The final week of the year is generally slow for comic book news, as the major publishers basically shut down for the week. In addition, Diamond Distributors even chose not to distribute new comic books, making the week after Christmas 2009 the first total skip week in years.
However, Marvel capitalized on this dearth of comic book news by releasing the above image at one section at a time to tease storylines set to come up in the Spider-Man titles in 2010. Front and center in the above image are Spider-Man, unmasked, and Mary Jane Watson in a wedding dress, reaching for each other. The Parker wedding was annulled in the “One More Day” storyline in 2007, where Spider-Man made a bargain with the demon Mephisto in order to save his Aunt May. In return, Mephisto would erase the memories of every person in the world who knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man; since Mary Jane knew Peter’s identity before they were married, the bargain wiped the marriage from existence as well.
The move, ostensibly intended to streamline Spider-Man and make him more relatable to new readers, was met with huge criticism in the fan community. The sales spike that followed “One More Day,” and its follow-up, “Brand New Day,” has since settled to the levels where it was before the original storyline.
Also included in the background of the image are elements that were more at the forefront of Spider-comics before the events of “One More Day:” The Iron Spider, Arana, Madame Web, and somebody in Spider-Man’s infamous “black outfit.” Also in the image is a baby being held by what appears to be Doctor Octopus’ tentacles. Spider-Man readers will remember that the also infamous “Clone Saga” storyline ended with Peter and Mary Jane’s stillborn baby being stolen by Norman “Green Goblin” Osborne, who had long been thought dead, and his reappearance led to his reestablishment as the major Spider-Man villain as well as becoming a major player in the Marvel Universe over the past few years.
It is entirely possible that the image is just misdirection on Marvel’s part. The beauty of teaser images like this is that they are seldom literal. All Marvel is admitting is that all these smaller images will be touched on at some point over the next year. However, Marvel is promising further details in the days and weeks to come.
Visit Comic Book Examiners