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Back to basics.
And yeah, I know I'll end up regretting this. But as I sat there looking at Boomerang, all I could think about was myself and the people I'd let down so much lately. How so many of them had forgiven me — even given me opportunities to set things rights. If they could do that, why can't I? Bottom line — we all need second chances sometimes.
Peter Parker, TASM Vol 5 #7
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Launched as part of the Marvel: A Fresh Start initiative after a historic ten years, Dan Slott's massive Spider-Man run has finally come to an end. Who could fill in for such large web-shooters? Let's start with Nick Spencer, who gave us the criminally-underrated Superior Foes of Spider-Man.

Peter Parker is not having a good day. After climbing out of the hole that came out from the destruction of Parker Industries, he's been knocked down again as it's been exposed that a paper Otto wrote in his body was plagiarized (as it happens from Otto's own thesis), his Aunt May is angry with him for not admitting that he did such a thing and the hero community is angry with him because Mayor Wilson Fisk is showering support for him and not the rest of them. All in all, a typical case of Parker Luck. That, or the mysterious maggot-infested villain who knows so much about Peter lurking in the shadows.

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Notable Storylines created during this run include:

There are a number of series that are spinning out of this run as well. The first is Black Cat, which sees Felicia doing what she does best while dealing with the Thieves Guild, and The Amazing Mary Jane, which sends Mary Jane to Hollywood to rekindle her acting career.

Examples of Tropes in this storyline

  • Accidental Proposal: Peter gave one to Felicia in the past, when he gifted her a special Spider-Tracer on one of her jewelry boxes, making her think he was proposing for a second which freaked her out. Peter's less-than-sensitive comments after the matter (noting how she wasn't exactly the kind of girl who'd want to get married) added some extra insult and humiliation.
  • Actually a Doombot: Mysterio tries this with Kindred to try and slip out of his deal with him, brainwashing his psychiatrist into thinking he was Quentin Beck and using the shrink as a body double, slipping away as Kindred kills the psychiatrist for speaking his name. Kindred isn't happy about having to kill an innocent, but admits the only reason Mysterio didn't get away with it was his inability to resist his old "Ludwig Rineart" disguise.
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  • Alien Invasion: The first issue deals with this, with Spidey aiding the Avengers, Defenders, X-Men, the Human Torch and the Thing in repelling them. It's actually a ruse by Mysterio that comes to an end once Spidey takes notice of something odd.
  • Amazon Brigade: The new Sinister Syndicate is made up of White Rabbit, Lady Octopus, Scorpia, and the new, female versions of Electro, Beetle, and Trapster.
  • Amoral Attorney: Brett Alstettler, the late Jay Jameson's attorney. While telling Aunt May her current financial situation over dinner, he tries to make a move on her. May is not amused, calling him out for betraying the memory of his best client and trying to take advantage of a grieving widow.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Peter opens his heart out and lets loose all his vulnerability as he confesses to Mary Jane how much he loves her and needs her in his life. MJ responds at once with a Big Damn Kiss.
    Peter Parker: We've been through so much together. And i know that on my end at least, if you hadn't been there—I wouldn't have survived it. Because, yeah, I can do a lot of things. Swing from buildings, climb walls. All that stuff. But to do this? And do it right? I need you. I wish I had all the answers. I wish I knew how to make everything better and safer and easier and simpler — but I just— I just can't anymore. Maybe this is a mistake. I'm sorry. This isn't fair to you. Maybe I should—
    Mary Jane Watson: Whoa, whoa. Easy, tiger— (kisses Peter). We're in this together, Pete. We always have been.
  • Arc Villain: Kraven The Hunter for the Hunted storyline.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: In #16 Kraven is revealed to have raised a number of clones in the Savage Land to be like him and set them free into the world. When he calls them back, only one returns — having killed all of his brothers because he felt they were tarnishing Kraven's legacy. Kraven calls him an abominable monster with tears in his eyes, finishing with how proud he's made him.
  • Badass Normal: Mary Jane and Carlie Cooper prove their chops by outwitting the female Electro long enough for the NYPD to bust in and stop her.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: As Black Cat points out, the Thieves Guild's theft of superheroes' belongings may have been reversed, but the fact that they were able to do it as easily as they did re-established the fear and respect that they had lost, which is what they wanted in the first place.
