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"Dark Web"
The standard cover art for Dark Web #1.
Art by Adam Kubert.
PublisherMarvel Comics
Publication dateNovember 2022 – February 2023
Main character(s)Spider-Man
X-Men
Chasm
Madelyne Pryor
Mary Jane Watson
Black Cat
Venom
Gold Goblin
Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)
Hallows' Eve
Creative team
Writer(s)
Penciller(s)

"Dark Web" is an American comic book crossover storyline written by Zeb Wells with art by Adam Kubert and Ed McGuinness, published in 2022 by Marvel Comics. The story, which serving as a spiritual successor to "Inferno", involves Spider-Man and the X-Men joining forces against Ben Reilly and Madelyne Pryor as the two wronged clones are teaming up as Chasm and Goblin Queen to raise hell across the Marvel Universe.

"Dark Web" is bookended by two one-shots, subtitled Dusk and Dawn, and the story continued in the pages of Zeb Wells' run of Amazing Spider-Man. The storyline tied into various other books like Venom (vol. 5) and limited series including Gold Goblin, Mary Jane & Black Cat, Dark Web: Ms. Marvel and Dark Web: X-Men.[1]

Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) #18, Dark Web Finale, Dark Web: Ms. Marvel #2, Dark Web: X-Men #3, Mary Jane & Black Cat #2, and Venom (vol. 5) #15 were dedicated in memory of Carlos Pacheco.

Publication history

In April 2022, Marvel comics posted a teaser "The Dark Web is being spun" that will involve Spider-Man prior to the release of the Free Comic Book Day: Spider-Man/Venom #1.[2][3] The comic book issue ended with a teaser revealing Ben Reilly is working with Madelyne Pryor.[4] At San Diego Comic-Con in July 2022, teaser art from Ryan Stegman offered a glimpse on the event with the Goblin Queen looming over Spider-Man, Venom, Black Cat, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Magik, Iceman, Firestar, Mary Jane, Chasm and Hallows' Eve, a new member of Spider-Man's rogue's gallery.[5] It is revealed in the Next Big Thing panel to be a Spider-Man/X-Men crossover spearheaded by current Amazing Spider-Man writer Zeb Wells.[6][7] The two franchises recently crossed paths when the X-Men's former ally Moira MacTaggert kidnapped Mary Jane Watson and used her as a puppet to infiltrate the Hellfire Gala.[8][9]

Prelude issues were published in November to set up the event letting readers see exactly what Chasm and the Goblin Queen have been busy with. Venom (vol. 5) #13 set the stage to the crossover as Eddie Brock returns from space and finds an unexpected ally in Madelyne Pryor.[10] Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) #14 introduced Chasm, Reilly's new persona, and a brand new villain, Hallows' Eve, who was pivotal to the event.[6]

Limited series Gold Goblin, Mary Jane & Black Cat, Dark Web: Ms. Marvel and Dark Web: X-Men tied directly to the Dark Web saga. Gold Goblin, written by Christopher Cantwell with art from Lan Medina, set up a new status quo for Norman Osborn whose sins were cleansed during the Last Remains storyline.[6] Mary Jane & Black Cat, written by Jed MacKay with art from Vincenzo Carratù, forces two of the greatest loves of Peter Parker's life for another team up after being thrown into each other's path; Mary Jane and Black Cat previously joined forces during the Beyond storyline.[11] Dark Web: Ms. Marvel, written by Sabir Pirzada with art from Francesco Mortarino, took Ms. Marvel in Limbo against deadly experiments going haywire; Kamala Khan recently started her internship with Oscorp in Amazing Spider-Man.[12] In Dark Web: X-Men, written by Gerry Duggan with art from Rod Reis, the new X-Men team defended New York City from Limbo.[13]

Plot

Prelude

When Peter Parker fell into a coma, Ben Reilly worked for the Beyond Corporation as Spider-Man, fighting off enemies and menaces who were employed by Beyond. Months later, after therapist Dr. Ashley Kafka became the Queen Goblin, a recovered Parker and a brainwashed Reilly uncovered Beyond's machinations, resulting in Reilly suffering a mental breakdown and becoming Chasm. Parker resumes being Spider-Man,[14] ending up involved in an incident in Pennsylvania that alienates him from personal and superhero connections for six months.[15] He begins working for Oscorp, with his boss being the reformed Norman Osborn.[16]

