Tag Archives: crossover

Amazing Spider-Man #700 Predictions, Speculation, and Crackpot Theories

With the 700th issue of Amazing Spider-Man coming up this December, it’s only right that I, the Comic Vault’s resident diehard Spider-Man fan, weigh in on what may or may not happen in this momentous issue.  There are a lot of crazy theories floating around right now, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Current scribe (and the best writer on the book since Roger Stern or David Michelinie in my opinion) Dan Slott stated via cell phone at Comic Con a few weeks ago that this is going to be the biggest thing he’s ever done in comics, which is saying a lot coming from the guy who penned the phenomenal Amazing Spider-Man #600 just three years ago.  It’s even been said that what he’s doing in #700 will be so controversial among fans that he’ll have to go into hiding after the issue hits stands, or that this might possibly be his final arc on the book. (Damn you, “Marvel NOW!”)

With the ’90s Clone Saga and J. Michael Straczynski’s “Sins Past” and “One More Day” story arcs, Spider-Man fans have a high threshold for controversy.  At this point, what could possibly be more controversial at this point than Peter Parker’s clone Ben Reilly being revealed as the real Peter Parker and taking his place, Norman Osborn knocking up Gwen Stacy prior to her death, or Peter and Mary Jane trading their marriage to Mephisto (the “devil”) in exchange for Aunt May’s life?

Really, Marvel?  What were you thinking?  That “o” face in the bottom left corner is the stuff of nightmares. And Gwen… You desecrated poor, sweet Gwen!

Maybe resurrecting Gwen Stacy could top the scenarios above, but Slott has already said he (thankfully) has no interest in doing that, as Gwen is much more meaningful dead.

Over at the CBR boards, members have been posting a plethora of crackpot theories regarding what will happen in the issue.  Some have taken a statement that Slott made at Comic Con regarding the future not looking good for Madame Web as a hint that the new Madame Web, Julia Carpenter, will be kicking the bucket soon.  Personally, I think they’re reading a bit much into this and Slott was just being Slott.  Madame Web is a clairvoyant and only has visions when something terrible is about to happen–of course the future doesn’t look good for her.

“The future…always…looks…TERRIBLE…to MEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

Regardless, below is a list of my favorite theories from that thread:

  • Black Cat shows up with a baby.
  • Norman Osborn is Peter’s father.
  • Peter pulls the plug on Doctor Octopus and then goes crazy.
  • Peter gets flung back in time, is stuck, and in a nod to his clone brother, names himself Ben Parker.  He then meets a lovely girl named May Reilly.
  • Peter gives up being Spider-Man to be with Mary Jane or Peter ends up getting killed, with either scenario leading to new sidekick Alpha taking his place.
  • Peter moves to Japan and gets a giant robot.
  • Peter goes crazy and becomes the new Green Goblin.
  • Kaine is the real Peter Parker.
  • Batman subcontracts Peter to become his new gadget man in Batman, Inc. as part of a cross-promotional deal between Marvel and DC.
  • J. Jonah Jameson is actually a 1940s reporter covering the war in Europe.  He is wounded by a grenade blast, which kills his soldier body guard Steve Rogers.  For two months, Jameson has been in a coma, and it’s revealed that the whole Marvel Universe is taking place in his mind.
  • Black Widow becomes Spider-Man’s new crime-fighting partner and Spider-Man has a clone baby from an alternate reality with Mystique.

That’s a lot of outlandishness to digest, huh?  As promised in the first paragraph, though, I also have my own predictions as to what might happen in #700.

The cover for Amazing Spider-Man #700 is a preexisting collage by a French artist named Pascal Garcin.  You could say that this makes the presence of certain characters on the cover arbitrary, but I like to think that Marvel chose to use this cover for that issue for specific reasons.  If you look closely near the bottom, to the left of the center, there’s a Carnage hidden among all of the Spider-Mans.

Hey, look…It’s a schooner!

This leads me to believe that Carnage has some involvement in this issue, perhaps killing a beloved character like Mary Jane Watson.  Despite wreaking havoc in Spider-Man’s world in two mini-series over the last two years and continuing to do so in an upcoming Venom/Scarlet Spider crossover, it’s been years since Carnage has committed mass murder in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man.  This site’s owner, Matt Sardo, even claimed to me in an e-mail that during Comic Con’s Spider-Man panel, “[The panelists] were asked what character they wanted to work with or draw. [Humberto Ramos] mentioned Carnage and then said, ‘Oh, wait.  I’ve drawn Carnage,’ and then he got dirty looks.”  What better time for Carnage to show up and do something chaotic than the book’s 700th issue, 24 years after the character’s “father,” Venom, debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #300?

