Marvel Returns to Spider-Man’s Radioactive Semen This Summer

Marvel Returns to Spider-Man’s Radioactive Semen This Summer

Last summer, Marvel Comics boldly announced that it would return to “The Most Notorious Spider-Man Story Ever Told,” to which the world cried out “You’ll really have to be more specific!” After quickly clarifying that it was a sequel to Spider-Man: Reign, the world cried out again: “Oh. The one with the radioactive jizz?” Now, we know a little more about the hows and whys.

Today, Marvel announced that Spider-Man: Reign II would begin this summer, a five-issue miniseries that sees Reign’s original writer/artist, Kaare Andrews (for whom Reign was his first major comics work), return to the world of his 2006 story—an alt-future tale that starred an older, grizzled Peter Parker. Peter grapples with a long life lived as Spider-Man, that, as previously mentioned, is now mostly remembered derisively for its revelation that in this continuity, Peter’s radioactive bodily fluids were responsible for giving his wife, Mary Jane, the cancer that ultimately took her life. Peter recounts this information to Mary Jane’s corpse, having just dug it up out of the cemetery.

It’s a lot—but Andrews recognizes that, and sees a return to Reign as a seasoned creative as chance to, well, reign in some of the impulsive tendencies of his younger self. “Reign was full of tragic and dark absurdity that only a young creator could come up with. A way to challenge the idea of personal power and responsibility,” Andrews said in a statement. “But as I’ve grown older, and after sitting with this story for so long, I started to ask myself this question, ‘What if there was a way to go back and change what happened? What if I could fix everything?’”

Image: Kaare Andrews/Marvel Comics

“Many call it the most infamous Spider-Man story ever told. But for me, what’s kept it relevant is the love behind creating that book,” Andrews added. “This is the character I grew up with, the one that taught me how to be a man, how to live with failure and keep standing back up, the unrelenting force of trying to make things better.”

Little else is currently known about Reign II, other than it will introduce older versions of both Felicia Hardy, aka the superthief Black Cat, and Miles Morales as a second Spider-Man. As you can see from the alternate cover art for the first issue above, the fact that Miles is replicating the infamous cover to Reign #1, this time hugging Peter’s grave instead of Mary Jane’s, suggests maybe there’ll be an even grimmer ending for Peter than, well, hugging his wife’s decaying body.

We’ll find out when Spider-Man: Reign II begins on July 3.

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