Meanwhile, at Krakoa, the Quiet Council decided to resurrect Madelyne Pryor to appease Havok, unaware that she remembers her past life as the Goblin Queen. With Magik overcome her demons and relieved from Limbo's influence, she chooses to depart Limbo from her past life and entrusted Madelyne Pryor to take over Limbo as its new regent allowing Pryor to regain her title as the Goblin Queen. A few months later, Chasm encounters and meets Goblin Queen, forms a partnership to restore Chasm's formative memories as Peter Parker, and witnesses his girlfriend Janine Godbe transform into Hallow's Eve, a multiple-mask-wearing supervillain empowered by Pryor. Chasm kills Parker's debt collector, planning to get his rightful memories and make Parker consume a forbidden fruit.[17] At the Garden of Time, Eddie Brock, seeks to break out of a time loop while also searching for his son Dylan, before encountering meets the Goblin Queen in Limbo, who believes that they each have something that can help the other.[18]

Main plot

Title Issue # Release date
Dark Web (Dusk) 1 December 7, 2022
After a nightmare involving Peter Parker, Ben Reilly is told by Goblin Queen that she needs to focus his pain into energy. At the Coffee Bean on the day when the late Harry Osborn was born, Peter Parker, Liz Allan, Flash Thompson, Carlie Cooper, Mary Jane Watson, Emily Osborn, Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson, Robbie Robertson, Randy Robertson, and Janice Lincoln are catching up when Peter notices Norman Osborn outside. Peter speaks to Norman who regretted about the use of Harry's clone and Ben Reilly's death. Meanwhile, Chasm and Goblin Queen walk through Limbo as she reveals that she has Venom working for her in exchange for her help finding Dylan Brock. Goblin Queen mentions to Chasm that she planned to target the Krakoan base in New York which she cannot attack the X-Men because of her peace agreement with Krakoa. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Havok, Magik, Iceman, and Firestar are walking through New York during the Christmas season where they are doing some Christmas shopping as they see demonic visions. Back in Limbo, Goblin Queen puts on a musical performance for Chasm, Hallow's Eve, and the demons. As she plays another song on her organ, Peter's spider senses go off as Jean Grey senses something. A lot of demonic attacks occur in New York with a stagecoach and a statue being transformed into demonic creatures as Peter changes into Spider-Man and finds that some of the X-Men are fighting the demonic creatures. Goblin Queen plans to raise Hell as she is annoyed that Venom hasn't responded to her calls to meet Hallow's Eve. At Oscorp, Norman is confronted by Chasm who claims that Peter took his memories. As Osborn starts to initiate the Golden Glider voice key, Chasm attacks him. Upon Chasm being knocked down by the Golden Glider, Norman becomes Gold Goblin. Chasm revealed that he posed as Peter in order to get to the Gold Goblin gear as he uses a remote to cause the Golden Glider to explode. He then proceeds to pulverize Norman as revenge. Goblin Queen confronts Venom to remind him about the arrangement they made. Venom mentions that it was before they knew "he was here" and that they will finally kill him. Goblin Queen mentions to Hallow's Eve that she manipulated Venom to make him more complicit, but fears she went too far. Venom then leaves and states that they are going to eat Spider-Man's brain.[19]
Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) 15 December 14, 2022
As the demonic attacks occur all over New York City, Venom shows up to save a married couple's baby from a transformed baby carriage before continuing his hunt for Spider-Man. After webbing up the demonic Christmas trees, Spider-Man confronts Chasm who claimed that Gold Goblin "slipped". Spider-Man recognizes Chasm as Ben and as he tries to reason with Ben, Venom attacks. Chasm gathers the Lies of Six Bleeding Ones, the Acrid Tears of Kalack the Cleft Socket, and the Binding Tome of Bala-Kan just as Ms. Marvel arrives. Chasm casts a spell from the Binding Tome of Bala-Kan to trap Ms. Marvel in Limbo and proceeds to cast another spell. As Spider-Man continues his fight against Venom, who questions Eddie's seemingly dumber demeanor, J. Jonah Jameson tells his fellow staff members that Christmas is canceled and that they need to make their story. As Jameson goes to his office, he finds Chasm in it as he claims that "New York's not the only thing going to Hell". Threatening to set the nearby demonic Christmas trees on fire, Spider-Man weakens the Venom symbiote due to the screaming trees and punches Eddie. With Venom defeated and the remaining demonic Christmas trees fleeing, Spider-Man is confronted by Goblin Queen and Hallow's Eve. After cutting off Spider-Man when he was about to claim that he resembles Jean Grey, Goblin Queen revealed that her work needs Eddie Brock's help and that she made Venom unhinged. She also states that their mutual friend is done "completing his chores", with Chasm showing up and asking Spider-Man "Where were we"?[20]
Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) 16 December 28, 2022
Spider-Man and Chasm fight each other as Spider-Man and Chasm argue over Ben's memories. At the X-Men's tree house, Goblin Queen and Hallow's Eve arrive with Venom. Upon donning a Frankenstein's Monster mask, Hallow's Eve gains his abilities where she uses his super-strength to send Venom off the building so that he can serve as a diversion. Spider-Man and Chasm are still fighting as Spider-Man knocks a sphere that Chasm calls his "humdinger" out of his hand. After knocking Spider-Man down, Chasm picks up the sphere and starts reciting a spell. Chasm reveals that he sent J. Jonah Jameson and Robbie Robertson to Limbo. Noticing that Chasm is tormenting the people he knows there, Spider-Man tells Chasm to take him to Limbo. Chasm summons a tentacled demon who then drags Spider-Man to Limbo. Spider-Man finds himself in his civilian attire as a J. Jonah Jameson-type demon tells him "This is your life....SO GET TO WORK", with the rest of his co-workers being demons as well.[21]
Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) 17 January 11, 2023
In Limbo, Peter punches a shark-like demon who tried to bite the head off of another demon. Peter then gets to work as the demon calls him Parker Pete-Man. At Limbo's Daily Bugle, Jameson is ordering the demon staff around. When the demons claim that Jameson isn't taking the job seriously, Peter saves him. At the suggestion of the demons, Jameson wants Peter to get him pictures of Spider-Man as Peter quietly vows that Ben will pay for this. As Peter walks down the street, Chasm appears and asks if he had a tough day at the office as Peter begs him to let them all go. Chasm states that all he has to do is eat a specific apple and everyone can go home. In an abandoned building, a demon is held captive and turned into Limbo's version of Scorpion called Gorepion by having an actual scorpion placed in him. Chasm speaks to Goblin Queen stating that he has to make Spider-Man feel at home as Goblin Queen reminds him that her demons are on loan. He calls this group of demons the Insidious Six which consists of Doctor Octoball (a demon version of Doctor Octopus that resembles a floating head with eye-tipped tentacles), Grave Goblin (a demon version of Green Goblin who rides a casket-like glider), Rhiceratops (a skeletal demon version of Rhino), Kraken the Hunter (a kraken version of Kraven the Hunter), Lizzaro (a reptilian demon version of Lizard), and Gorepion. When they face a demon operating as Parker-Man, Goblin Queen leaves Chasm to deal with her guests. Chasm informs the Insidious Six that they have it backwards where they need villains and not heroes. Parker-Man flees as Chasm still claims that they have it backwards. At Jameson's demonic apartment, Parker visits Jameson stating that he might have a way to get them out of Limbo. On the streets, the demon operating as Parker-Man runs into his larger brother who has a plan that can help him. This plan has Parker-Man coming in contact with a sample of a Symbiote. The next day, Jameson and Robbie Robertson inform the demonic staff that some demons have been allowed to go to the real New York City and sends them to go investigate this injustice. Once they are gone, Spider-Man arrives where he gets Jameson and Robertson out of the building. They are then confronted by the Insidious Six. As they attack Spider-Man, he is saved by Parker-Man under his new alias of Rek-Rap.[22]
Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) 18 January 25, 2023
After the X-Men had called a truce with her, Goblin Queen begins to clean up her home before she can help clean up New York of the demonic invasion. She starts by speaking to Chasm to end his torture on Spider-Man. As Chasm swings off, Hallow's Eve claims to Goblin Queen that they can take care of themselves. Meanwhile, Spider-Man meets Rek-Rap who helps Spider-Man fight the Insidious Six. Goblin Queen instructs Hallow's Eve to see that her forces withdraw from New York. Instead, Hallow's Eve puts on a Frankenstein's Monster mask where she throws Goblin Queen off the castle and claims her scythe. As Spider-Man and Rek-Rap continue their fight with the Insidious Six, J. Jonah Jameson and Robbie Robertson run for the portal while fooling the nearby demons that they are just demons in disguise. As Chasm goes to Limbo's fruit tree, he is confronted by Hallow's Eve wielding Goblin Queen's scythe. Chasm is given the scythe as he is transformed into King Chasm. As the Insidious Six converge on Spider-Man, Rek-Rap, Jameson, and Robertson, King Chasm and Hallow's Eve arrive where they knock back Spider-Man and Rek-Rap. Then King Chasm and Hallow's Eve plan to lead all of Limbo's demons to Earth as some of Limbo's architecture ends up in Central Park. The X-Men and Goblin Queen catch up to Spider-Man, Rek-Rap, Jameson, and Robertson as they begin to work together to thwart King Chasm's plans.[23]