Speaking of Venom, the border of the eyes on that collage is composed of the character.  I’m going to go ahead and also predict that if Peter doesn’t find out by then that Flash is the guy wearing the Venom symbiote by #700, he’ll probably find out there.

If I’m wrong about Carnage, then the next likely scenario is that the Roderick Kingsley Hobgoblin, rumored to return in the upcoming “Danger Zone” arc, shows up and kills someone.  Either way, I think someone is dying in #700.  Mary Jane is a likely choice, though I’d rather not see that happen.  Sardo wants Aunt May to die, and I have yet to figure out what he has against sweet, little old ladies.  Her husband, J. Jonah Jameson, Sr. may be a more likely candidate for the grave, or possibly other characters that have grown on fans in recent years–like NYPD forensic detective/most recent Peter Parker ex Carlie Cooper or Daily Bugle reporter Norah Winters.

Or maybe in their infinite wisdom, Marvel, seeing that it worked so well in Ultimate Spider-Man, actually do decide to kill off mainstream (Earth-616 for you nerds out there) Peter and replace him with his new sidekick Alpha, at which point they’ll lose me as a reader.  Just because something worked in one universe doesn’t mean it should be spread to the others.

But seriously… Keep any sweet, elderly women you hold dear away from this man.

3-page preview: Spider-Men #2 – We must fight first!

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Marvel Comics Friday afternoon released a three-page preview of Spider-Men #2 and the cover of the second print of issue #1. This continues the crossover between the Ultimate universe and the 616 Spider-Men (Did you get all that?). Brian Michael Bendis writes Spider-Man #2 with art by Sara Pichelli. Spider-Men #1 second print hits your local comic book store on June 20th and issue two comes out the following week on June 27th, 2012.

Marvel is proud to present your first look at Spider-Men #2, by the chart-topping creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli! When Peter Parker is thrown into Miles Morales’ world, the duo begin a journey that will not only answer questions about their own identities, but also reveal the truth about a major character in the world of Spider-Man! Kick off Spider-Man’s 50th anniversary in style with double the web-slinging action in Spider-Men #2, hitting comic shops, the Marvel Comics app and the Marvel Digital Comics Shop this June.

SPIDER-MEN #2 (APR120606)
FOC – 6/4/12, On-Sale – 6/27/12

FOC – 6/4/12, On-Sale – 6/20/12

Review: Avenging Spider-Man #6 – “Omega Effect” Begins!

Avenging Spider-Man #6
Writers:  Greg Rucka and Mark Waid
Art:  Marco Checchetto, Matt Hollingsworth [Color Art]

Recently, Daredevil acquired an item called the “Omega Drive” that is full of intel on “mega-crime cartels” like AIM, Hydra, Black Spectre, Agence Byzantine, and the Secret Empire.  All of these organizations, and others, want the drive.

The issue opens with panels alternating between Spider-Man fighting Hand ninjas–who are everywhere these days–and flashbacks of Reed Richards explaining the Omega Drive to him.  The ninjas, of course, were staking out the rooftop across from Matt Murdock’s law office because, as mentioned in the book, Daredevil has the worst-kept secret identity in the world.

It turns out the Punisher wants the drive, as well.  He and his new partner, former marine Rachel Cole-Alves (who has a “my family was massacred” back story similar to the Punisher), pay Murdock a visit and attempt to take the drive for their own uses.  It isn’t long before Spider-Man and the ninjas crash the party, leading to–you guessed it–a team-up.

This is a flawless start to the Avenging Spider-Man/Daredevil/Punisher “Omega Effect” crossover.  The writing is tight, and has some of the best Spider-Man one-liners I’ve seen in any book, and I’m really fighting the urge not to spoil any of them because they’re just that good.  If you’re not a regular Daredevil or Punisher reader, there’s enough context here to bring you up to speed and prevent any confusion.  The tone, detail, and overall flow of the art is on par with the writing, as well, making this issue a definite “must buy.”