  • Badass in Distress: Black Cat is furious and insulted when Kraven tells her he captured her so she could be a Damsel in Distress for Spider-Man to rescue.
  • Blatant Lies: When Janice Lincoln (aka, the Beetle) shows up to defend him in court, Mysterio threatens to sue her for using the Sinister Six name, claiming it was his idea (it was actually Doctor Octopus' idea).
  • Body Horror: Kindred's not exactly easy on the eyes to begin with, but under his sleeves are empty holes that rats freely crawl into and out of.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The Tri-Sentinel, who was last seen being rendered inert thanks to Spidey and Nova in David Michelinie's run, comes back to wreck havoc.
    • Gog, who was last seen during the "Revenge of the Sinister Six" storyline in the (Adjectiveless) Spider-Man title, returns at the end of issue #41
  • Can't Spit It Out: Peter gets caught up in a team up with his sister that he fails to see Mary Jane off on her acting stint... and getting the chance to propose to her again.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Whatever Boomerang has on Mayor Kingpin, it's bad enough that just being told what it is makes Beetle immediately call off her manhunt for Boomerang and state that the Syndicate cannot let him fall into Fisk's hands. Turns out he has a mystic map to an artifact needed to resurrect Vanessa Fisk properly.
  • Chekhov's Gun: An odd one concerning Nova. Around the time of Infinity Wars, Sam Alexander had his Nova helmet taken from him by a member of the Nova Corps. At the same time, in issue #9, Spider-Man is seen with the helmet awkwardly on his head when he and Black Cat find the heroes' gear stolen by the Thieves Guild. As it turns out, in the 2018 relaunch of Champions (2016), Sam learns that his helmet was actually stolen from the Nova Corps around that time by the same group.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Initially, this is Reconstructed to the point of being a massive Take That! towards Slott's run. After being caught plagiarizing, Peter can't admit that Otto Octavius took over his mind and wrote the paper without blowing his identity as Spider-Man. After losing Aunt May's respect, Peter has a Heel Realization: he never should have accepted the things that Otto had built for him in the first place. However, as the series goes along, the book is quick to point out that, despite the guy boasting the motto all the time, he's never really been responsible at all.
  • Costume Inertia:
    • Black Cat returns to her classic black-and-white costume, ditching her black-and-gold "Queenpin" costume.
    • After its destruction in Venom, Scorpion also returns to his original costume after years of wearing Powered Armor, though this one has an actual stinger instead of the club-tail the old version had.
    • Invoked by Kraven, who prepares Spider-Man for his grand hunt by gassing him and dressing him in a replica of his black suit, i.e. the same costume he wore when Kraven beat him.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: In issue #39, J. Jonah Jameson points out that virtually all of Spider-Man's problems with the public and the super hero community could have been avoided if he was a lot more open to the world and Jonah's own slanderous columns about him could have ended if he'd dropped in and just talked.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Much like he once did to the Kingpin, Spider-Man cuts loose and delivers a one-sided beatdown to Taskmaster (who had watched a tape of Spidey's fighting style, mind you) when the latter accidentally blows up a restaurant where Aunt May was dining and tries to interfere with saving her to keep fighting. The resuling "battle", if it can be called such, involves Spider-Man beating him up for a whole page and tossing him out of the window as if he were a mere thug, to the point Taskmaster decides to bail it. Lampshaded by Black Ant how humiliating it had been for Taskmaster to lose like this.
  • Deal with the Devil: Mysterio made a deal with a demon to escape from Hell, and now a demon has decided to collect on that debt. Demons tend to not forget when you owe them one, as Mysterio finds out when one decides to collect on the debt Mysterio owes in exchange for coming back to life. Also, because it has been so long Mysterio had practically forgotten about it. Making deals with demons is a very, VERY bad idea. Mostly on account that said deal will more than likely benefit them more than you. Just ask Mendel Stromm. Oh wait you can’t. Because he’s dead.