Tie-ins

Dark Web: X-Men

Title Issue # Release date
Dark Web: X-Men 1 December 14, 2022
Magik recalls her history of being captured by Belasco as a child, his mutant gene kicking in where she learned some magic spells, and when she allowed a revived Madelyne Pryor run Limbo in exchange that she doesn't attack Krakoa. In the present, Magik is doing some Christmas shopping with her fellow X-Men when a lot of objects become demonic and attack everyone. Jean Grey alerts her fellow X-Men of the attack. Forge uses his Krakoan tech to take down a demonic motorcycle and some demonic mannequins. Then he contacts Synch about the status at the Treehouse as Synch was sure the Limbo demons were told that the X-Men were off limits. As the X-Men fight the demonic forces, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree transforms. Iceman rescues the ice skaters as Spider-Man shows up to help subdue it while understanding why Orchis doesn't like the X-Men. Iceman and Firestar help Spider-Man rescue a person while fighting the demonic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Meanwhile, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Havok, and Magik travel to Limbo as they are attacked by Sleep Demons. Back in New York, the demonic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is starting to pull off Christmas decorations. As Iceman rescues a dog, Firestar lights the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree on fire as it states that a demonic presence forced it to be born and mentions that this is Christmastime in the Anthropocene era which is the last host of mankind. As a firefighter demands that the super-people stop fighting, Iceman fully freezes the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree as Magik's narration states that it will not be fully thawed until next year. As Iceman states that they are being booed at and a kid states that Santa Claus was eaten, Spider-Man swings off stating that Santa Claus is a mutant and that the X-Men will revive him as Spider-Man goes to help Norman who informs him that Ben Reilly has returned. Back in Limbo, Jean Grey and Magik are trapped in a powerful spell while Cyclops and Havok are locked up in one of the sky dungeons. Goblin Queen shows up to knock out Cyclops and Havok. She plans to get what she wants and will make the Summers brothers watch.[24]
Dark Web: X-Men 2 December 28, 2022
Goblin Queen wakes up from a dream involving her and a younger Cable. Forge and Synch work on getting the civilians to safety in the treehouse where a message was sent to Krakoa to have any healers come and tend to the injured. In Limbo, Goblin Queen is shown with the portable Cerebro that she had Venom and Hallow's Eve steal for her, as she uses her magic to access the Cerebro backup for Jean Grey where she is unable to access the memory on when she first held a younger Cable. Goblin Queen enters Magik's mind where a younger Magik encounters a younger Jean Grey. They enter a mansion that is being spied upon by Mister Sinister. Then she proceeds to pay a visit to Cyclops and Havok where Cyclops' visor was confiscated with his head surrounded by dangling puppies and Havok is under a paralytic spell. Havok admits to Goblin Queen that he is attending therapy and wants to help her. Back in the mindscape, Magik and Jean Grey arrive at the bottom of the mansion where they are briefly attacked by Apocalypse and find Goblin Queen attacked by Bamfs. Afterwards, Goblin Queen manipulates Magik into accessing the portable Cerebro. Back with Cyclops and Havok, one of the puppies gets loose and falls asleep near the visor. Thanks to Cyclops getting a mental message to Jean Grey, she breaks free from Goblin Queen's tricks as she advises her to end her tricks now. Goblin Queen states that she won't until she gets what she wants. Noting that a lot of people are getting hurt on Earth, Jean Grey slaps Goblin Queen.[25]
Dark Web: X-Men 3 January 18, 2023
As Forge continues to fortify the Treehouse, Synch informs everyone that they have fired up the Krakoan transit to take everyone to New Jersey. Noting that the demons won't attack Krakoa, Forge asks Iceman and Firestar to head back to the Treehouse so that he can make use of a new weapon. As a recap on how Mister Sinister created Madelyne Pryor is shown, Jean Grey fights Goblin Queen to find out what she wants from the portable Cerebro as Goblin Queen states that she wants what was stolen from her. Some demons come to help take down Jean Grey only to be killed by her. Goblin Queen continues her attack as Jean Grey frees Magik from her spell. The fight seems to come to a standstill despite Jean's attempts to reason with Madelyne until Jean makes a somewhat stunning decision to Magik and Goblin Queen. Knowing that what Maddie seeks is the memories of Cable's birth, Jean surrenders and allows Maddie to have those memories. Understanding Madelyne's grief at the loss of time with her child and the life she never got to live, Jean openly shares her memories of Nathan with Madelyne, bringing them both to tears. Realizing that her unwillingness to speak to Jean and ask her about her time with Nathan led her to team up with Chasm for the Limbo attack, Madelyne calls together the X-Men (with Jean's guidance and blessing) as Cyclops and Havok arrive with the puppies. Havok accepts Goblin Queen's offer to help fix everything in New York. Magik then arrives with Forge, Synch, Iceman and Firestar as she takes them, Jean Grey, Goblin Queen, Cyclops, Havok, and the puppies back to New York.[26]

