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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Wall-Crawler's Avatar
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    Default Spider-Man Reign: What's your opinion ?

    I finally got around to reading the story and personally liked it a lot, I don't get why it's so divisive.

    Please share your thoughts on this story !!

  2. #2
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    It's mostly due to the whole "radioactive semen killed Mary Jane Watson(-Parker)" revelation. A lot of people felt that was unnecessary and tasteless, though I'd argue beyond that, Spider-Man: Reign was at least decent as a story about a future Peter Parker clawing his way back from the depths of despair after having to give up being Spider-Man due to his advanced age and the loss of the woman he loved.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  3. #3
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    Itís derivative of The Dark Knight Returns, but not nearly as bad as everyone claims. It has some suspenseful drama and good throwbacks. People seem too hung up on the few panels about Peterís semen killing MJ. Okay, well, aside from that itís fine. Like a 7/10.

    As far as dystopian future Spidey tales, itís much better than that JJ Abrams and son mini. And not nearly as good as Chip Zdarskyís ĎLife Story.í

  4. #4
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HypnoHustler View Post
    It’s derivative of The Dark Knight Returns, but not nearly as bad as everyone claims. It has some suspenseful drama and good throwbacks. People seem too hung up on the few panels about Peter’s semen killing MJ. Okay, well, aside from that it’s fine. Like a 7/10.

    As far as dystopian future Spidey tales, it’s much better than that JJ Abrams and son mini. And not nearly as good as Chip Zdarsky’s ‘Life Story.’
    I can agree with that take.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  5. #5
    iMan 42s
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    I thought it was fine even if it is a little derivative of The Dark Knight returns. The biggest thing against it though is the radioactive semen and frankly little else. It's a good story even if it's pretty laughable that this is what kills Mary Jane here.

    I think as an alternate universe it's alright and if I had it on my shelf I wouldn't hold anything against it. Now I've only ever read the story digitally and from those who actually had a physical copy letting me borrow it, but I don't think I'd ever go out my way to have a physical release for it. It's a good story but I've read it and simply don't have the same urge to re-read it like I do other things like Immortal Hulk or Darth Vader. I've read it, liked it well enough, but I don't see myself going out my way for the physical copy. If I got one I wouldn't be against it but personally it's not something I feel the urge to revisit. And frankly that may be for the best as it's fine and feel like it wrapped up well enough I can take it as is. There's no need for major context or a deep look at the story, it's just a one and done and I respect it for that.
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  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Spider-Man Reign takes The Dark Knight Returns as a template and assigns it to a character without taking the time to ask whether
    a) TDKR should be made a template
    b) Whether it applied or made sense to tack it on to Spider-Man.

    Tonally, Spider-Man Reign just didn't fit. It's a consistently dour and depressing story whereas Spider-Man isn't a dour and depressing character. Spider-Man has lows but he has also has major highs, and even in dark stories (like The Night Gwen Stacy Died) there's a light at the end of the tunnel (the epilogue of that story). The violence of the story also didn't feel right. Like when Peter comes back as Spider-Man it's played like a Frank Miller like baptism and so on. Jameson being that old didn't make sense to me.

    Spider-Man Reign is an attempt to tell a "last superhero story" for Peter Parker, and while TDKR is the ultimate example of a "last superhero story", it's not the only one. Alan Moore's Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow which is a farewell to the Silver-to-Bronze Age Superman is another one and tonally that fits Superman. So you need a final story that sums up the character thematically and dramatically, and Spider-Man Reign isn't that. The biggest flaw is this, it ultimately amounts to saying that the Spider-Man part of Peter's life meant more and matters more than the Peter Parker side of it. Because at the start Peter is a totally depressed figure and the white void flashbacks shows that this version of Peter was a loser whose only joy was MJ, and while Reign is a touching validation of the love story and so on, making MJ into a dead wife to mourn is cheap and melodramatically turgid. Obviously balancing Peter and Spider-Man is tricky but you cannot make it work like this and be satisfying. It worked fine with Batman, where the end of Bruce Wayne is the start of the "good life" where he becomes an underground revolutionary for the remainder of his life.

    To echo HypnoHustler, Zdarsky's Spider-Man Life Story told the story of Peter's final days better and that's the story that does for Peter what Moore and Miller did for Supes and Bats. Life Story thematically fits the story of Peter with highs and lows spread evenly, and which eventually ends with a summation and validation for all that Spider-Man stands for. Ultimately a final "superhero story" should do that. You need that X grave at the end of Logan and for the character to have earned that and more in his final days.