  • Dirty Coward: After Peter Parker and Spider-Man are split into separate beings, Spider-Man decides to abandon the city when an army of Tri-Sentinels show up, claiming that his survival is more important.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: Peter and MJ resume dating for the first time since their Magical Divorce in One More Day. Issue #29 reveals that Peter almost proposed to her again, with the implication that he'll try again in the near future.
  • Easily Condemned: The heroes of New York are quick to shun Spider-Man after Mayor Wilson Fisk starts to publically favor him, despite the fact that Fisk has been Spider-Man's enemy for years. Even Daredevil, who knows Fisk's schemes better than almost anyone, gets in on the act, apparantly never considering that this is exactly what Fisk wants.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • After Kraven kills his family to raise a batch of his clones, his daughter Ana (who participated in the familicide) leaves him in disgust. When it's revealed that one clone killed all the others, Kraven's reaction initially seems to be invoking this — with him breaking down in tears and calling his last remaining "son" a monster — before subverting it by Kraven saying how proud he is.
    • Occurs again in the same arc, when one of the hunters finds Billy Connors and refuses to kill him. The hunter is disgusted at the thought of killing a child and thought they were only hunting super-powered adults.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Kraven the Hunter was last seen palling around with Squirrel Girl and turning over a new leaf as the "Unhuntable Sergei". Suffice to say, it didn't stick and he's now back to trying to hunt and kill Spider-Man. The reveal that he created clones of himself in the Savage Land, and accelerated their aging and sent them to different corners of the world implies that "Unhuntable Sergei" was just a clone. And also he's been unceremoniously killed off by one of the rogue clones.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • The heroes are currently treating Spidey this as they're not too happy that Mayor Wilson Fisk is showering all of this praise on the webslinger and kicking them to the curb. Of course, this is part of Fisk's plan.
    • Boomerang is this to New York's criminal circuit, mostly thanks to his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Mayor Fisk putting a bounty on his head just enflames this sentiment.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser:
    • Peter is roommating with the Boomerang, Fred Myers, who he surprisingly strikes up a pretty strong friendship with after his initial hesitations.
    • Peter and Mary Jane end up having dinner with the Connors family in issue 14.
  • Heel Realization:
    • After being accused of plagiarizing his thesis, Peter at first denies being at fault of anything, both to others and even to himself. However, after being scorned by Aunt May, Peter realizes that, while it's true that he didn't plagiarize anything, when he saw that Otto had gotten the doctorate for him, he just rolled with it without a second thought. He still took credit for something he didn't earn, and used it to further his career. As he puts it himself, his problem is not that "he may do the wrong thing", but rather that "he may not do the right thing", while the panel references Uncle Ben's death.
    • J. Jonah Jameson gets hit with this hard after seeing how toxic his vendetta against Spider-Man was up until they buried the hatchet. Besides the obvious reasons like his bankrolling the creation of the Scorpion, the Spider-Slayers, and the Human Fly, his relentless anti-Spidey propaganda distorted the truth about deceased Bugle-reporter-turned-crime-boss Frederick Foswell (aka the Big Man) to even his son Frederick Jr.; to the point that Frederick Jr. became delusional and psychotic with his own hatred for the webslinger, and captured both after Jameson's Heel–Face Turn to finally see "justice" done.
    • After trying his level best to get Spider-Man to embrace and unleash his inner spider by killing him — and very nearly succeeding, Kraven realizes just how twisted and wrong his worldview is, cancels his Great Hunt, and tricks his son into killing him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The clone of Ned Leeds ends up protecting Aunt May when a battle between Spidey, the Rhino, Taskmaster, and Black Ant causes the restaurant to collapse.
  • He Who Must Not Be Named: The centipede-demon's name is never spoken, and those involved with him apparently can't speak it without his immediately showing up and killing them as we see when he kills an innocent person Mysterio told it to. He gives Peter a name to call him until Peter guesses his real one: Kindred.