Mary Jane & Black Cat

Title Issue # Release date
Mary Jane & Black Cat 1 December 21, 2022
Black Cat is swinging through New York while dodging different demonic items. She finds Mary Jane somehow fighting off the demonic items that are menacing Paul and his kids. As Mary Jane is attacked by a demonic water tower, Black Cat tells Paul to get his kids to the basement. Black Cat fights the demonic water tower and tries to call Iron Man who is busy fighting demonic item opponents of his own. When Black Cat catches up to Mary Jane, they succeed in subduing the demonic water tower. Afterwards, Mary Jane is told by Black Cat about Ben Reilly operating as Chasm and being behind the demonic invasion. As Black Cat swings Mary Jane away, they both end up in Limbo and are confronted by some demons. Black Cat and Mary Jane fight some the demons. Just then, Belasco shows up to break up the fight revealing that he brought them to Limbo as he is "in need of a thief". In a bonus story, Black Cat makes off with Doctor Doom's mask and uses his Time Platform to escape to different time periods where she fights Captain Fate in the Age of Pirates, chases after Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy in a prehistoric setting, kissing a superhero, fighting alongside Captain America in World War II, making out with a woman in another time period, and defeating Kang the Conqueror. Black Cat recapped this story during a card game with Mary Jane, Thing, and two card players as she wagers Doctor Doom's mask. Mary Jane takes a look at the mask and states that it was made in Mexico as Black Cat states that Doctor Doom outsources. Black Cat then declares that she folds.[27]
Mary Jane & Black Cat 2 January 11, 2022
In Belasco's palace, Black Cat has been briefed on what Belasco wants Black Cat to steal for him. The item in question is a Soulsword which he misplaced and how his reign in Limbo was usurped by a female who forged her own Soulsword. The Soulsword is hidden in the Screaming Tower. When Black Cat asks if they are not the only figures going after the Soulsword, Belasco states that the Screaming Tower's return has afflicted all of Limbo's scoundrels and thieves that make up the Thief Army with a fever, the freebooters and corsair that make up the Heven's Devils who want to heal their inter-dimensional realm, the HYDRA Expedition Force Agares who are looking for a weapon to turn the tide, and S'ym. Moments later, Mary Jane and Black Cat are at the Screaming Tower. They enter as they make use of a Soul Compass that is made from part of Belasco's soul when he had to skin himself. Just then, Mary Jane and Black Cat are attacked by the cursed inhabitants who have been reduced to cannibalism. They go on the defensive until they all fall into a bottomless pit. Black Cat grabs Mary Jane and throws up her grappling hook which catches on to something. After pulling themselves out of the pit, Mary Jane and Black Cat run into S'ym.[28]

