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Marvel just teased the next phase of Spider-Man storylines - Here's what to expect

From the return of a fan favorite clone to a Gwen Stacy Goblin, here’s what’s in store for Spider-Man and his friends.

Miles Morales
Image credit: Marvel

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Editor's Note: This article was updated on the afternoon of 3/20/24

Spider-Man’s massive Gang War is over, but what’s next for the webhead and his friends? If Spidey was hoping to get some rest and relaxation after the crossover storyline, he’s in for a rough surprise. Marvel just released Web of Spider-Man #1, a one-shot that previews the next phase of storylines in the Spider-Verse. This anthology teases some exciting developments, such as Ben Reilly’s next move, Gwen Stacy’s TVA mission, startling news about Norman Osborn, and the rising vampire threat (hello Blood Hunt).

In other words, things are about to get intense in the Spider-Verse.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Web of Spider-Man #1

Gang War aftermath

Tombstone and White Rabbit plan for the Gang War aftermath
Image credit: Marvel

The one-shot begins with a story written by Zeb Wells and illustrated by John Romita Jr., dealing with the aftermath of Gang War. The crossover ended with Tombstone seizing control of New York’s underworld, but his underlings have their doubts. Throughout the storyline, Tombstone had teamed up with Spider-Man, a move which has earned him the resentment of his fellow mobsters.

As this story demonstrates, Spider-Man is taking advantage of that tension. The webhead has been making surprise appearances at Tombstone’s various operations, implying that they’re working together. Once the underlings leave, Spider-Man takes down the operation, leaving Tombstone’s men for the police. However, the underlings are unaware of this, and continue to spread the rumor that Spider-Man and Tombstone are still working together.

This isn’t sitting well with Tombstone. “If people think we’re working with Spider-Man, there’s no way we hold on to New York,” Tombstone says. According to Spider-Editor Nick Lowe, this vignette is teasing a battle that has been in the works since 2022. “John Romita Jr. is coming back for a showdown we’ve been promising since ASM #1 a few years ago. The true showdown of Spider-Man vs. Tombstone,” Lowe writes.

Miles Morales prepares for Blood Hunt

Blood Hunt prelude
Image credit: Marvel

The second story is a Miles Morales vignette written by Cody Ziglar and penciled by Eleonora Carlina. Miles stumbles upon a battle between a villain named Hightail and a small group of vampires. Hightail warns Miles that the vampire threat he recently quashed (Miles Morales: Spider-Man #10-12) isn’t as over as he thought. The story ends with one of the vampires getting away, holding a mysterious artifact. Uhhh…that’s probably going to become a problem later.

Writing in the letters page, Nick Lowe teases a big role for Miles in the upcoming Blood Hunt crossover. “Miles will play an enormous part in the Blood Hunt event taking over Marvel this summer. Biggest Miles event moments since Secret Wars,” Lowe writes.

That’s a pretty big promise, considering Miles’ entire universe was destroyed in Secret Wars, and he was transported to a new reality. I doubt anything on that level will happen, but if this is Miles’ biggest event moment since then, something huge must be in the works.

Spider-Woman goes West

Spider-Woman battles HYDRA
Image credit: Marvel

The third feature in Web of Spider-Man is a Spider-Woman story written by Steve Foxe and penciled by Ig Guara. The story picks up where this week’s issue (Spider-Woman #5) leaves off, as Jessica heads out west to clear her head. Jessica winds up in San Francisco, the city she called home in her original Bronze Age series. Spider-Woman chose the city due to its recent HYDRA activity. Jessica is still mad about HYDRA corrupting her son Gerry, so smashing their operations is just the type of therapy she needs.

“Spider-Woman has been one of the most surprising books of the past year,” Nick Lowe writes. “But what if I told you that what Steve Foxe and Ig Guara have planned for the second arc dwarfs the first one?”

Jessica’s west coast adventures continue in Spider-Woman #6, on sale in April.

Norman Osborn gets nuts

Norman Osborn shows his looney side
Image credit: Marvel

The next story is a tease about Norman Osborn’s future, written by Zeb Wells and penciled by Ed McGuinness. Norman Osborn is out on patrol as the heroic Gold Goblin. Osborn is pursuing the Grave Goblin, a demon from the Limbo dimension. As Osborn captures the demon, he shows the Limbo refugee a glimpse of his face, and it startles him. Osborn is looking downright psychotic, and appears to be slipping back into to his Green Goblin persona.

In recent years Norman Osborn has been cleansed of his sins, and even developed his own heroic identity, the Gold Goblin. However, recent events have returned his sins to him (it’s complicated), and there have been some teases that he might slip back into villainy. According to Nick Lowe, the Green Goblin will be making his grand return in Amazing Spider-Man #50.

“We just finished Gang War and are careening towards ASM #50, which kicks off what might be the biggest spider-story ever where Zeb Wells and Ed McGuinness bring back the Green Goblin. You might think you know what’s going to happen there, but I promise you that you do not,” Lowe writes.

Gwen Stacy’s TVA invitation

Gwen Stacy meets the TVA
Image credit: Marvel

Next, we get a Spider-Gwen story written by Stephanie Phillips and penciled by Eric Gapstur. Gwen begins to hallucinate demonic crows, possessed coffee, and a post-apocalyptic Earth-65. Or is it real? Meanwhile, Mobius and Ouroboros discuss Gwen’s situation at the TVA. “She’s not an ordinary iteration of herself…of Gwen Stacy, I mean,” O.B. says. What could he mean by that?

