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?
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.
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.
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.