick Spencer is about to undo one of the controversial Spidey stories of all time...but it's not the one you're expecting!
Nick Spencer's Amazing Spider-Man run is nearing its end, but the writer still has a lot to address before Ben Reilly makes his return. For starters, we still don't know if Harry Osborn is really Kindred, especially as the "Brand New Day" Harry is very much alive and well right now.
It was also recently revealed that Norman Osborn struck a deal with Mephisto to grant him success in business with the cost being Harry's soul. With that in mind, it's likely the former Green Goblin has spent time in Hell, and Doctor Strange is still investigating that and the deal Peter Parker made with the Marvel Universe's devil to save his Aunt May in "One More Day."
Harry does want to drag Peter to hell, but the A.I. version (who mocked Peter after revealing that his parents were LMDs way back when) is also up to something. Thanks to Bleeding Cool - they've shared some leaked pages from this Wednesday's Amazing Spider-Man #73 - we now know that Spencer is, in fact, undoing the events of the critically panned "Sins Past" storyline.
It turns out that with a little help from Mysterio and Chameleon, Harry managed to trick Norman into thinking he had an affair with Gwen Stacy, with the truth being that Sarah and Gabriel Stacy were created by Gobby's son. That explains the preview page below (shared by Screen Rant), and all of this could play into a suggestion in 1996's Spider-Man: Legacy of Evil that Harry killed Gwen, not Norman.
As we mentioned, there's a lot to be addressed here, but the plot has definitely thickened somewhat...
Click on the "Next" button below for our breakdown of
the worst creative decisions in Spider-Man's history!
10. Poor Man's Tony Stark
When Amazing Spider-Man was relaunched following the Superior Spider-Man debacle (we'll get to that), Peter Parker chose to take full advantage of the good Doctor Octopus had done while in control of his body. Taking charge of Parker Industries, this horribly unoriginal storyline saw Spidey become a billionaire businessman with a tonne of gadgets; he was Tony Stark-lite.
A status quo change from the struggling photographer who can't pay his rent was needed, but a wealthy Peter with everything he could ever want at his disposal just didn't feel like a natural progression for the character. Yes, it was a refreshing change of pace in some ways, but the series just couldn't manage to stick the landing.
The fact that it ended with Peter losing everything and once again reverting to his "loser" status quo just made the entire endeavour feel like a huge waste of time, and it achieved nothing.
9. Spider-Man Joins The Avengers
J. Michael Straczynski's stellar Amazing Spider-Man took a sharp dip in quality with the decision to have Spidey join the Avengers. That wasn't a choice he made, though, and it instead unfolded in the pages of Brian Michael Bendis' New Avengers series after the web-slinger joined his fellow heroes in stopping a breakout in The Raft.
Previously portrayed as a loner, Spidey suddenly became a key member of the team, but always ended up being treated as something of an afterthought.
Living in Avengers Tower, his friendship with Iron Man would ultimately see him unmask in the pages of Civil War. Bendis - who had done such a fantastic job with Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man - didn't even give him the chance to shine during Dark Reign and Siege, two stories revolving around his nemesis, Norman Osborn. Like the fans, it felt like Bendis simply didn't want him there.
8. Radioactive Spider-Sperm
Spider-Man: Reign is set in one of many possible futures, and there are some good ideas to be found here. Written and illustrated by Kaare Andrews, this tale takes place in a New York City which has fallen under the control of a fascist government where superheroes are no more.
Peter Parker is now in his 60s and seemingly battling his declining mental health, and while things do get a little too weird and silly with the addition of a zombie Doctor Octopus and the return of the Venom symbiote, it's a fun ride...mostly.
Unfortunately, Mary Jane isn't around, and that's because after spending years having sex with Peter and, uh, sharing his "DNA," she ended up suffering terminal cancer. The wall-crawler's radioactive sperm killed his wife, which led to him giving up being Spider-Man.
7. Organic Web-Shooters
There was a time when whatever we saw in the Marvel movies had a major impact on the comic books, and that started with those early X-Men and Spider-Man films. In the latter trilogy, Peter obviously had "organic" web-shooters and didn't create them himself, an idea deemed unrealistic for a teenager in the world those movies took place in.
To reflect that on the page, the hero crossed paths with a weird new villain called the Queen, and a kiss led to Spider-Man transforming into a spider, though he started by growing extra arms and eyes. From a body horror point of view, it's not bad, but things get incredibly dumb when it's revealed that the giant spider he's become is pregnant with the Queen's offspring.
Before giving birth, though, he curls up and dies. With that, a naked Peter bursts out of the carcass, revealing that he now has insect telepathy (no, it hasn't been used since) and organic web-shooters. This was a convoluted and frankly unnecessary change that only lasted a few years. At least the webbing still came out of his wrists and not his...you know.
