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Thursday, August 24, 2023 

The Kingpin is no longer recognizable

And probably hasn't been for a long time. Screen Geek gushed over this decidedly unexciting news for what appears to be featured in a sequel story to Spider-Man: Reign from the late 2000s, and has turned up in the latest volume of ASM:
The fan-favorite villain is set to appear in a sequel to Spider-Man: Reign. Fans of Spider-Man will recognize the title as it was a big hit with fans during its original run. For the sequel, however, Kingpin will be appearing with a rather grotesque new form. This was revealed in a preview featured in Amazing Spider-Man #31 via CBR.

[...] This is an exciting moment for fans, then, to see Kingpin rise up just moments after the previous series ended. Though fans had to wait years for this follow-up, it certainly looks like the new story will be worth it, especially considering the growing popularity of Reign. Likewise, it’s a great time to bring back Kingpin, as the character is also more popular than ever on the live-action side of things.
The form Wilson Fisk now sports is vaguely similar to Mojo from the X-Men. But it represents little more than a tedious example of taking a villain who wasn't superpowered per se when he originally debuted (though he did have a laser-cane as a hand-held weapon, IIRC), and changing him into something that could be just that. If memory serves, Reign was a story emphasizing that Mary Jane Watson died because Spidey's sperm poisoned her. Screen Geek should be ashamed of themselves for sugarcoating that. Dexerto, on the other hand, was willing to admit the original story was hateful:
In Reign, Watson died of cancer, revealed to be caused by repeated exposure to Spider-Man’s radioactive bodily fluids over the years.

It was a dark twist on a character who, at the time of publication, had endured several storylines about difficulty starting a family and had already lost one child. It left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of fans, and the implied announcement of a Reign sequel has already stirred the hornet’s nest.

Fans are, to no surprise, shocked. While not everyone has immediately struck down the appeal of a sequel, many take issue with the idea of revisiting Reign’s bleak take on the character. Fans have longed for an era of stories where Spider-Man can find some semblance of happiness, but recent years have made it worse.

Reign stands out because of what it represents. While it was reviewed somewhat favorably at the time, it’s gained a reputation as being the story that puts Spider-Man at his absolute lowest but does little to mitigate it. What semblance of a happy ending there is in Reign’s final panels, where the elderly Peter Parker accepts his losses and seemingly moves forward, is at risk of being undone by a sequel.
What's most repulsive about Reign is that Spidey may have suffered mutilation in it, and I'll decidedly not try to describe how. Fans may be disgusted at the news of a sequel, but I'm sure not everyone's shocked Marvel could draw from such a terrible story for more insufferable litter to fill the bargain bins with. This kind of approach has been common at Marvel and DC for almost 30 years now. This new story is "worth it"? My foot.

And one of the worst things about Reign is how it was one of at least a few stories where Mary Jane Watson was turned into sacrificial lamb, to serve as some kind of "motivation" for Spidey based on her death. It represents the contempt Marvel's editorial has had for MJ for years already, and that's one of the leading reasons why all who care about MJ and Spidey should stay far away from this sequel travesty as much as the previous one. Especially since, if I'm reading the details correctly, they're going to make these elements from Reign canon in the ASM series proper. Something to really shudder about.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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