  • History Repeats: Hunted (ASM #16 V.5) opens with Spider-Man reeling from the death of Ned Leeds' clone, all the while having an unknown sense of dread, while Kraven the Hunter plots behind the scenes, just when Peter and MJ get back together after a break-up. That's more or less how Kraven's Last Hunt opened, when the real Ned Leeds died a few issues back, Peter and MJ just got married, Spider-Man has an unknown sense of dread, and Kraven plots behind the scenes. Also invoked in the arc, as early on Kraven has Spider-Man dressed up in his black costume, which he was wearing during the original story. It also ends with Kraven deliberately invoking the promise he'd made to Spider-Man in Kraven's Last Hunt, with Spider-Man recalling that the last time Kraven promised that he killed himself.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: How do Spidey and the Black Cat drive off the Thieves Guild? Turns out Kamala has the equivalent of the "Where's my iPhone?" app on her cell phone, which was one of the items they stole.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Man Mountain Marko, who once served as Silvermaine's bodyguard, has now been reduced to attempting to rob a book fair alongside perennial d-list villain the Ringer.
  • Humiliation Conga: The first issue is just one long one for poor Peter. With the exception of the ending, that is.
  • Hypocrite: For all Beetle's posturing about her hatred of Boomerang for selling her out to Fisk, she was intending to do the same to the Syndicate once they'd done her job for her. Boomerang sees right through it, pointing out to the Syndicate that he knows the play because she stole it from him.
  • Impossible Theft: Issue #8 deals with a Thieves Guild who somehow is able to hunt down and steal items from superheroes, even when it is literally impossible. Among the items taken are all of the costumes on display in the Avengers Mansion, Iron Man's entire arsenal, Captain America's shield, Thor's new hammer, Ghost Rider's car, Cyclops's visor, Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto, all of the Punisher's weapons, and Spider-Man's web-shooters.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Billy Conners. He can't stand living his life in the sewers because being a Lizard is the only way he can stay alive. He can't even go to the Xavier/Jean Grey Institute because he's technically not a mutant.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jameson argues that Spider-Man is at least in part responsible for being a Hero with Bad Publicity. While most other superheroes tend to work in teams and communities and are fairly open with the public, Spider-Man is usually a lone wolf and frequently gets into fights with other superheroes before teaming up with them (though as Peter points out, this is very common for other Marvel superheroes). Furthermore, whenever Jameson made a false accusation against Spider-Man, the Wall-Crawler's response was never to reach out and set the record straight but rather to insult, antagonize and sometimes even threaten Jameson. Not a good luck if you're trying to convince the world you aren't a public menace. As Jameson points out, the Kingpin was able to turn half the city against Spider-Man without Jameson saying a single negative word against the Wall-Crawler.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Issue 29 opens with Peter saying that he feels his life is stuck in a cycle, with the same things happening to him over and over again. The fact that Spidey's Status Quo Is God and he is Not Allowed to Grow Up are two of the biggest critisisms the character has received in recent years.
  • Literal Split Personality: Peter Parker and Spider-Man are split into separate individuals. However, it becomes apparent that this process isn't perfect due to their physical and psychological traits being split between them — Peter Parker is an ordinary human lacking all his powers and scientific knowledge, while Spider-Man lacks Peter's restraint and moral compass. They eventually merge together after realizing they're incomplete.
  • Living with the Villain: After Peter was suspected of plagiarism he returns to college and Fred Myers aka Boomerang ends up being one of his roommates.
  • Legacy Character:
    • Kraven the Hunter trains his clone sons in order to follow in his footsteps, the the Last Son taking on his name, title, and vendetta against Spider-Man after Kraven sacrifices himself.
    • In the Absolute Carnage tie-in, the covers for #30 and #31, and panels shown off at SDCC indicate that Norman Osborn rebonds to the Carnage symbiote — still under the delusion that he's Cletus Kasady — and joins Dark Carnage's team.
  • Kill 'Em All: This is part of Kraven's endgame around arranging the animal-supervillain hunt, but with a twist: despite how it appears, the hunters are also subject to this. The Kraven-bots the hunters are controlling are powerful but not powerful enough to defeat all of the villains, and when the robot dies so does the pilot. The point is to teach the rich, bored, "killing for the fun of it" hunters he hates what a true hunt is, and teach the villains that taking the mantle of a beast is more than just putting on a mask.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Kingpin's idea to get to Boomerang by going after his roommate Peter Parker is nixed by an unknown, giant-centipede-carrying third party, who forces Fisk to kneel and remember "who really runs things around here". A second attempt to get Boomerang has his forces back off at the sight of "The Roomate".
