Spiderman (Sort Of) Killed Mary Jane!

The Character:
Spider-Man is the witty, likable goofball that nerds everywhere can relate to. He's clumsy and has been dealt a few rough hands in his life, but he still fights the good fight with a smile on his perpetually young face.

The Plan:
"Let's fast forward to when Spider-Man is 60-years-old, so we can watch him fight crime as an old man after he's already retired from being a superhero. We'll set it in a bleak, ruined, twisted version of New York. It'll sort of be like Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, except it will also be exactly like that."

The Problem:
Here's what happens in a typical Spider-Man comic: Goofy-yet-lovable Peter Parker dresses in bright red tights, fights similarly ridiculous-looking villains and suffers from a genetic condition that forces him to make retarded quips and jokes every five seconds.

Now, here's what happens in Reign: Peter Parker wakes up, vomits, cries, hallucinates and gets fired from his job as a florist. No more humor, no more trademark witty mid-battle banter. Why? Because he's old and miserable. Why is he miserable? Because he killed Mary Jane with his radioactive semen.

Now, there's nothing wrong with dark and gritty superhero stories, we love The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. But when you take the humor and heart away from Spider-Man and stick him in a terrifyingly grim future that finds him heartbroken, you take away everything that attracted Spider-Man readers in the first place. And, sure, guilt has been a hallmark in the Spider-Man comics forever, but when you have a comic where Parker accidentally fucks Mary Jane to death, you've officially crossed the line. At some point, you're straight up torturing Peter Parker. No one wants to watch a bitter, depressed old Spider-Man humorlessly fight bad guys in a perpetual state of mourning. If Spider-Man fans wanted to read The Punisher, then they would read The Punisher.

Still not convinced that Reign is the worst and weirdest thing to happen to Spider-Man? A little girl gets needlessly and viciously murdered by the police and, at one point, Spider-Man is carried to a cemetery by the robotic arms of the now-deceased Dr. Octopus (while the corpse is still fucking attached).

How about now?