The Spider-Man franchise is easily the biggest franchise that Marvel has. The bi-monthly Amazing Spider-Man is consistently one of the top selling comic books on a monthly basis. Black Cat just debut in her own ongoing series and topped the June sales charts with its first issue, as it shipped over a quarter million physical copies. Venom has become one of Marvel’s top sellers with the symbiotes popularity constantly growing. Then there are the rest of the Spider-Man Family titles such as Friendly Neighborhood, Miles Morales, Life Story, Symbiote and Spider-Gwen that are all being consistent sellers every month. Now at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Marvel revealed even more of their plans for the Spider-Man franchise for the rest of the year and into 2020. Let’s take a closer at these announcements.
MARY JANE BREAKS OUT WITH HER OWN AMAZING ADVENTURES
The return of the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson was a great way for Nick Spencer to kick off his run on Amazing Spider-Man. Much like the pairings Clark Kent and Lois Lane and Reed Richards and Sue Storm, Peter and MJ are one of the iconic comic book pairings. These two have been together for a long time and the only reason Marvel broke them up was because the editors felt that the marriage aged Peter. But as has been shown in the recent Amazing Spider-Man series the relationship between Peter and MJ can still draw a lot of interest from both readers and creators.
Now spinning off the developments from Amazing Spider-Man #25, MJ is getting her own ongoing series. The Amazing Mary Jane will be written by Leah Williams and artwork from Carlos Gomez. This was honestly the most unexpected announcement made at San Diego Comic Con 2019. Especially giving Amazing Mary Jane an immediate ongoing series order was surprising as this is the type of comic book that would normally start as a mini-series.
That aside, an Amazing Mary Jane series does have a lot of potential, especially if Williams and Gomez take a slice-of-life approach to the series. It is a genre that is popular in the manga realm that Marvel hardly ever does much with since their specialty is superhero comics. The incredibly fun mid-2000s Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane series of comics showed that this can be done with MJ as the star. Amazing Mary Jane gives the opportunity to explore the Marvel Universe on the ground level that is not normally seen. Given how Black Cat debut issue recently topped the June sales chart it would not be surprising Amazing Mary Jane garners a lot of interest from the Spider-Man community.
MILES MORALES LEADS NEW SPIDER-VERSE MINI-SERIES
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was one of the best movies in 2018. It also served as the vehicle to help Miles Morales’ Spider-Man penetrate the mainstream. Since then Marvel has attempted to follow up on the Spider-Verse movie with a new Miles Morales: Spider-Man comic and the Spider-Geddon event. Though those comics are solid they do not touch on what made Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse such a stellar movie.
Now it looks like Marvel is going to try their hand again at grabbing hold of that magic with a brand-new series, simply titled Spider-Verse. This new Spider-Verse series will feature Miles Morales as the lead character with Black Cat writer Jed Mackay being joined by artists Juan Frigerim Arthur Adams, Stuart Immonen, Stacey Lee and others. Mackay has already shown he is a name to watch with his work on Black Cat. Being given the reigns of the Spider-Verse mini-series should only help grow his name with the Marvel fanbase.
Choosing Miles as the lead Spider-Man along with other variant versions is smart for multiple reasons. For one, Miles is the one the mainstream audience thinks of when it comes to the Spider-Verse concept. Keeping that connection helps further tie Miles and Spider-Verse together. The other reason this is a good thing is that it will help in further elevating Miles as Spider-Man. Because to be honest Miles has sort of taken a step back in the last few years as Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy and Venom have garnered the most attention within the Spider-Man franchise. Having him in a lead role with other Spider-Men and Spider-Women will be good for him.
PATRICK GLEASON WRITING NORMAN OSBORN ONE-SHOT
One of the final big changes that Dan Slott made before ending his run on the Spider-Man franchise was to transform Norman Osborn into the Red Goblin. The hybrid Green Goblin and Carnage identity Norman took on now appears to be permanent. Marvel made that official at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 as Norman will return in Amazing Spider-Man #30 and #31, which ties into Absolute Carnage, where he will show up as Red Goblin.
The Red Goblin identity is still new and needed to be strongly followed up on to make Norman’s new form something fans want to see. It could also set up a bigger storyline down the line for Norman Osborn once Spider-Man finishes dealing with the Absolute Carnage event and what Kindred is planning. Afterall, Norman isn’t someone that just stops by for a visit during an event that has another Spider-Man villain as the lead. He likely has great plans that’ll take advantage of every Peter Parker is currently going through.
Having Patrick Gleason, who looks to be doing both writing and artwork as he begins his Marvel career, as the writer for the Red Goblin: Red Death one-shot. Gleason showed he can write great comics as he did a lot of that during his time at DC Comics alongside Peter Tomasi. This will be a good opportunity to see how Gleason writes a Marvel comic.
SPIDER-GWEN TO FINALLY FACE THE JACKAL
When it comes to Spider-Man villains the one I’ve never cared for is the Jackal. Whether it was in his Miles Warren or Jackal form, the character has not escaped the clone bubble he has been stuck in since debuting. Anytime the Jackal has shown up he has brought stories down, as we recently saw with the first story arc in the Marvel Team-Up series.
Now Marvel and Ghost Spider writer Seanan McGuire have possibly found a story angle that could best use the Jackal. Having him go up against Ghost Spider has a lot of potential since Spider-Gwen hasn’t clashed with Jackal in the past. And with the Jackal’s obsession with Gwen Stacy this is a storyline that could actually be something completely different for how the villain is used. It also throws Spider-Gwen into a major storyline as she will be thrown right into the fire in dealing with a villain that she doesn’t realize how personal the conflict will be. How she deals with this threat gives Ghost Spider a strong hook early into her new life in the 616-Universe.
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