Comicbook: Spider-Man: Reign

Spider-Man: Reign is a comicbook miniseries written and illustrated by Kaare Andrews. Taking place in the future, Reign finds New York turned into a fascist state closed off from the rest of the world. Peter Parker is a now a washed-up old man mourning the loss of his wife. That is until an old 'friend' appears at his door with a familiar package...

This miniseries contains examples of:

  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": The 'twist' that Mary Jane died as a result of exposure to Peter's irradiated... fluids is by far the most infamous aspect of the story.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of the Kingpin, who is kept alive via an intravenous drip for ten years and paraded out once a year in front of the mayor who eats a steak in front of him.
  • Becoming the Mask: Venom. He claims that Eddie Brock is still alive within him, but he clearly is no longer Brock or the symbiote: he is only Venom.
  • Bigger Bad/The Man Behind the Man: Venom serves as this to Mayor Waters.
  • Cerebus Callback: The comical Hypno-Hustler shows up, forcing the Reign agents to dance with his boom box... only for the batteries to die. He's shot immediately after.
  • City in a Bottle: New York is this thanks to the 'WEBB'. The intention is to protect New York from outside 'super terrorists' but it also prevents anyone from leaving.
  • Cradle of Loneliness: As the main pic shows.
  • Dead Guy Puppet: Doctor Octopus does this to himself. He programs his arms (still attached to his corpse) to rescue Spider-Man after he dies and get him to reignite the age of superpowered beings.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Seen when Spider-Man foregoes the Darker and Edgier black costume in favor of the classic red and blues, all while singing a familiar tune.
  • Determinator: Spider-Man manages to plow through the members of the Sinner Six and still come back for more. He even survives an explosion.
  • Deus ex Machina: Referenced when Doctor Octopus arrives to rescue Spider-Man.
  • Disney Villain Death: Scorpion tells Spider-Man with his new tail, he can do anything. Spider-Man asks him if he can fly before kicking him out of a window.
  • False Utopia: New York is effectively crime free thanks to the impenetrable 'WEBB' system that surrounds the city. It is also a fascist state with armed soldiers terrorizing citizens.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Spider-Man plows through the Sinner Six quite easily.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Quite a bit.
    • J. Jonah Jameson, a constant thorn in Spider-Man's side, is the one who spurns him out of retirement and spreads word of his return.
    • Hypno-Hustler attempts to uses his abilities on the Reign officers to help Spider-Man. Reality Ensues.
    • Dr. Octopus programs his arms to rescue Spider-Man after he dies.
    • Sandman, after his daughter is killed by the Reign officers, gives Spider-Man the detonator to destroy the building and the symbiotes.
  • A God Am I: Big Bad Venom is likened to a Greek God, who requires sacrifice in order to be appeased.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Peter falls into a deep, long depression after accidentally causing the death of his wife Mary Jane.
  • The Lost Lenore/Post Humous Character: Mary Jane has died long before the story begins but is one of the most integral characters to the story nonetheless.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: The nameless little girl reveals herself to Sandman as his daughter by turning into cement.
  • Mushroom Samba: Kraven the Hunter (persumably the second) infects Spidey and himself with a noxious gas that brings their fears to life. Spider-Man, however, notes that he has been facing his fears the entire story, and as a result is so bored with them that he curbstomps Kraven.
  • The Nameless: The little girl who joins the rebellion is never given a name. She dies before Sandman can ask her.
  • Pastiche: A deliberate one for The Dark Knight Returns. See Shout-Out.
  • Poisonous Person: Peter is this as a result of the radiation in his blood. It ends up killing his wife.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Sandman dies after giving the detonator to Spider-Man.
    • Also with Doctor Octopus who saves Spider-Man after he dies.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Mayor Waters does this once things turn sour. He doesn't get far.
  • Shout-Out: The news anchor is named Miller Janson, a reference to the creators of The Dark Knight Returns.
  • The Snark Knight: When Peter gets back in his reds and blues, he also resumes quipping, though a lot of them are quite a bit darker and more mature than his usual stock. Case and point, when Mysterio causes him to see images of Mary Jane:
    Spider-Man: "Do NOT dress up like a dead man's wife. Not unless he pays you to."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Venom refers to himself as "The one responsibility (Spider-Man) shirked."
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Sandman's daughter is shot by the Reign in her cement form. He scoops up the pieces and tries to get her to reform. He initially thinks she succeeds and then...
    I look down at the hand I'm holding and it's no longer cement. None of the little bits are either.