  • Mayor Pain: The Kingpin actually uses new position as Mayor of New York to pretend to support Spider-Man, giving him praise and benefits, knowing the association between them will jeopardize Spider's relationship with other heroes and the public.
  • The Missus and the Ex:
    • Spider-Man is working with the Black Cat to take on the Thieves Guild, and at the end of the arc, Peter chooses to trust Felicia with his secret identity. Felicia is not looking to restart anything with Peter, and Mary Jane is not particularly jealous as she is confident of how indispensable she is in Peter's life.
    • Carlie Cooper spots MJ and Peter at Coney Island, and after he webs away she and Mary Jane chat. Carlie notes how the situation has changed from when she saw MJ as her "ex's ex" and now they are reuniting when MJ and Peter are no longer exes anymore.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Issue #1 opens with a flashback to Matt Fraction's "To Have and to Hold", an issue that was intended to celebrate the Peter-MJ marriage and love story, and was an intentional Take That! to One More Day that the author knew was in production.
    • Issue #16 has Peter sick in bed with a flu, as MJ tends to him. Peter's narration trails off when he notes "he hasn't felt as sick since—" before he's interrupted. This is a reference to The Night Gwen Stacy Died when Peter was sick during the entire first issue, ASM #121.
    • Kraven creates 87 clones. Kraven's Last Hunt was published in 1987.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Just because you've worked with another mercenary for a long time doesn't mean they won't hesitate to betray you as Black Ant realizes once Taskmaster sold him out for extra cash.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: After taking control of the Tri-Sentinel, Spider-Man uses it against practically every supervillain he encounters, resulting in massive collateral damage, outraging Peter Parker.
  • Non-Indicative Name: During his Villainous Breakdown, Mendel Stromm admits that his chosen alias of "Robot Master" is a misnomer, since he's actually more of a chemist.
    Stromm: I invented the Goblin serum — why the hell am I not the "Goblin Master"?
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted. The global barrier that was the headache of many a hero during Secret Empire ended up in the hands of Arcade. As he explains, the US Government wanted to make sure it couldn't be recreated but he "knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy..."
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: In #26, Lady Electro makes it quite clear she doesn't want to join Lady Beetle's Syndicate for any of her Straw Feminist reasons, but because she can get back at Boomerang for getting her arrested.
  • Official Couple: After spending so long having Slott repeatedly tease and sink it, Peter and Mary Jane are finally dating again in the main continuity after ten years. This ten year gap is the longest in their history of being apart after they first dating in earnest in 1975, where they were a couple until breaking up in Issue #192 in 1979, and exactly 100 issues after that MJ and Peter got married (in 1987) for the next twenty years.
  • Pet the Dog: After the F.E.A.S.T. shelter is heavily-damaged in the aftermath of the Syndicate's fight with Spider-Man, Beetle sends some of her father's henchmen down to swiftly fix the place back up, and uses her law connections to speed up their permit request so they can open sooner. The fact that her boyfriend, Randy, works there is a probable reason.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Peter is accused of plagiarizing his work from Otto Octavius, with the fact that it was done when his body was hijacked obviously not being an excuse he can use. And as Peter realizes, not turning that degree in and running Parker Industries while still having an unearned doctorate does make him guilty. And Peter deals with the fallout of this academic disgrace which include being fired from the Bugle's post as scientific editor and having his degree and qualifications revoked.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Hitting Peter like a ton of bricks when someone that isn't buddy-buddy with the "late" Otto Octavius reveals that the thesis was plagiarized. Since revealing the truth will reveal his identity as Spider-Man, he's instantly accused of being a fraud, he's fired from the Daily Bugle because of the scandal and when he can't admit anything to Aunt May, she scorns him.
    • The Life Foundation sank millions of dollars into preparing for a global catastrophe. As a result, they went bankrupt some time ago. Focusing too much on the future and not enough on the present has a habit of backfiring on you.
