Welcome back, comic fans of the beautiful River City! Welcome to this week’s special birthday edition of your RVA Mag Comics X-Change! I have a few hot recommendations for you that I just might take off my save-for-later list, and then after that, we’re going to take a second to talk about Tom Holland’s Spider-Man leaving the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), and what that means for the future.
Grab that cold iced coffee and let’s dive on in, comic fans!
Ghost Spider #1, by Seanan McGuire and Takeshi Miyazawa
Once again we are gifted with the return with one of my favorite newer Marvel characters, Spider-Gwen. While the character of Gwen Stacy is of course not new to the Spider-Man Universe, Spider-Gwen is a little fresher. In Ghost Spider, Gwen wants to start anew and does something I think we’ve all pondered a little at some point – goes to another dimension.
Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1, by Frank Tieri and Marcello Ferreira
Carnage and Deadpool both check into the same therapy institution? Whatever could be the worst thing that can happen? Considering they are also in a group therapy session together, I’m sure absolutely nothing.
Pretty Violent #1, by Derek Hunter and Jason Young
Gamma Ray has had super powers since she was a baby, so it only makes sense that she should be a superhero and save the world, right? Probably, except when you factor in the fact that her family is full of criminals who hunt and kill heroes. Awkward. If you were a fan of I Hate Fairyland, this is sure to be right up your alley.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #11, by Tom Taylor and Juann Cabal
Our beloved MJ is finally back, and from the looks of the cover, it appears that she is donning the classic red and blue suit as well. I guess we’ve hit the jackpot, beloved readers.
Fearless #1, by Seanan McGuire, Leah Williams, Kelly Thompson, Claire Roe, Carmen Nunez Carnero, and Nina Vakueva
This summer Marvel gives us a gift in the form of a female-hero anthology series. Captain Marvel, Storm, The Invisible Woman, and even Netflix favorite Jessica Jones can be found starring in this multi-part series focusing on stories featuring different women from the Marvel Universe.
As you’ve undoubtedly seen this week, Sony won back the rights to Spider-Man from Disney. This means a lot of things for the friendly neighborhood Avenger and the future of his roles in the narratives going forward. It may be the last time we see Tom Holland hanging out with Thor and Rocket, but on a heavier note, it also means that all of the work done to set up Phase 5 of the MCU may be in jeopardy.
The Infinity Arc not only set up the pacing for the new heroes being introduced into the MCU (Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and others), but established Spider-Man’s long awaited role in the franchise. As it stands, where Avengers: Endgame left us with Tony Stark’s death, and after the events in Spider-Man: Far From Home, there’s a strong implication that Spider-Man will be carrying the bulk of the story as Phase 5 moves on.
With Spider-Man now back out of the picture, that leaves all of these storylines out in limbo (not to mention billions of dollars in potential film revenue). However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Spider-Man being taken back out for a while could actually end up helping the MCU as it moves forward, crafting a new version of the franchise for upcoming generations.
It has long been a popular complaint with the MCU, that the films, and even the individual scenes within them, are cluttered with too many characters. As the original cast of Avengers, and maybe even Spider-Man as well, move on, this leaves room for new superheroes to move in and build new stories. The female empowerment scene that a lot of folks called cheesy? Now we might actually see the female-led Avengers film it paved the way for.
While the door may not be entirely closed on Spider-Man and the stories he built in his time in the MCU, if nothing else, this shift has opened up room for other characters that previously would not have had much space. So we may have lost a spider, but we’re likely to gain quite a bit more.
See you next time, comic fans.