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Retcon / Spider-Man

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Spider-Man:

  • Infamously, The Clone Saga had to muck around with continuity so much (both because of its initial premise and because of the unholy mess it later became) that at one point they had to dedicate an entire special double-sized issue to retconning away a previous retcon.
  • Then, there's the Hobgoblin. The writer at the time he was first introduced, Roger Stern, set up this massive story about a replacement Goblin who was starting to meddle in the affairs of the Kingpin, among others. However, before Stern could reveal the identity, he left the title and the next writer said it was Ned Leeds, a go-to guy for wanna-be Goblins. Between the late 80s and the mid 90s, the role of the Hobgoblin fell to mercenary Jason Macendale, who was incredibly incompetent. Then, Stern returned for a three-issue mini-series devoted to finally clearing up the mystery of the Hobgoblin.
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  • "The Final Chapter" reveals Aunt May, who died in The Amazing Spider-Man #400, was an actress hired by Norman Osborn.
  • Spider-Man: Chapter One would have introduced a modernized origin to replace the early issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, with the newer origin being included in The Amazing Spider-Man volume 2, but this decision was reversed after being met with fan outcry.
    • The stories "One More Day" and "Brand New Day" infamously altered twenty years worth of continuity by erasing Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's marriage from continuity. This happened because Spider-Man saved his aunt's life by making a deal with Mephisto, a "demon" character typically used as the Marvel Universe stand-in for the Devil. Peter unmasking in public during Civil War didn't happen as depicted; instead, the event was erased from people's memories or they could not remember who was behind the mask.
    • One Moment in Time reveals Mary Jane agreed with making the deal with Mephisto in One More Day. The events of The Wedding! are rewritten so that a red bird, implied to be Mephisto, causes a fat man to fall on Peter and ruin the wedding, altering events up to the present day.
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  • Black Cat was originally just a laidback adventuress; then Kevin Smith decided to retcon that she was a victim of rape and that her early adventures were a misplaced reaction to it in his story Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do. She was also arrested before and had her identity made public—yet her current Face–Heel Turn is based on Otto Octavius capturing her and her arrest, making her identity public.
  • Untold Tales of Spider-Man adds in stories taking place during the time of the original stories.
  • Trouble attempted to redo the origin of Spider-Man by centering around a contemporary group of friends, Ben, May, Mary and Richard, with May having an affair with Richard, implying Peter was born to Aunt May. This has since been considered discontinuity.
  • Sins Past and Sins Remembered establishes that Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy had a son and daughter, Gabriel Stacy and Sarah Stacy.
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  • In Amazing Spider-Man vol 3 #1, it is revealed the same spider that bit Peter also bit Cindy Moon on her ankle, and she eventually became known as Silk. Tangled Web of Spider-Man #1-3 establishes Carl King, a bully, studied and ate the spider, and became The Thousand.
  • In Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy, The Night Gwen Stacy Died is changed to reveal that, before the Goblin knocked her over, Gwen Stacy had woken up and heard Goblin call Spider-Man "Parker". She automatically hates both because of what happened to her father. In issue 4, however, when Peter finally confronts Gwen (or better, another clone with her last memoirs), she does say that she forgives him and, in a tie-in, admits that she's still in love with Peter, but feels betrayed by him being Spider-Man, though she understands why he does what he does.
  • Nick Spencer's Spider-Man
    • Hunted
      • For years, fans had believed Kraven's temporary death at the hands of Kaine Parker counted as removing the former's immortality. Issue #17 reveals that it had not.
      • Issue #19.HU retcons the events of Shed with Dr. Connors claiming that he lost control and murdered his family when the comic claimed that Dr. Connors had gone postal for real and was conscious about what he did, only losing consciousness at the end.
    • Sinister War': A lot of Goblin-related shenanigans are adjusted and fixed up within Amazing'' #73:
      • SinsPast is mostly undone, revealing that Gabriel and Sarah Stacy are actually imperfect clones made to believe that Norman and Gwen were their parents, thus those two never did the nasty.
    • Issue #16 indicates that some of the appearances Kraven the Hunter has made post-Amazing Spider-Man #637 were his clone "sons" impersonating him.
    • Issue #68 reveals that Ned Leeds was a Hobgoblin puppet by Roderick Kingsley and that Peter was partially correct about his death — Ned had ingested some of the Goblin Formula, but it didn't kick in until after he died.
    • Issue #73 does a massive one to the controversial "Sins Past" storyline as it turns out Norman never slept with Gwen Stacy but was only hypnotized to think he did; and their "children" were cloned beings created by Mendell Stromm at the behest of Harry, with Mary Jane influenced by her "therapist" (really Mysterio in disguise) to believe Gwen had confessed her affair with Norman.
    • Finally, the very conclusion of Spencer's run reveals several things Kindred was in fact never truly Harry Osborn, and had always been every version of the Stacy Twins that had succumbed to clone degeneration and died, twisted and transformed by Mephisto in hell to each become a demonic reverent. The Harry 'Lyman' Osborn of the Brand New Day era is revealed as just another clone...and he knew all along. Finally, the true motivation for Mephisto's involvement in the infamous One More Day is revealed, as the devil forsees a future in which either Peter or his daughter Spider-Girl will ultimately defeat him, thus prompting his intervention in Peter's life to ensure that does not come to pass.
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