WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #1 & 2 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, Laura Martin, and Joe Caramanga.
Dan Slott’s decade-long tenure on writing Spider-Man recently came to an end, swapping the prolific writer out with former Captain America/Secret Empire scribe Nick Spencer. The first issue of his and artist Ryan Ottley’s much hyped run, Amazing Spider-Man #1, took Peter Parker back to the basics. The hero has lost Parker Industries, is under investigation for academic fraud, was fired from the Daily Bugle, and other New York heroes hate him because they think he’s buddy-buddy with Kingpin of Crime turned New York mayor, Wilson Fisk.
It’s not looking good for Spidey in either his civilian or spandex worlds, but there’s one shining light here — he may actually have gotten back together with ex girlfriend Mary Jane Watson.
The issue ends with the two kissing and Peter declaring that this is “their story,” emphatically saying what the suspicions have been for some time: the new run of Amazing Spider-Man will begin to undue the events of the controversial “One More” and “Brand New Day” storylines that Slott became infamous for, which saw Mephisto destroy Peter and MJ’s marriage in exchange for bringing Aunt May back to life.
Considering the series’ declared mission statement of going “back to basics,” it’s not all that surprising this pairing is one of the things the first issue brought back to the forefront. Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship is one of the most popular romances in the Marvel Universe, if not all of comics history, and this summer seems to be where famous superhero relationships go through some sort of big change.
And like those now infamous wedding issues for Batman and X-Men, the move to bring Peter and MJ back together doesn’t really work. There are couples who’ve gotten back together after a time apart, but the issue itself piles so much misfortune on Peter’s doorstep it feels like Peter should be looking into a therapist or anxiety medicine instead of making out with his ex.
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