It is the year of our lord Emma Frost 2022 — and readers, somehow it has taken Marvel Comics this long to team up its two most iconic clones.
Today Marvel announced more details for its plans for Dark Web, a new Spider-Man/X-Men crossover event launching at the end of the year. The worlds of Spider-Man and mutantkind have long been associated — they’ve been Amazing Friends, even — but their latest collaboration will see two of their most personal foes team up in an attempt to make their collective lives miserable.
Those personal foes are of course Madelyne Pryor, the one-time wife of Scott Summers, revealed to be… well, it’s complicated, but a Jean Grey clone turned soul-selling Goblin Queen who is currently the ruler of the demonic dimension Limbo; and Ben Reilly, the one-time clone of Peter Parker who, well, it’s complicated, but has had a case of the gone good, gone bad, gone good, gone bad a few times since the events of Clone Saga and is currently the vengeful villain Chasm. The two recently had a brief encounter in the pages of the Free Comic Book Day Spider-Man/Venom story where they realised that hey, they’re both clones horribly mistreated by the people in their lives and maybe, just maybe, that’s enough for a little evil tag team.
Which is delightful, because Maddie and Ben really do have a lot in common, treated unfairly in and out of the text that is Marvel’s long comics history over the past few decades as they grappled with the respective shadows of the people they were cloned from, Jean Grey and Peter Parker. Now that Maddie and Ben have found some level of acceptance in their current identities as the Goblin Queen and Chasm, it’s going to be interesting to see just what plans they have to make their former allies in the world of heroes living hell. Or, an Inferno, as Marvel keeps teasing, despite the fact that we just had one of those.
Dark Web will be bookended with two one-shot issues called Dawn and Dusk, as well as feature spinoff miniseries titled Dark Web: X-Men and Dark Web: Ms. Marvel. As from that, the main story itself will play out in issues of Amazing Spider-Man, Mary Jane & Black Cat, Gold Goblin, and Venom, before concluding in February 2023. That’s a lot of Spider-Man titles for a series that’s also about the X-Men, but hey, those mutants have got plenty enough to deal with right now anyway.
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