  7. #7
    Fantastic Member Sparko's Avatar
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    I read it some years ago and I remember disliking it with a passion. I wasn’t a fan of Andrew’s art or his words I rarely dislike something as much as I did this book. I’m not sure if I’d give it another chance.

    And because it’s being compared, I didn’t care much for Life Story. I felt it was over the top after a while and doing nothing but trying to top it’s self in terms of how bad things could get for our hero. I’d been a big fan of Chip’s PPSSM run, but this... It never felt special.
    Last edited by Sparko; 03-17-2020 at 09:36 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I read it some years ago and I remember disliking it with a passion. I wasn’t a fan of Andrew’s art or his words I rarely dislike something as much as I did this book. I’m not sure if I’d give it another chance.

    And because it’s being compared, I didn’t care much for Life Story. I felt it was over the top after a while and doing nothing but trying to top it’s self in terms of how bad things could get for our hero. I’d been a big fan of Chip’s PPSSM run, but this... It never felt special.
    Yeah. Not the biggest fan of Life Story either. There are some really great ideas and moments interspersed throughout (the bookend dream sequence in the final issue was beautiful), but taken as a whole, it's a very disjointed and unfocused story.

    That being said, I do agree that Life Story offered a better finale for the Spider-Man lore than Reign did.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    I recall enjoying Spider-Man: Reign. It felt like a highly personal vision to the author/artist. There are places where he really just goes for it--some work better than others. The Doc Ock moment--you know the one--it's like, wow, that's daaaaaaaark. And I kind of love it.

    All this said, I like Life Story better as I think it's an almost perfect representation of Peter aging in real time.

  10. #10
    Incredible Member Wall-Crawler's Avatar
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    Kind of dumb to hate an entire story arc for one sentence, one that is over-exagerated, twisted and taken out of context by "fans", because the story flat out said that every fluid of Peter was radioactive, which includes saliva, sweat etc.....people are just messed up if sperm is their only takeaway from that.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wall-Crawler View Post
    Kind of dumb to hate an entire story arc for one sentence, one that is over-exagerated, twisted and taken out of context by "fans", because the story flat out said that every fluid of Peter was radioactive, which includes saliva, sweat etc.....people are just messed up if sperm is their only takeaway from that.
    That doesn't even make sense in the most basic level.

    If every fluid of Peter (saliva, sweat, and I guess pheromones) then that means Peter in Reign should be a walking Chernobyl. But that's not the case since Jameson and other humans Peter interacts with doesn't collapse with cancer and so on. So the obvious answer is that the body fluid that really did MJ is Peter's sperm. And that's also why the concept of MJ dying from radioactive sperm is just bad...because Peter's sperm being radioactive but not his sweat and everything else doesn't make sense.

    And it's perfectly justifiable "to hate an entire story arc for one sentence" if that sentence happens to be the dramatic and emotional core of your entire story. "Radioactive sperm" in REIGN is absolutely the "MARTHA" of Batman V. Superman. That one word was enough for everyone to lose interest in that bizarrely silly movie. So the same goes here.

    If REIGN wanted Peter to be a widower at the start, and wanted MJ dead and make her, or rather her memory, the emotional center of the story, then you can't make the cause of her death to be something so dumb and over-the-top that it overshadows the rest of the story and the very moment. It's just garish, and unbecoming of the story and theme, and the characters.

    Furthermore, that sequence has so many issues you can pick apart from it:
    -- The dramatic core for Peter had to be Spider-Man and swing while MJ is on her deathbed. That itself is powerful and sad without adding in "sperm" nonsense. So it's overwriting and ruining something already human and relatable there.
    -- REIGN doesn't specify continuity or background, but if a reader can assume that the MP saga is in continuity, then the obvious answer is why didn't Peter get the same antidote he got for Aunt May in that story, and find that same isotope and cure MJ? Because the same issue was there before.
    -- What broader point is "radioactive sperm" trying to convey? That Peter should never have had sex. Okay, that's fine for a humor storyline or a dark parody of Spider-Man, but it's not for a serious and tragic story of Spider-Man.

