Page from 'Spider-Man #1'
Credit: Marvel Comics

This week, filmmaker J.J. Abrams makes his long-awaited Marvel Comics debut co-writing Spider-Man alongside his son Henry (with art from Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, and Dave Stewart) – and this isn’t the Spidey tale you may expect.

Kicking off with a shocking twist and a surprising new character, Spider-Man #1 marks a new, unexpected chapter in Peter Parker’s life.

Spoilers ahead for Spider-Man #1.

Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Spider-Man #1 opens with Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson standing in New York City in the midst of apparent destruction at the hands of Cadaverous, the series’ mysterious new villain. As Peter stands beaten and bloody against Cadaverous, the villain reaches out and impales MJ – apparently killing her instantly.

At her funeral, it’s revealed that Peter and MJ had a son – Ben – who is now left without a mother. After a 12-year time jump, we meet the now teenage Ben Parker who lives with Aunt May while Peter, now bearing a prosthetic arm after the fight with Cadaverous, travels the world as a journalist.

Credit: Marvel Comics

But naturally, all is not as it seems with Ben. He’s having trouble at school, and developing strange abilities – not that far off from his dad’s. While May tries to get him to talk to her, Ben sneaks into the attic, looking through his father’s old things.

And there, among the attic junk, he finds Peter’s old Spider-Man suit, tattered and torn from the fight when his mother perished.

Given Marvel's signalling in other Spider-Man titles and future solicitations, Spider-Man appears to be an alternate reality story.

Spider-Man #2 is due out October 16.

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