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Spider-Man News From C2E2, the Return of Uncle Ben

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So much Spider-News coming out from the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo! Where to begin?

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First, we get a look at Civil War II: Spider-Man #1, a new four-issue series that will tie into the upcoming “Civil War II” event that is set to rock the hero community of the Marvel Universe… again. The series, by frequent Spider-Man writer Christos Gage (Amazing Spider-ManSuperior Spider-Man) and artist Travel Foreman (Action ComicsJustice League United), will no doubt delve deeper into the role good Mr. Parker plays in the conflict.

We’ve already seen images that show two groups of heroes, the “teams” if you will, headed up by the figureheads of each side. The group lead by Iron Man (he sure seems to like to be front and center in this type of thing) also shows Captain America (Sam Wilson), Thor, Black Panther, Star-Lord, Luke Cage, Hercules, Miss America, Daredevil, Black Widow The Hulk (Amadeus Cho), and Deadpool on the team that is against using a mysterious new Inhuman character that has predictive powers to profile potential offenders and prevent future crimes from happening by punishing people before the fact.

The group lead by Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel is comprised of Captain America (Steve Rogers), War Machine, Vision, Medusa, Blue Marvel, The Winter Soldier, Spectrum, She-Hulk, Hawkeye, Ant-Man as well as none other than our favorite arachnid-based superhero. It might not be too surprising that Spidey is siding with the pro-“Minority Report” ideal. I’m pretty sure that he’s probably got Uncle Ben in mind and what could’ve been if he had known what was going to happen.

The interesting thing about CWII: Spider-Man #1 is that the cover shows a seemingly conflicted Spider-Man, hand to downcast head, stuck right in the middle of the fissure between the Iron Man and Ms. Danvers. The question is, does this issue take place before the teams are actually set and give us more of a look into the internal conflict Spider-Man felt over free will versus predestination, or is it afterward and indicate that he may be switching sides again as he did in the first Civil War? Come on, Spidey! What’s up with the flip-flopping!

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Also coming out of C2E2 is a cover for Amazing Spider Man (vol. 4) #15, featuring the former Mrs. Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson, who we now know works for Tony Stark as his personal assistant, Pepper Potts 2.0. if you will. And what is the former fashion model wearing these days? Something very “Civil War I” season, as apparently she’s been raiding Stark’s closets and has pulled out the old Iron Spider suit. With her working for Stark and Spider-Man siding with Captain Marvel, can we expect to see MJ take an active role in the conflict and possibly even fight Spider-Man head on?

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And, coming straight from another upcoming event is the cover for Spider-Man: Dead No More by artist Alexander Lozano. We got a teaser from Marvel back in January with the “Dead No More” tagline in the middle of a spider web. Very cryptic, but this new cover image features several long (some longer than others) dead characters that were closely tied to Spider-Man, not the least of which is the aforementioned Uncle Ben, standing front and center. It could be argued that Peter’s Uncle Ben Parker had the first and most lasting impact on Spider-Man and how he carries himself as a superhero. Bringing him back (other than as an alternate universe version like in “Spider-Verse”) runs the risk of cheapening his death, even nearly 55 years later, depending on the ultimate quality of the title. Resurrections like this can seem to trivialize death and comics are notorious for bringing characters back to life, something that has carried over from Marvel into their movies (a la Agent Coulson in Avengers and Nick Fury in Winter Soldier). We’ll have to wait and see how it is handled here.

Characters featured in the image seemingly include (from left to right) Martha and Billy Connors, Montana, Uncle Ben, Jean DeWolff, Captain George Stacy, Marla Jameson, and a mysterious man in a trench coat who could be anyone from Ezekiel to Ned Leeds. Another potentially returning character that is hinted is Doc Ock. Is that one of his Octo-arms on the right side there? It’s been shown that, while he doesn’t have a body any more (not sense high-jacking Spidey’s, anyway) his brilliant mind is alive and well, pining for his old flame, Anna Maria Marconi. It’s looking like this event is really going to mess with Spider-Man and everyone connected to him

More info will be posted as it becomes available from C2E2 this weekend.

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