I’ve reached the point in my chronology where I will have to start making some decisions that may set some precedence for what is and isn’t included going forward. That point is the publication of Secret Wars II.
Secret Wars was a huge event for Marvel, but in terms of continuity it occurred between issues (in many cases, between panels) of the regular series of the characters involved. Outside of the “what the hell is that in Central Park…must go inside…” and “Hey we’re back!” references in those books, Secret Wars had no tie-ins to speak of.
All that changed with Secret Wars II. The story of The Beyonder coming to Earth and trying to learn to eat and use the bathroom and…well, we don’t need to get into all that here…occurred over the course of a nine issue mini-series. But each issue of Secret Wars II also tied into other books that month. The number of tie-ins are tame by todays perspective. If you wanted to have the whole story, you usually needed to buy around 4 tie-ins a month. Compare that to the current Civil War II event where 4 tie-ins to buy would be a slow week.
Secret Wars II has a lot of haters. The story and art are not that strong. And to many, having to buy extra books to get the full story was something new. (I think the only real example prior to this was Crisis On Infinite Earths over at DC.) I will give props to Secret Wars II though in terms of its tie-ins actually having meaning and advancing the story. For the sake of this project I only read the main mini-series and the Spider-Man tie-ins and many times felt like I was missing something. Quite often The Beyonder would change his look or his attitudes/desires or kill the New Mutants or something that only occurred in a tie-in but would have significance in the main book. One of my biggest issues with modern events is that so many tie-ins either a) just rehash an event from the main story from a different characters point of view or b) have absolutely nothing to do with the main event. The tie-ins may have their own continuity issues, but I didn’t investigate the tie-ins further since this is a Spider-Man chronology and not a Secret Wars II chronology.
Secret Wars II presented a new problem though for this chronology…did I include it all? Secret Wars itself was a no brainer. While Spider-Man only appears to varying degrees over the span of the 12 issues, it is one complete story. And it kicks ass. But Secret Wars II meanders on and on. And it seemed overkill to included numerous issues where Spider-Man didn’t appear at all or was only seen in a cameo or flashback. The fact that I was already skipping all the other tie-ins that “tell the whole story” only added to the notion that all we care about is how Spider-Man weaves his way in and out of the story.
So most of the nine issue series ended up being cut from the chronology. Issues 1, 3 and 7 have been shuffled off to my Spider-Man cameo column. Issues 2 and 8 are the only ones that have much in the way of substance with regards to Spider-Man. He also appears in issue 9, though in a small role. The majority of the time he is just “one of the crowd” in a large battle. I thought about including issue 1 just to lay the ground work for the issues and tie-ins I did include, but decided against it in the end.
One small bit of housekeeping before I (“finally!” you say) move onto the updated list. Marvel Tales 198 featured a new back up story that I spent way, way too much time trying to place. It has no context outside of Spider-Man wearing his red and blue suit and Thing being with the Fantastic Four. I decided to place it before Secret Wars and just randomly after Marvel Fanfare 47 as there is a break there from the main titles.
- Marvel Tales v2 198 [Back-up story only]
At long last, the additions to the chronology picking up after Web Of Spider-Man #1:
- Web of Spider-Man 002 – Seems to occur close to Web Of Spider-Man 1. Several indirect references to fight with Juggernaut in Marvel Team-Up 150. Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 100.
- Web of Spider-Man 003 – Web Of Spider-Man 2 was yesterday (if the paper Vulture is reading in prison is up to date).
- Spectacular Spider-Man 101
- Amazing Spider-Man 264
- Marvel Graphic Novel 17 – Revenge of the Living Monolith – Hard to place exactly. Can really fit into any of the gaps in the main series where Spider-Man is back to wearing his red and blue suit.
- Amazing Spider-Man 265 – Liz still in hospital after having Normie in Amazing Spider-Man 263. 1st Silver Sable. Peter and Aunt May finally start talking again. Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 99-100. Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 252 (which should be 253). Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 256 (which should be 255).
- Spectacular Spider-Man 102
- Spectacular Spider-Man 103 – After Peter and Aunt May have reconciled in Amazing Spider-Man 265.
- Amazing Spider-Man 266 – First 4 pages occur before Spidey and Black Cat break up in Spectacular Spider-Man 100, but I don’t see any reason to split this up. It is treated like a flashback. Peter and his neighbor Bambi getting pretty cuddly.
- Web of Spider-Man 004 – Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 100. First mention of Jonah resurrecting Now Magazine.
- Amazing Spider-Man 267 – Not a direct reference but Spidey mentions “Doctor Octopus is crazier than ever”, so occurs at least after Web Of Spider-Man 4. Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 103. Could argue this picks up shortly after Amazing Spider-Man 266, but I don’t think it matters.
- Spectacular Spider-Man 104 – Direct reference to Web Of Spider-Man 4.
- Web of Spider-Man 005 – Direct references to Spectacular Spider-Man 104 and Amazing Spider-Man 265. Kate Cushing takes over as City Editor at the Bugle. Robbie tells Peter that all his assignments will now come from Kate, but there is some inconsistency with this across titles.
- Spectacular Spider-Man 105
- Spectacular Spider-Man 106 – Continues a few hours after Spectacular Spider-Man 105.
- Secret Wars II 02 – The Beyonder turns Power Man and Iron Fist’s building into gold. Continues almost immediately in Web Of Spider-Man 6.
- Web of Spider-man 006 – Secret Wars II crossover. Spidey takes the gold notebook from the building Beyonder turned to gold in Secret Wars II #2.
- Amazing Spider-Man 268 – Continues from Web Of Spider-Man 6. Secret Wars II crossover. Duke from GI Joe makes an uncredited cameo…which we’ll just ignore since GI Joe (and Transformers) are not part of Marvel Universe canon…right?