STORY:  10/10
ART:  10/10 


Update: Spider-Men #1 – Amazing/Ultimate Spider-Man cross over

Worlds will collide in June when Brian Michael Bendis teams-up Miles Morales from the Ultimate Universe and your friendly neighborhood Peter Parker from the 616 Universe for Spider-Men #1.

“This June – history will be made for the Marvel Universe,” from the Marvel press release Friday morning.

Marvel Comics has released two teaser images for Spider-Men and both combine symbols from both universes. Sara Pichelli is the artist on the book and she currently works on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man which created the Mile Morales character. This work be a ground breaking crossover for Marvel Comics that would translate into massive sales.


This June – history will be made for the Marvel Universe.


DC Comics: “Court of Owls” attack the west

DC Comics announced Friday that All-Star Western #9 would be part of the “Night of Owls” crossover. You will find out what the Court of Owls was doing in 1880 Gotham City. All-Star Western #9 written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Moritat, Patrick Scherberger, Dan Green and will be in your local comic book store on May 23, 2012.

From DC the Source:

With the highly anticipated “Night of the Owls” crossover beginning this May, we asked writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti how it impacts their story in ALL-STAR WESTERN.

““Plans within plans.” That’s one of my favorite lines from Frank Herbert’s eco-sci-fi epic, Dune. It is also one of the hardest things to convey in a monthly comic where readers are often second-guessing the outcome or direction of a series. There is always a larger plan at work and things are never quite what they seem,” says Gray. “Both Batman and Jonah Hex have been discovering this fact in their own unique ways. Having chosen Gotham City as the unlikely setting for ALL-STAR WESTERN, Jimmy and I thought long and hard about the different ways we could make the book interesting to both new readers and the Jonah Hex faithful. To do that we began our initial arc with the secret society called The Crime Bible trying to establish its roots in 1880’s Gotham. At the same time over in BATMAN, readers were introduced to The Court of Owls.”

Gray continues, “By now you know both organizations existed long before the caped crusader launched his one-man campaign to save the soul of a city. So starting in May, The Court of Owls, the Talon, the secret history of Gotham, Crime Bible, Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham…some of the most unlikely and surprising elements start falling seamlessly in to place. It has been months and months in the making, but the plans within plans are coming to fruition and even the most cynical fan has to admit this New 52 thing is pretty damn exciting.”

So get ready to discover what the Court of Owls was up to in Gotham City cira 1880 in ALL-STAR WESTERN #9.

As Palmiotti says, “This is the best of both worlds for comic fans and us, and we plan on delivering the goods. Everything about this crossover makes sense and is planned brilliantly. We are happy to make Jonah and the gang part of comic book history once again.”

Swamp Thing / Animal Man crossover in May

DC Comics announced Tuesday morning that Animal Man Annual #1 written by Jeff Lemire with art by Timothy Green II will feature Swamp Thing and explain the red, the green and the rot. Animal Man Annual #1 will be in your local comic book store in May.

From DC the Source:

The ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1 written by ongoing series writer Jeff Lemire with art by up and coming artist Timothy Green, II arrives in May!

This oversized stand alone story details the history of the epic struggle between the forces of The Red, The Green and The Rot as seen in the pages of ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING.

“There’s nothing I love more than writing ANIMAL MAN. Since the book launched in September, Joey Cavalieri and the team at DC have given me an incredible amount of trust to craft a big sprawling story about life, death, family and pets. So I was especially excited when they asked me to write a new 48 page ANIMAL MAN story for the upcoming ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1. I saw it as a great chance to expand upon the mythology of The Red, The Green and The Rot, but also to tell a satisfying story that can stand on it’s own as well,” said Jeff Lemire.

“In many ways this Annual is like a prequel to the crossover storyline that Scott Snyder and I have planned for ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING. But the best part is that I get to work with Timothy Green II. I’ve been a fan of Timothy’s since I first saw his work a few years back and I was really excited when Joey told me he would be drawing the Annual. I’ve seen the first few pages of art and man, is it gorgeous. He draws a great Swamp Thing and an even better Maxine!”

Interview with Avengers Academy Writer Christos Gage

One of the best books consistently has been Christos Gage’s Avengers Academy. He has taken a group of new characters that he created, and has made it one of my can’t miss reads. If you aren’t reading this book get on it, immediately not sooner. I had the chance to sit down and chat with him recently, and here is what transpired. (Note: This interview contains spoilers so if you haven’t read these issues yet, NUFF SAID!)