Dark Web: Ms. Marvel

Title Issue # Release date
Dark Web: Ms. Marvel 1 December 21, 2022
After a brief recap of Ms. Marvel's last fight with Inventor, Goblin Queen is playing her organ as different items at a Jersey City landfill become demonic. Before the demonic items can attack the landfill workers, Inventor shows up stating that he has a much juicer meal in mind. Two hours earlier, Ms. Marvel is with Nakia Bahadir, Aamir Khan, and Sheik Abdullah after the lights outside the mosque have been set up. Ms. Marvel and Nakia talk about her internship at Oscorp. 59 seconds later, Bruno Carelli is called up by Ms. Marvel where he sports his opinion about Oscorp. Kamala is later seen working with her co-worker Arjun are working on a robot when everything in the lab becomes demonic. Kamala evacuates the workers and transforms into Ms. Marvel to fight the demonic items. In Jersey City, Sheik Abdullah and those with him are caught inside the mosque when it becomes demonic. Ms. Marvel saves Arjun from the demonic toilets as she claims that she got Kamala to safety. As Ms. Marvel goes to fight Chasm, Inventor tells the demonic creations with him that they will bide their time until Ms. Marvel is alone. After Chasm used the Binding Tome of Bala-Kan to bind Ms. Marvel, she finds herself in Limbo.[29]
Dark Web: Ms. Marvel 2 January 11, 2023
2 hours ago at Gregory Knox' post-criminal retirement location, Knox is visited by Inventor who is pleased that Inventor managed to find him after he stayed off the radar. Inventor mentions to Knox that his resurrection is a fluke by unknown forces. When asked by Inventor on why he created him, Knox stated that the world suffered from many problems and wanted to bring the great minds in history back in hopes that they can solve them. When Inventor mentions that something is wrong with him, Knox states that Inventor is supposed to be dead and suspects that the microchip in his brain has been taken over by something that is affecting all of New York City. When Inventor states that he needs to cut himself free, Knox states that Inventor is not the only Inventor as he gets cut off. In Limbo, Ms. Marvel is attacked by a bunch of demons as she goes on the offense. The lead demon orders his men to send her back to Earth which they do. Back on Earth, Ms. Marvel finds that the Jersey City Mosque has become demonic. As Ms. Marvel goes into action, she is ambushed by Inventor who is accompanied by other bird-like clones of history's greatest minds like a Marabou stork version of Leonardo da Vinci, an Atlantic puffin version of Philo Farnsworth, a toucan version of Nikola Tesla, and a pheasant version of Marie Curie. Inventor calls this group the Inventors. Inventor reveals that the bird DNA helps stabilize the cloning method that Gregory Knox performed. The Inventors go on the attack alongside the demonic items. In the nick of time, Miles Morales shows up to rescue Ms. Marvel and help fight the Inventors. As Miles goes to rescue everyone in the mosque, Ms. Marvel faces off against the Inventors until most of them retreat leaving Inventor to fight Ms. Marvel as Inventor places a device on her that enables Inventor to have Ms. Marvel shapeshift into a worm which Inventor eats. Bruno Carelli shows up and uses an EMP to take down Inventor. Ms. Marvel returns to normal and reunites with Bruno who states that the chip in Inventor's brain is fried beyond repair as he is now "just a dead bird". Sometime later, Ms. Marvel and Miles are on the demonic mosque as Miles stated that the mosque needed someone to talk to.[30]