Mobius tells O.B. to forget Gwen’s situation, but the TVA agent ignores the instructions. The story ends with Ouroboros opening a portal, telling Gwen to come with him. This is a set-up for Stephanie Phillips’ upcoming series Spider-Gwen: The Ghost Spider. We already know that the series will find Gwen relocating to Earth-616, but we don’t know why. Could this TVA drama have something to do with it?

“This will be a character-defining series that people will be talking about for a long time as Gwen is putting down roots in the 616! What happened in Earth-65?! You better pick the book up so you aren’t filled with regret when it sells out,” Lowe writes.

Ben Reilly returns

Ben Reilly as Chasm
Image credit: Marvel

Next, we get a Ben Reilly story written by Steve Foxe and penciled by Greg Land. If you’ve been away for a while, Ben Reilly recently lost some of his memories, which caused him to become the villainous Chasm. He and Madelyne Pryor briefly teamed up to take down New York City in a storyline known as Dark Web. However, Maddie redeemed herself, but Ben continued to embrace evil. He’s currently locked away in New York’s Limbo Embassy. Well, until now..

Chasm escapes from his Limbo prison, seeking revenge. Madelyne Pryor comments that she could’ve stopped him but felt that he was owed a chance to forge his own destiny. “Whatever path he chooses to follow now, Chasm’s fate rests in his own hands,” Pryor says.

The textbox simply says “Chasm will return,” but doesn’t say where. Lowe didn’t elaborate in the letters pages either. During an exclusive interview with Popverse in 2023, Amazing Spider-Man writer Zeb Wells said he would resolve the Ben Reilly storyline before his run ended. Could this be setting the seeds for that conclusion? It’s also worth noting that this story was written by Steve Foxe. Maybe Foxe has a Ben Reilly mini-series planned, or the clone will be showing up in Foxe’s Spider-Woman run?

Peter and Miles have a sinister observer

An unseen figure watches Peter Parker and Miles Morales
Image credit: Marvel

The next vignette is a Miles Morales and Peter Parker team-up story written by Greg Weisman and penciled by Joey Vazquez. It begins with Peter and Miles visiting the Coffee Bean, where they’re greeted by the staff and patrons shouting their names, ala Norm from Cheers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Greg Weisman told Popverse he was going for a Cheers vibe with the Coffee Bean.

A pair of muggers rob the establishment, forcing Peter and Miles to suit up and stop them. A blind man lurks nearby as the two Spideys get to work, and he appears to have a sinister purpose. “Two Spider-Men, how symmetrical. I believe the pair of them presents us with a unique opportunity. And, with a little patience, a potential solution to our dilemma,” the man ponders.

Is the man actually blind, or does he have another sense? He appears to know what both Spideys are doing. It also hasn’t escaped my notice that he says “us” and “our” rather than my “me” and “my.” Hmmm

According to Lowe, this tease will play out in the second arc of Spectacular Spider-Men, a new series from Greg Weisman. “The first arc has more twists and turns than a roller coaster, and the story we planted here has a few subtle hints at what the second arc holds in store,” Lowe teases.

Kaine lurks in the sewers

Image credit: Marvel

Next, we get a Kaine story from Steve Foxe and Greg Land. Kaine searches the sewers for the recently escaped Chasm, but instead comes across a monster. The creature flees after a brief battle, and Kaine leaves the sewers, saving his Chasm search for another day. We then learn that the Eternal known as Druig has been gathering various monsters for an unknown purpose.

“Perhaps a few itsy-bitsy spiders will enliven proceedings. I have always excelled at pitting family against one another,” Druig says. In other words, it looks like we’ll be getting a Ben Reilly and Kaine rematch, courtesy of Druig’s manipulations. We don’t know where this story will pick up, but it’s worth noting that it’s written by the same team as the Chasm story. The more I think about this, the more I think we’ll be getting a Ben Reilly/Kaine mini-series.

EDIT: I’ve been reminded that Marvel released a promo image for an upcoming mini-series titled Chasm: Curse of Kaine. The mini-series will be published this summer. It seems that’s what the story is setting up.

Miguel O’Hara meets the Gwen Goblin

Spider-Man 2099 meets a Gwen Stacy Green Goblin
Image credit: Marvel

The final story is a Spider-Man 2099 feature written by Alex Segura and penciled by Salvador Larroca. The story picks up where Edge of Spider-Verse (2024) #1 left off, with Miguel putting together a Spider-Society for Madame Web.

Miguel battles a multiversal Green Goblin and is surprised to learn that it’s Gwen Stacy under the mask. The Gwen Goblin warns Spider-Man 2099 about a mysterious gathering storm. “We’re coming. An army. A swarm. And it’s going to take much more than a little ragtag bunch of losers to stop us,” Gwen says.

The Gwen Goblin gets away, and a textbox informs us that this story will continue in Edge of Spider-Verse #4.

“I’m going to be a little more coy about the Kaine, Chasm, and Spider-Society stories. I don’t want to get too far ahead of our announcements on that front, but let these serve as your warning that big things are coming,” Lowe writes in the letter pages.

It looks like some big things are coming for the Spider-Verse. What are your theories? What storylines are you the most excited about?

An advance copy of Web of Spider-Man #1 was provided ahead of release by Marvel.

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