CV NICK: I love Avengers Academy, it has been one of the most consistently well done books at Marvel for the past year, and I’ve really enjoyed the plots and the growth of the students and teachers at the Academy. With the events of Fear Itself ending, and the new team members and staff joining the team, what can you tell us about what you have planned?

GAGE: Thanks so much! #21 was intended to be a good jumping on point for new readers, as the team moved out to the West Coast and added new members. As you’ve seen in recent issues, we have a lot of intrigue going on with the death of Jocasta, and some hidden threats at the Academy, such as future Reptil possessing his younger body, as well as the monster called Hybrid – an old Rom villain I’ve always loved. Following that, in #27, we see the Runaways show up for a meeting fans have been requesting for a long, long time. And beginning with #29, we jump feet-first into the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover! It’s a great time to jump on board!

CV NICK: With the death of Jocasta at the end of AA21, it is implied with the reveal of Reptil being possessed by his future self? that he maybe has something to do with her death? That maybe in the future some of his team members go “bad”? Intriguing as well that the page is labeled as “Somewhere in Time”.

GAGE: There are indeed a lot of questions being raised by those pages. Some have been answered in #23 – for instance, that is indeed Reptil’s future self inhabiting his younger body. As for his involvement with Jocasta, stay tuned…I promise answers are coming soon! And “bad” is relative depending on your perspective. Our story is, in large part, about how far a man is willing to go to protect those he loves, even at the expense of others.

CV NICK: What can we expect the new students to bring to the team? Who is your favorite of the new students to write?

GAGE: I hope they’ll bring unique personalities that evoke interesting emotions in our existing characters. Another thing they’ll bring is ties to the overall Marvel Universe that have been absent so far since all our characters were rookies: Lightspeed has years of experience as a hero, X-23 has been active for a long time and indeed, in many ways, lived out the fear these kids have of going bad (though it wasn’t really her fault), and White Tiger is carrying on the legacy of her brother Hector, so she is the Academy’s first legacy character. I can’t really say I have a favorite…I like them all. I am developing fondness for Julie Power, since she’s the only one of them I actually read when I was a kid myself.

CV NICK: What about the addition of Hawkeye to the staff? Besides his tumultuous past, what can we expect him to bring and how will it affect Hank and the other instructors?

GAGE: Hawkeye knows what it’s like to have a troubled childhood and be tempted down the wrong path. He also knows what it’s like to be redeemed and become a true hero. He feels like it’s his karmic duty to give these kids the opportunity he had. Of course, Hawkeye’s never been the type of guy to run his plans past others, so Hank and the other teaches might find that problematic!

CV NICK: Recently, online rumors have lead to certain Comic News sites suggesting that Avengers Academy potentially being on the chopping block, and you took to Twitter to vehemently deny and defend the book to the naysayers. What can you tell us about that, and how does having something like social media help or hinder you to get the news out about your book, and other projects?

GAGE: Well, the numbers speak for themselves. AVENGERS ACADEMY is not a huge seller as Marvel titles go, but what’s been positive is that it’s still profitable and our numbers have held very steady for quite a long time now. There are books that have been around for years selling consistently at this level…two that come to mind are X-FACTOR and THUNDERBOLTS. So AVENGERS ACADEMY is making money for Marvel and as long as it holds its numbers it will continue to stick around. The danger is that, when your sales are at this level, losing just a few hundred or a couple thousand orders – in essence, only one less copy at every comic shop in America – can push you into the danger zone. And rumors of a book being canceled can most definitely get readers to drop that book, because they feel it no longer “matters,” or they don’t want to continue to be invested in a storyline that might end prematurely. I’ve spoken to many, many retailers about this phenomenon, and they say they see it all the time – perception becoming reality when rumors of a book being canceled start to spread, readers drop it, and sales go down to the point where it does indeed get canceled. So I wanted to strongly and vocally make it clear that we are fine, as long as sales hold up at their current level. If you like the book, keep buying it. Pre-order if you don’t already. Tell your friends to check it out. I just heard that issue #21 is sold out at Diamond, and #22 might have been as well, I don’t recall…which is great, because it means readers are interested and retailers are re-ordering. We’ve had many wonderful retailers supporting us and recommending the book to their customers. So I just wanted to be proactive about getting the word out and hopefully preventing the rumor from going too far. As for social media, I love being able to communicate directly to readers and retailers. It can be a double-edged sword, in that it allows rumors to spread quickly as well, but that’s the world we live in. I definitely prefer it to not being able to communicate with the buying public at all, or in a delayed fashion.

