Looking at the last 10 years of comics, it's tough to find a storyline more hated than 2007's One More Day, and we're talking about a decade that included the deaths of not one, but two incarnations of Peter Parker. In an effort to free Spider-Man from the constraints of married life, Marvel Comics had him and his bride Mary Jane Watson make what basically amounted to a deal with the devil: Peter could save his beloved Aunt May from death, but only if he sacrificed his marriage and all memories of it. It was the end of one of comics' favorite couples, and the beginning of a lot of fan rage that you can still feel echoing throughout the Internet today.
Fortunately for everyone still mourning the loss of the Parker/Watson marriage, Marvel's upcoming Secret Wars event sets the stage for a return. Because the event features many different realities and timelines colliding, the publisher and its various creators have the chance to try new things and resurrect old favorites, and current Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott is doing exactly that in The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, a Secret Wars tie-in series that will be drawn by Adam Kubert. As the title suggests, the series will indeed restore the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, and even bring back their long-lost child, who was at various points in Spidey continuity stillborn, alive and in the hands of Green Goblin, a grown-up superhero in her own right, and completely forgotten.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Slott described the series as a kind of meditation on Peter Parker's responsibility (the great responsibility, you know, the one that goes with the great power), not just as a superhero, but as a husband and a father. That brings a very different dynamic to his superheroics, to be sure, and it also brings an opportunity to let fans return to the Spider-Man of old that many wish they still had, no matter how many entertaining tales of a single Peter Parker Slott's woven in years since. (Have you guys read "Big Time?" You should really read "Big Time.") As part of the "Last Days" segment of Secret Wars tie-ins, the series also functions as a chance to tell a kind of final Spider-Man story, in the way that stuff like "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" offered Alan Moore a chance to tell a "final" Superman story once upon a time. That means Slott can get inventive, and he can also bring back classic characters.
“You haven’t seen Spider-Man’s classic villains the way you know and love—I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eddie Brock as Venom in this story,” Slott said. “Or Sergei Kravinoff as Kraven the Hunter in this story. There’s going to be a lot of bullets in the gun for things you wanted to see in a Spider-Man story that you haven’t seen in a while. This is the ultimate classic feel. This is the last Eddie Brock story. The stakes have never been higher for Peter Parker because he’s never had so much to lose. So he has never been this close to the edge. And these are the Last Days.”
Though there seems to be plenty of "Everything Old Is New Again" going on here, the series will also deal with a mysterious villain known only as "The Regent," who dominates "The Regency" area of the Battleworld map that makes up the Secret Wars landscape and who's also influencing where fellow New York City-based heroes Moon Knight and Daredevil will go during the event. Slott promises that Renew Your Vows will stand on its own as a series that even people who aren't reading Secret Wars can enjoy, but there's clearly a plan in place, and Spider-Man's obviously not going away following Secret Wars. So, what is this plan? Will the marriage continue? Here's all Slott would say about that:
“What I can tell you? No matter who or what or how Spider-Man comics will be made in the future—elements from this story will go on into the next incarnation,” says Slott, speaking extremely carefully. “Elements. Of this. Yes.”
The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows will drop its first issue on June 3, right in the midst of Secret Wars. Check out Kubert's cover for the issue below.