    • Due to screwing over the other members of the Sinister Several, they want nothing to do with Boomerang and he’s now so incredibly lonely he made LMDs of them to keep him company. Turns out constantly stabbing others in the back leaves one short on friends.
    • Just because you turn away from one kind of villainy doesn't mean you're always on the side of angels, as Spidey learns the hard way when Black Cat, despite abandoning her "Queenpin" schtick, is still a thief and still willing to steal things.
    • While Jonah is trying to be supportive to Spider-Man ever since Peter revealed his secret identity to him, Jonah is still a man who is a bit wrapped up in himself. When Peter tries to get him to refuse the award Fisk wants to give him and stop saying Peter supports Fisk, Jonah refuses because this is his time to shine. He relationship with Robbie also soured because Robbie is no longer listening to his advice on matters regarding the Daily Bugle.
      • As well, years and years of accusing Spider-Man of being a menace comes back to haunt Jonah when he's confronted by the son of Frederick "Big Boss" Foswell and tries to get Jonah to murder Spidey when the time comes.
    • Due to the rise of New Media and the lack of sensationalism that J. Jonah Jameson provided coupled with Peter being discredited, the Daily Bugle is falling under hard times.
      • This also bites Jolly Jonah in the ass as his sensationalism towards Spider-Man being removed means he's losing listeners and his spot on the radio show.
    • Constantly stabbing others in the back will eventually get you in serious trouble as Boomerang is being attacked by the Sinister Syndicate let by his former teammate Beetle and Electro who he had recently betrayed to escape getting imprisoned.
    • Teaming up with someone you barely know how to fight with together will result in you most likely losing as Spider-Man & Boomerang are overwhelmed by the Syndicate and one of Boomerang's weapons accidentally puts Spider-Man to sleep allowing the Syndicate to kidnap Boomerang for Kingpin.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: When he was at The Bar with No Name, Peter was completely disinterested in what was going on until the trivia challenge began. The first question reminded him of a past achievement, and he just had to join when the others were getting it wrong. That question? "Which one of Galactus' Heralds did Spider-Man once defeat with his bare hands?".
    Criminal: Is it the Silver Surfer?
    Peter: "Is it the Silver Surfer?!" Are you serious?! *hits the buzzer* It was Firelord! And it was totally awesome!
  • Restraining Bolt: As it turns out, Curt Connors was able to get a working Inhibitor Chip to get the Lizard under control, being able to change him whenever he wishes but stops the Lizard from harming people. As it turns out, it's also Awesome, yet Impractical as Connors can't even protect his students when Black Ant and Taskmaster drops in.
  • Retcon: Issue #16 indicates that almost every appearance Kraven the Hunter has made post-Amazing Spider-Man #637 — most notably in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl — was one of his clone "sons" impersonating him.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Spencer annexes a lot of elements and concepts from X-Men's Rogues and their corner of the Marvel Universe:
    • The Thieves Guild are usually connected to the X-Men, especially Gambit via the New Orleans branch. This is the first time they've shown other branches or interacted with others.
    • Arcade also shows up from #14 onwards, also an X-Men villain but here an ally to Kraven.
    • Kraven also tussles with the High Evolutionary in the Savage Land, who is a Marvel-wide villain but appeared in many X-Men stories.
    • The Animal Themed Superbeings that Kraven has captured also include the likes of the Owl (a Daredevil opponent) and the entirety of Serpent Solutions (usually foes of Captain America).
  • Secret Relationship: Randy Robertson, son of Joe "Robbie" Robertson, and long-time friend and current room-mate of Peter has a new girlfriend who he doesn't talk about or introduce to Peter and their friends. It turns out she's the Beetle, Janice Lincoln daughter of crime-lord Lonnie "Tombstone" Lincoln, who is among other things a personal enemy of Randy's father, Joe. Oh and she's a criminal too.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: The wraparound cover of issue #1(seen above) does not feature Mary Jane Watson among the collage of familiar faces in Spider-Man's life. Perhaps to add to the surprise when it's revealed that MJ and Peter are officially back together again.
  • Small Name, Big Ego:
    • Boomerang refers to himself as a "big time crime boss", and generally acts like he's more important than he really is (in both identities).