    Even above the concept, the execution is bizarre. I mean Peter goes to a cemetery and digs up MJ's coffin and hugs her decrepit corpse is...yugh. It makes Peter into a necrophiliac. And somehow MJ's long red hair remains attached to her corpse...when for a woman who died from cancer and presumably chemo, her corpse should not have her full head of hair. Yeah I know some cells grow on the corpse after but not this much. It's creepy. And Peter is not a creepy guy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post

    Even above the concept, the execution is bizarre. I mean Peter goes to a cemetery and digs up MJ's coffin and hugs her decrepit corpse is...yugh. It makes Peter into a necrophiliac. And somehow MJ's long red hair remains attached to her corpse...when for a woman who died from cancer and presumably chemo, her corpse should not have her full head of hair. Yeah I know some cells grow on the corpse after but not this much. It's creepy. And Peter is not a creepy guy.

    Maybe she was buried in a red wig?

    Spider-man Reign definitely had a lot of odd creative choices.

  13. #13
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Its a good story that is a really interesting take on Spider-Man:The End, that includes most of his rogues along with JJJ. The story could have been a bit more heroic - Peter just kind of stumbles through everything as an old man - but where it lacks hero moments it makes up for it in realism, I thought. An old man just shouldn't be able to do all that hero stuff. Comparisons to TDK are fair, but it seems petty to ding it because of that. Its an obvious homage!

    The stuff with the cemetery and MJ was a bit odd, in a Sin's Remembered sort of way. Remember when Peter stabbed dead Gwen in her grave to collect a DNA sample? Haha, good times. Dunno I got over the odd stuff pretty quickly. Its not like great stories don't take tons of weird risks.

    I always thought the controversy was that the artist drew in Peter Parker's peter, which was edited out in the GN version. Silly. It was no different from the way its done with Dr. Manhattan.
    Last edited by Scott Taylor; 03-18-2020 at 06:20 PM.
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  14. #14
    Incredible Member Wall-Crawler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That doesn't even make sense in the most basic level.

    If every fluid of Peter (saliva, sweat, and I guess pheromones) then that means Peter in Reign should be a walking Chernobyl. But that's not the case since Jameson and other humans Peter interacts with doesn't collapse with cancer and so on. So the obvious answer is that the body fluid that really did MJ is Peter's sperm. And that's also why the concept of MJ dying from radioactive sperm is just bad...because Peter's sperm being radioactive but not his sweat and everything else doesn't make sense.

    And it's perfectly justifiable "to hate an entire story arc for one sentence" if that sentence happens to be the dramatic and emotional core of your entire story. "Radioactive sperm" in REIGN is absolutely the "MARTHA" of Batman V. Superman. That one word was enough for everyone to lose interest in that bizarrely silly movie. So the same goes here.

    If REIGN wanted Peter to be a widower at the start, and wanted MJ dead and make her, or rather her memory, the emotional center of the story, then you can't make the cause of her death to be something so dumb and over-the-top that it overshadows the rest of the story and the very moment. It's just garish, and unbecoming of the story and theme, and the characters.

    Furthermore, that sequence has so many issues you can pick apart from it:
    -- The dramatic core for Peter had to be Spider-Man and swing while MJ is on her deathbed. That itself is powerful and sad without adding in "sperm" nonsense. So it's overwriting and ruining something already human and relatable there.
    -- REIGN doesn't specify continuity or background, but if a reader can assume that the MP saga is in continuity, then the obvious answer is why didn't Peter get the same antidote he got for Aunt May in that story, and find that same isotope and cure MJ? Because the same issue was there before.
    -- What broader point is "radioactive sperm" trying to convey? That Peter should never have had sex. Okay, that's fine for a humor storyline or a dark parody of Spider-Man, but it's not for a serious and tragic story of Spider-Man.

    Even above the concept, the execution is bizarre. I mean Peter goes to a cemetery and digs up MJ's coffin and hugs her decrepit corpse is...yugh. It makes Peter into a necrophiliac. And somehow MJ's long red hair remains attached to her corpse...when for a woman who died from cancer and presumably chemo, her corpse should not have her full head of hair. Yeah I know some cells grow on the corpse after but not this much. It's creepy. And Peter is not a creepy guy.
    I'd think it is the constant exposure to Peter, MJ spends ten times more time with Peter as opposed to the others supporting characters, it's not that far fetched to assume that's why she got cancer and the others didn't, because she spends way more time next to him.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wall-Crawler View Post
    I'd think it is the constant exposure to Peter, MJ spends ten times more time with Peter as opposed to the others supporting characters, it's not that far fetched to assume that's why she got cancer and the others didn't, because she spends way more time next to him.
    That's not how radiation works. And if you want to do a story that deals with the realistic consequences of radiation you kind of do need to deal with how radiation works.

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