6. A Death And Resurrection
The nineties were not a good time for Spider-Man fans, and Marvel Comics was big on shocking readers at the time. For whatever reason, those in charge were also determined to end Peter Parker's marriage to Mary Jane Watson by any means necessary, including this awful turn of events.
MJ is being stalked by a mystery villain and ends up "dying" after boarding a plane that randomly explodes in mid-air. With that, Spidey is a widower, though it was soon revealed that MJ's mutant stalker faked her death and held her captive. When she returns, she decides to leave Peter, and everything about this story (which we endured for two years) honestly sucked.
This wasn't the only big change to Spidey's status quo. With the signs pointing to his and MJ's stillborn daughter May still being alive, Spider-Man broke into Norman Osborn's home to retrieve her. Instead, he found Aunt May, who was back after dying in Amazing Spider-Man #400. The May who died was an actress who'd undergone plastic surgery and changed her DNA. Seriously.
5. Sins Past
J. Michael Straczynski was on track to go down as perhaps one of the greatest Amazing Spider-Man writers ever, but he really lost the plot near the end (likely due to increased interference from editors).
For proof, look no further than "Sins Past." When Peter Parker is attacked by two new costumed villains, he unmasks one of them and finds Gwen Stacy's face staring back at him. As the story unfolds, it's revealed that Spidey's lost love had an affair with Norman Osborn, and fled to Europe after falling pregnant.
There, she gave birth to Gabriel Stacy and Sarah Stacy, two children who rapidly aged to adulthood thanks to the Goblin serum coursing through their father's veins. This was jaw-droppingly bad, with the revelations that Norman took Gwen's virginity and killed her because she hid his children from her leaving a really bad taste. It was creepy, weird, and better off forgotten.
4. The Lizard Kills Billy Connors
Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo's "Shed" storyline took place in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #630 and #631. Taking a deep dive into the mind of Dr. Curt Connors and what it means for him to share his psyche with the Lizard, we watch as the mild-mannered scientist is eventually overwhelmed by his other side, and murders his son in the process.
The line was blurred here between Curt and the Lizard, and while the story itself was effective enough, the fact that he actually ate young Billy just felt like it was a step too far.
This didn't really even have much in the way of a lasting impact as the Lizard was soon sidelined, eventually regaining his mind and being reunited with a cloned, Lizard version of his son. Now, he's back to his old status quo, but perhaps Marvel Comics just wanted to move on from this?
3. The Clone Conspiracy
The Clone Conspiracy revealed that there was a new Jackal in town who was cloning all of Peter Parker's fallen friends and enemies. While the story served as a decent way to bring back familiar faces overdue a return, this series dropped the ball in a huge way when it came to reuniting Spidey with the likes of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy.
However, by far the dumbest plot point to be found here came with the reveal that it was Ben Reilly beneath the Jackal's mask. Peter's clone from the nineties and the Scarlet Spider, Ben was massively popular, but everything here was basically just character assassination at its worst.
This direction made zero sense for Reilly - who at one time even replaced Peter as Spider-Man in the comics - and we're sure none of this will be referenced when he returns later this year.
2. Superior Spider-Man
We know some of you loved this era, but for us, the decision to have Doctor Octopus take control of Peter Parker's body and live his life as the "Superior" Spider-Man was nothing short of awful. Along the way, Otto creepily romanced Mary Jane while pretending to be Peter, killed criminals, and ruined the wall-crawler's relationships with some of his greatest allies.
Had this been a storyline lasting for just a few arcs, it might have been easier to digest, but this went on for years.
The story ended with a whimper when Ock just decided to hand control back to Peter because he couldn't defeat the Green Goblin, and this ultimately felt like the writer responsible for this arc was living out some weird wish fulfilment. Regardless, this was a bad time to be a Spider-Man fan.
1. One More Day
Perhaps the most hated Amazing Spider-Man stories of all-time among comic book fans, One More Day picked up shortly after Peter had revealed his identity to the world and become a wanted fugitive after turning his back on Iron Man and his pro-Superhuman Registration Act forces.
Seeking to take the ultimate revenge on his old enemy, the Kingpin puts out a hit on Spidey and his family, and poor Aunt May ends up taking a bullet. Long story short, she's dying, and Peter is forced to take drastic measures.
After everyone he turns to makes it clear that they can't help, the Marvel Universe's version of the devil, Mephisto, offers Peter a deal: his marriage in exchange for his aunt's life. Peter and MJ accept, and what followed was a new status quo for the web-slinger which regressed his character development by a good 20 or 30 years. Now, Nick Spencer is seemingly looking to undo the damage caused here before he hands the reigns to another creative team...