- Web of Spider-Man 007
- Amazing Spider-Man 269
- Amazing Spider-Man 270 – Immediately after Amazing Spider-Man 269. Direct reference to Avengers 258.
- Avengers 258 [Spider-Man pages only, P9-P14] – Gives the Avengers angle on Amazing Spider-Man 270 and the aftermath.
- Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 05 – Direct references to Amazing Spider-Man 267 and Spectacular Spider-Man 103.
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual 1985 (#19) – Direct references to Amazing Spider-Man 259 and Web Of Spider-Man 2.
- Cloak & Dagger v2 003 – Nothing definitive to place this. Spider-Man is in his red and blue suit.
- Web of Spider-Man 008
- Web of Spider-Man 009 – Immediately after Web Of Spider-Man 8.
- Web of Spider-Man Annual 01
- Amazing Spider-Man 271 – Direct reference to Web Of Spider-Man 6-7.
- Amazing Spider-Man 272 – Continuing the same day as Amazing Spider-Man 271.
- Web of Spider-Man 027 – This appears to be an inventory issue as during the time it was published Spider-Man was exclusively wearing the black suit, yet he wears the red and blues here. Placing here, but can really go anywhere around this time period where Peter is wearing that suit.
- Web of Spider-Man 010
***Web Of Spider-Man 11-12 and Spectacular Spider-Man 107-110 are a bit of a pain continuity wise. In Web Of Spider-Man 12 a police officer references Spider-Man’s help on the Jean DeWolff case which is happening over in Spectacular Spider-Man. But Spectacular Spider-Man 110 has to occur after Web Of Spider-Man 11 and the fire in Peter’s apartment. Which is fine, except for the fact that Web 12 picks up immediately after Web 11. Other chronologies have the Spectactular issues between Web 11 and 12. Which makes sense in some regards, but Peter’s apartment at the beginning of Web 12 is still smoldering and one imagines it is immediately after the fire. As well, in Spectacular Spider-Man 110, Peter and Matt Murdock have coffee at Peter’s apartment. The fire is referenced, but the apartment is completely refurbished (to some extent…the degree of damage to his apartment seems to be open to artist interpretation). But over in Web 12, it is still wrecked. Not sure there is a way to splice them together to make sense. The “How to read Spider-Man” continuity list that Marvel themselves published puts both Web issues first. I think that works better in terms of Peter’s apartment and keeping the storylines together.***
- Web of Spider-Man 011 – Peter’s appartment is caught on fire.
- Web of Spider-Man 012 – Immediately after Web Of Spider-Man 11. Red and blue suit is smoke damaged in the fire. Direct references to Amazing Spider-Man 271 and Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 5.
- Spectacular Spider-Man 107 – The Death of Jean DeWolff Part One.
- Spectacular Spider-Man 108 – The Death of Jean DeWolff Part Two. Immediately after Spectactular Spider-Man 107.
- Spectacular Spider-Man 109 – The Death of Jean DeWolff Part Three. Not immediately after Spectacular Spider-Man 108, but the same night.
- Spectacular Spider-Man 110 – The Death of Jean DeWolff Part Four. Immediately after Spectacular Spider-Man 109. Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 271. Daredevil reveals his identity to Spider-Man and that he knows he’s Peter Parker. Not a direct reference but has to be after Peter’s apartment fire, and after it has been refurbished…to some degree at least.
- Web of Spider-Man 013 – Not a direct reference but has to be after Spider-Man fights Sin-Eater. Peter’s apartment still in shambles, as is his red and blue suit.
- Amazing Spider-Man 273 – Secret Wars II crossover. Direct reference to death of Jean DeWolff in Spectacular Spider-Man 107-110. Spidey in his red and blue suit…but it still smells of soot. Secret Wars II 2 and Web Of Spider-Man 6 were “a few weeks ago”. Direct references to Web Of Spider-Man 11-13. Peter’s apartment isn’t repainted yet, but it looks at least hospitable. Many references to the events of Secret Wars II, but they are mostly inconsequential. A week passes and Peter and a ridiculously dressed MJ begin to paint his apartment.
- Spectacular Spider-Man 111 – Secret Wars II crossover. Continues from Amazing Spider-Man 273 and fills in some of the week long gap. Ending of Amazing Spider-Man 273 is replicated here (with slightly different dialogue). Direct references to Amazing Spider-Man 271 and Web Of Spider-Man 10-13.
- Secret Wars II 08 – Recaps the events of Spectacular Spider-Man 111. Direct reference to Web Of Spider-Man 11. Spidey’s apartment is refurnished, but doesn’t look like it has been repainted, though this has to be after Peter and MJ have at least started that. Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 274 which essentially takes place during this issue.
- Amazing Spider-Man 274 – Secret Wars II crossover. Direct reference to Spectacular Spider-Man 111. Christmas time. Huge conflict here with Spectacular Spider-Man 112. Anna Watson is in town, but doesn’t appear to arrive until Christmas Eve over in Spectacular. And this issue takes place before Christmas Day at least as Peter says he hasn’t made plans yet for that day with Aunt May, which he attempts to do in Spectacular Spider-Man 112…when she mentions that Anna Watson is coming to town. Ugh.
- Secret Wars II 09 – Spider-Man’s role is small.
- Spectacular Spider-Man 112 – Takes place over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Aunt May says that Anna Watson is coming from Florida to visit, but she is already in town in Amazing Spider-Man 274, which is also prior to Christmas. Direct reference to Amazing Spider-Man 273.
Be on the lookout for further updates coming soon. And you will always be able to find the Complete Chronology in it’s permanent home under Spotlight Features in the menu under the Gabbing Geek banner.