CV NICK: With AA being in the news lately, it has also leaked that Striker will be revealed as a gay character, how long has this been planned, and how did you decide to make such a culturally significant decision?

GAGE: It’s been planned as far back as issue #5. If you look back at that issue there are hints, such as the flashback scene where Striker is surrounded by female groupies provided by Norman Osborn and he has no interest in them whatsoever. What made me want to go in this direction is that, while we have come a long way in having positive depictions of gay youth in popular culture, we have seen fewer examples of kids who are struggling with their sexual identity, and I wanted to explore that. I think there are still a lot of gay youths, especially in more rural areas where they might not personally know any out gay people, who feel conflicted and isolated, and I wanted to say, hey, you’re not alone in this.

CV NICK: How can we expect to see AA used in this summers big Avengers event, which rumor has it they are to feature prominently?

GAGE: You will definitely see Avengers Academy tie in to Avengers Vs. X-Men. Probably in such a way that the kids will come up against X-Men kids. I think it’ll be interesting to see how the kids on both sides react to this conflict that essentially their elders got them into.

CV NICK: Are there any future plans or projects you can let us know about?

GAGE: I’m taking over X-MEN: LEGACY with issue #260.1, which is out very soon! I also write ANGEL & FAITH monthly for Dark Horse, and I have a secret miniseries in the works from Marvel. My original graphic novel SUNSET comes out in the spring from Top Cow, and my wife Ruth and I are working on an original graphic novel for Oni called THE LION OF RORA, which is the true story of her ancestors, a historical epic in the vein of BRAVEHEART.

Thanks again to Christos Gage for his time. Visit him at his website Christosgage.com and follow him on Twitter @Christosgage

Follow Nick on Twitter @NicoSandila

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #677, What Was That Saying About Cats and Bad Luck Again?

Amazing Spider-Man #677
Writer:  Mark Waid
Art:  Emma Rios & Javier Rodriguez [Colors]

Though I enjoyed the vast majority of “Brand New Day,” there were always three writers during that era of Amazing Spider-Man that I hoped would get the permanent gig when the book inevitably became a one-writer publication again.  The obvious first choice was Dan Slott.  The other two were current Avenging Spider-Man scribe Zeb Wells and acclaimed Daredevil writer Mark Waid.

That said, it’s a pleasure to see Waid handling this two-part Daredevil crossover story, “The Devil and the Details,” while Slott catches up on the scripting for (I assume) his big Doc Ock event story that kicks off in a few months.

At the beginning of Amazing Spider-Man #677, Spidey (who is still lamenting his break-up with forensic investigator uber-babe Carlie Cooper) runs into Black Cat and — awkwardly — goes about trying to score a rebound with his old friend-with-benefits.  Unfortunately, smelling of desperation and Axe body spray (which are one and the same) doesn’t get you very far, and Pete is left to sulk alone on New York’s rooftops while Black Cat returns home to…Be arrested?

It turns out that Felicia (or someone imitating her) was caught on video burgling a prototype “H-Phone” from Horizon Labs, and there’s only one thing that can clear her name — a terrific team-up in the mighty Marvel manner!

Sensing that something is amiss, Spidey consults his old pal, legal counsel, and New Avengers teammate Daredevil to help him get to the bottom of it.  Unfortunately, for all their investigating, cracking wise and constantly trying to one-up each other, things might not be as they seem with the theft-prone Ms. Hardy.

Overall, Waid delivers a fantastic first part to this story, providing a nice reminder of what made his previous work on the book great and exemplifying why his run on Daredevil appeared on so many “best of” lists for 2011.  The dialogue is clever and well-written, and interactions between characters are sold even more by the body language conveyed in Emma Rios’ art.  Not to mention that this issue had a cliffhanger ending that I didn’t see coming from a mile away for a change.

I can’t wait to see how this ends next week in Daredevil #8, although I’m worried I’ll end up adding yet another book to my pull list before this is over with.

Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10 

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