WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, Laura Martin and Joe Caramagna, in stores now.
Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley's Amazing Spider-Man #1 starts Peter Parker's fresh start with a scene that might look familiar to longtime Marvel readers. Peter, wearing the classic black Spidey suit, is on top of the Empire State Building with Mary Jane. His hands cover her eyes until he slowly pulls them back, revealing the full breadth of the New York City skyline under a beautiful setting sun. The narration tells us this scene is lifted from a story Peter tells himself, when everything all seems wrong, because being with Mary Jane makes him believe that everything is going to be okay. And then, he wakes up.
If it feels like you've seen this particular scene before, it's because, well -- you have. The opening of this week's Amazing Spider-Man is the exact same scene we saw unfold in The Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1, written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Salvador Larroca, which was published in the summer of 2007. The annual told a one-and-done story that dealt with the fallout of Spider-Man joining Captain America's side in the superhero civil war, but more importantly, it told a quintessential story about the unshakable bond of trust and love between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.
As Spider-Man fans would later find out, Fraction and Larroca's story was actually a love letter to the long and storied relationship of Peter and MJ before it would all be undone.
As Marvel fans know all too well, the end of 2007 would bring one the most talked-about and controversial Spider-Man stories in the character's history with J. Michael Straczynski and then-Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada's One More Day. The infamous storyline saw Peter Parker strike a deal with the King of Hell, Mephisto, in order to save the life of his dear Aunt May. The cost? Peter and MJ's marriage was erased from the timeline, the rich history and the character evolution of both characters scaled back decades in order to return the Spider-Man mythos to a previous status quo. To this day, One More Day still enrages a bevy of devoted Spider-Man fans, who long for the day where Peter and MJ's relationship will once again be brought to the forefront, and where the events of the controversial story will be undone altogether.
Well, you don't have to hold your breath anymore -- it looks like that day might finally be coming. Peter's dream about pre-One More Day events is no an accident. In fact, it might even be a payoff.