I thought I saw last week that Marvel’s “Dead No More” teaser was in relation to the return of Steve Rogers as Captain America. Which made no sense, so I’m glad that whatever I thought I saw was wrong.
Marvel has released a new teaser that you can see above and it is very clear that we are looking for something in the Spider-Man camp of titles. But who? Some speculation after the cut.
Uncle Ben – Like Thomas and Martha Wayne, Peter’s uncle is about the only character that has offically stayed dead all these years. And with good reason. Their deaths are core to the origin and creation of Spider-Man and Batman. Without the death of Uncle Ben, Peter would be probably be a stable in the WWE right now and/or preparing to star in Roadhouse 2.
Marvel and DC like to take every opportunity they can get in alternate universe stories to bring back Uncle Ben and the Wayne’s, but please leave Ben out of the new Marvel Universe.
Gwen Stacy – Gwen has “returned from the dead” several times over the years in the Marvel Universe, but she always ended up being a clone, or someone that had cosmetic surgery to look like Gwen, or whatever comic book-ism was required. I doubt very much that it will be Gwen as I think it would undermine the current popularity of breakout hit Spider-Gwen.
Like Uncle Ben, Gwen is a popular target to still be alive in alternate universe Spider-Man stories. Such as the world that first appeared in Spider-Verse where Gwen became Spider-Woman and Peter ended up as The Lizard. This new Gwen became an overnight sensation and turned a one-shot into an ongoing series as well as being a key player in Spider-Verse and its spiritual successor Web Warriors.
This is not even to mention the fact that a Deadpool variant cover featuring Gwen Stacy as Gwenpool has proven so popular that she is also receiving an ongoing series there in the spring. It’s not unlike comic books to beat things to death, but her resurrection in the main Marvel Universe seems like overkill.
Ben Reilly – aka the clone of Peter Parker. Many people cringe when the subject of the Clone Saga is brought up in Spider-Man circles. While they have a point, I (like many) have always had a softspot for discarded Spider-Clone Ben Reilly. Be it in the now ultra-90’s Scarlet Spider outfit or his own run in a modified Spider-Suit when Peter “retired” after they thought Ben was the real deal.
Dispute his popularity, I have my doubts they will be bringing him back for two reasons. One, Ben Reilly (albiet from a different place in the multiverse) made a triumphant return during Spider-Verse. If they were ever going to bring him back into the fold it would be then. And what happened? Well *spoilers* he was possibly the only really significant character to die during the event. He went out very heriocailly and seemed like Marvel did so intentionally to give him a proper thank you and send off.
Second, do we need another Spider-Person running about the Marvel Universe? We have Original Recipie Peter. Ultimate Universe refugee Miles Morales. Time displaced Spider-Man 2099. Silk, who is basically a female version of Spider-Man that got her powers from a bite from the same spider as Peter. (Gotta love those retro stories.) And Spider-Woman, who doesn’t really fit the same mold, but hey, her name is Spider-Woman so I have to include her. Oh, and also the Web Warriors, while they are more multiverse based, also include Spider-UK, Spider-Girl, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man India, etc. And there is also one more Spider related character…
Kaine – another clone of Peter, Kaine was a villian for many years, reformed and reluctantly became the new Scarlet Spider and “died” in Spider-Verse. So the return of Kaine really depends on Marvel’s definition of “dead” as the Epilogue of Spider-Verse pretty much shows that Kaine is alive, though (that I know of) he hasn’t been seen since. Also, I don’t know that Kaine’s return would be a big enough deal to hype with teasers, etc.
Doc Ock – along the same lines as Kaine is the former Superior Spider-Man. If you are a regular reader of the new Amazing Spider-Man title you know that *spoilers* Doc’s mind is just hanging out in the body of the Living Brain robot that works at Parker Industries, seemingly back to his evil ways and just waiting for his time to strike. Ock seems like a good bet to return sooner than later, but again, what is Marvel’s definition of “dead”?
Ultimate Spider-Man…not Miles…the original one – before Miles Morales ever came on the scene, the Ultimate Peter Parker enjoyed a very, very long run as Spider-Man. Until one day as the Ultimate Universe painfully, slowly, crawled to its death, Marvel hyped the hell out of the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man. Which really worked out well for them with Miles Morales becoming the new Ultimate Spider-Man.
Near the end of the Ultimate Universe run, Peter actually returned in a confusing “is he a clone or resurrected by the Goblin formula” storyline. I was never really clear if it was the real Spidey or not (and with the success of Miles, I never got why they bothered to bring him back at all in the first place), but I doubt he is another survivor that makes his way from the 1610 to the not-616.
Madame Web – the resurrection of the original pre-cog version of the character is a popular theory online. It doesn’t do much for me. And I doubt Marvel would get much mileage out of hyping her return. Especially since she passed the role onto former Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter.
And maybe this is just one of many teasers that Marvel will unveil and this is not just a Spider-Man story, but Marvel’s version of DC’s Blackest Knight. Remember I said that I saw something about Dead No More relating to Cap? Well, if I had read the actual story and not just scoffed at the image I would see that it was related to Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) offering.
It seems that Dead No More is not related to Cap, but is the second story in the FCBD book on May 7th. Here is the part of the solicitation that we are interested in for our purposes:
But that’s not all! FCBD CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 will also feature a second all-new story and a special prelude to DEAD NO MORE, giving fans their first look at the blockbuster storyline coming later this year. If you got a chance to bring back someone who died, would you? And how will CLASSIFIED deal when ones they thought long dead once again walk the earth? Find out on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!
Note the “ones”. And I get the feeling that we are going to see more Dead No More teasers that are not tied to Spider-Man in the near future, but who knows.
Also, the curtain style of the new teaser sure seems to be a jab at DC’s next planned “not a reboot” relaunch in June.