    • Mendel Stromm believes himself to be Spider-Man's "oldest, most feared archenemy", who has "taken so much from him".
  • Sole Survivor: Ana Kravinoff is the only survivor of Kraven's purge of his family.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: When various heroes gather to deal with their weapons and artifacts being stolen by the Thieves Guild, Reed Richards and Tony Stark suggest a complex method of figuring out where the Guild took their items. Ms. Marvel then announces that her cellphone was one of the items stolen, and she just got a ping from her "Find My Phone" ap.
    Tony Stark: This is embarrassing.
  • Status Quo Is God: You would think that being married to a super-rich man like John Jameson would've left Aunt May well-off after his passing? As it turns out, the man stretched himself too thin between other benefactresses, an unscrupulous agent, and pouring too much money into the ultimately failed Parker Industries. Thus Peter doesn't have a rich relative he can rely on.
    • Peter has not only lost Parker Industries but has also lost his doctorate. Meaning he's back to being a grad student again.
    • Played straight at first with Curt Connors, who has Spider-Man remove the inhibitor chip from his spine so the Lizard can save Billy from Kraven's clone, but Peter manages to track him down and convinces Curt to come back so a new chip can be installed in him.
  • The Stinger:
    • The first issue ends with Peter being given a second chance at legitimately earning his doctorate and is sent to his first class... taught by the Lizard?!
    • Issue 25 has a few, including a group of female villains recruiting the female Electro into a group known as the Syndicate while Spider-Man 2099 returns to the present with Curt Conners ominously suggesting the future is dying.
  • Straw Feminist: Deconstructed with Beetle and her all-female Sinister Syndicate; yes, they're supervillains, and yes, she's a feminist, but her feminism isn't why she's a villain, but rather informs her approach to villainy (such as aspiring to break the glass ceiling and escape the usual roles female villains are stuck with). They also acknowledge that feminism isn't a solid, singular vision and there are multiple views and approaches on the matter as the other Syndicate members disagree with different sides of Beetle's approach, with one even accusing her of faux-feminism because she had them use their sexuality to trick a SWAT officer.
  • Take That!:
    • As explained above, the story starts off throwing a couple of jabs at some of the most controversial left-overs from Slott's run, but there is another blatant one: During her presentation of the Watcher system for detecting plagiarism, Cindy Lawton uses as an example the story of a student who sold his soul to Mephisto in exchange for a passing score, deeming it "the saddest story of them all". Three guesses for which story is Spencer referencing here. The first two don't count.
    • The Life Foundation, a major organization that did battle with both Spider-Man and Venom in the late 80s and most of the 90s, is revealed to have been struck by Chapter 7 bankruptcy with Mendel Stromm lamenting how their desire to survive the end of the world couldn't save them from financial collapse.
    • Much of Peter's discussion with Spider-Man in issue #4 seems to be a criticism regarding much of the problems that dogged the book during Dan Slott's run. That Spider-Man had become more about giant robots and cartoony adventures than actually being true to what Spider-Man means. Spider-Man even retorts that fighting crime should be fun (An often used defense of Slott's run to excuse the more fantastical elements) and that Peter should be a multi-millionaire and the head of his own company (Referencing the controversial Parker Industries storyline). Peter responds by pointing out that Spider-Man isn't about having a good time, and asks what happens when things stop being fun.
      • For that matter, Spider-Man's personality minus-Peter Parker becoming an irresponsible, thrill-seeking profiteer whose trademark quips shift mainly to dated pop-culture references could be considered one to Spider-Man's characterization in his own comics over the last decade.
    • After a decade of constantly pushing Peter away due to the dangers brought by his career as Spider-Man, Mary Jane finally realises that Peter's heroics are also the reason she has remained in love with him and that she cannot want for a normal life for him as that just would not be true to who either of them are. After hearing from Peter that he needs her in his life to be who he is, she decides to give their romance yet another go.
    • Issue #16 has one to the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2 #32 - #35, revealing that the "Unhuntable Sergei" was one of Kraven's eighty-seven clone "sons", and was killed off-panel by one of his brothers for being weak and disgracing Kraven's legacy.
    • Issue #16 has Kraven calling poachers cruel monsters for killing entire species for self-profit and trophy hunters weaklings who disgrace the things they kill to try and retain some vigor that was never there to begin with... completely disregarding that he's been both over the years.
  • Take That, Audience!: While heading off to battle the Tri-Sentinel, Spider-Man laments pop-culture's stagnating trend towards nostalgia rather than accepting change — throwing shade at those who complained about the Affirmative Action Legacy changes that had been taking place since Marvel NOW and led to many of those changes being reversed in Marvel Legacy and Marvel: A Fresh Start.
  • Technologically Blind Elders: Subverted. Peter goes to visit Aunt May, and try to get rid of the printed newspaper so that she doesn't see the headline about him losing his degree. He did it, but it was of no use: she already knows it, because she configured her cell phone to give alerts when the newspaper app mentions him (usually to read his articles, but now it displayed those news).
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Issue 9 reveals that Jarvis had started a outreach program called the "Look-Ups", allowing for those who know superheroes personally to get their problems off their chest without fear of being recognized. Some of those who use the program seemingly include Foggy Nelson, Wong, Peggy Rae, Ganke Lee, Pepper Potts, and Willie Lumpkins.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Black Ant and Taskmaster are always working together, as they were hired to hunt down villains with Animal Motifs for Kraven. After Taskmaster backstabs Ant for the bonus money once their job is done, he shows genuine remorse for having to do it. However, later he ends up saving Black Ant from a group of angry super villains about to destroy him for kidnapping them which ends up reconstructing the trope.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After everything that happens to Peter in the first issue, he get back together with Mary Jane Watson.
  • Wham Episode: Throughout issues #30-31. Kindred visits the imprisoned Norman Osborn (who believes he's Cletus Kasady), revealing that his purpose is personal not just to Peter, but to Norman as well; partially because nothing Kindred can do will ever hurt Peter more than Norman did but also for some part of his past, stating that Norman made him "feel so powerless." Kindred goes to leave saying that he intends for Norman to feel like everything he did was All for Nothing, before "Cletus" pipes up saying that he could hear Norman's voice in his head and that he had a message. Said message appears to leave Kindred in a rage.
    Norman: He wants you to know how glad he is to see you. He wants you to know that, try as hard as you might, there is nothing that could be done to him that would make it all feel like it wasn't worth it. All the pain, all the sacrifice - it did serve a greater purpose. There's no escaping that. No way to bludgeon it out of the past. Because all men dream of a legacy, and you are certainly his. Against all odds and expectations, it really was you all along. And to see what you have become, well... If Norman were here, he would want you to know... that I am so proud of you.
  • Wham Line: Shown in Issue #4, during a conversatuion between the separated Peter Parker and Spider-Man:
    Peter Parker: What happens when you have to suffer something bad because you need to do what's right?
    Spider-Man: Not my problem.
    Peter Parker: "Not my" — You realize what you're saying? Remember the last time we sounded like that? It was the night Uncle Ben died.
    Spider-Man: Sorry... who?
  • Wham Shot: In issue #29, Peter misses seeing MJ off to the airport after getting sidetracked by Spidey-related problems. Later, after apologizing over video chat, he thinks to himself how he missed the chance the get things right for once, and opens his hand to reveal...an engagement ring.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Peter cites this as the reason which makes him realize that his Humiliation Conga is deserved, noting that it's another instance where he failed to do the right thing when he had no one watching him (comparing it implicitly to when he let the Burglar escape). He notes that after getting his body backed he passed by the plaque showing his degree and did nothing when he should have reported it then and there and canceled his own degree. Accepting Parker Industries and Octavius' ill-gotten gains on a silver platter is also something he considers a moral lapse.
  • The Worf Effect: Badass Normal Kraven is able to intimidate the High Evolutionary (who is usually depicted as being an Avengers or even cosmic-level threat) into doing his bidding by killing some of his New Men.
  • Xtremely Kool Letterz: The new female Trapster spells her name "Trapstr", and claims she's contemplating dropping the "A" as well.
  • You Are Not Alone: Edwin Jarvis is revealed to have created an anonymous support groups for people who know superhero secret identities, and invites Mary Jane to participate.


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