Gold Goblin

Title Issue # Release date
Gold Goblin 2 December 21, 2022
After a nightmare involving Spider-Man and him as Green Goblin, Norman is woken up in his laboratory by Liz Allan who states that Normie Osborn and Stanley Osborn are safe with Mark Raxton. At the hospital, Mr. Ward is visited by his doctor in the midst of a hospital evacuation. While driving Liz to safety, Norman crashes into a tree when he sees a vision of his old dog Mucky who he clubbed when Norman was 7 years old. On the roof of Alchemax, Norman sees Ashley Kafka where he was glad that she made it out of the Beyond Corporation in one piece. He states that he has been cleansed of his sins and is now haunted by bad memories. When Ashley asks if he knew where his sins went, he states that he doesn't know. Ashley states that he should ask Peter about it as she turns into Queen Goblin. Norman Osborn changes into Gold Goblin and goes on the defensive. After managing to dodge Queen Goblin and make it back to his lab after calling Peter to call him back, Norman sees the ghosts of Gwen Stacy and Mucky. After Norman falls asleep in his lab, Mr. Ward becomes Jack O'Lantern.[31]
Gold Goblin 3 January 4, 2023
Norman Osborn wakes up from a nightmare where Ashley Kafka becomes Queen Goblin and rips off Norman's face to show Green Goblin's face. Upon becoming Gold Goblin, he fights off some demonic opponents. Afterwards, Gold Goblin returns to Oscorp and continues his search for Ashley Kafka. Liz later visits Norman and wants him to help celebrate Normie's birthday party at Alchemax. After snapping at an entertainer dressed as Spider-Man, Normie asks about Harry and if he was a good man. Norman says that he was the best and loved Normie. When asked why he hurt Harry so much, Norman states that he just doesn't know. As Norman Osborn rests on his bed, he is attacked by Jack O'Lantern. Norman becomes Gold Goblin to fight him. They fight to a draw after Gold Goblin talked him down as Norman learns that Jack O'Lantern's real name is Owen Ward who had fallen on hard times. As Norman offers to help him, Normie forgives Owen for ruining his birthday party. Norman's voice-over narration states that while he can't destroy his sins, he can always atone for them.[32]

Venom

Title Issue # Release date
Venom (vol. 5) 14 December 28, 2022
In a flashback taking place in Limbo, Eddie Brock claims to Chasm and Goblin Queen that he came to break out of a future in order to save his son, Dylan Brock, from it. Chasm then uses his powers to remove the memories of Dylan from within Eddie's mind, causing him and his symbiote to regress back to the tradition Venom look and become unhinged. Back in the present, Eddie arrives outside of the X-Men's treehouse to do his mission. As Goblin Queen is forbidden from acting against the X-Men, she has Hallow's Eve and Venom do the job for her. Venom begins his attack on the X-Men's treehouse as he confronts Synch who fights him. When Venom pins Synch down, Hallow's Eve makes her move as Goblin Queen states that she can't help her once she is inside. Hallow's Eve explaining her abilities in an inner-monologue where she can assume the abilities of whatever masks she wears as she dons a Human Fly mask. Upon getting inside the treehouse, Hallow's Eve starts looking for a specific item that the X-Men have. Synch uses his abilities to copy Venom's abilities as he explains how his mutant powers work. This, in combination with a bombardment of visions of Spider-Man taunting Eddie over being alone, causes him to retreat. Synch then contacts the X-Men informing them that the treehouse was attacked. After escaping the treehouse, Hallow's Eve meets up with Goblin Queen and gives her the portable Cerebro device. As Eddie escapes, his rage causes him to turn into his next predestined form, Bedlam, and wonder who took Venom away from him. He is then confronted by Dylan, wearing the Venom Symbiote, stating that it's time they talked.[33]
Venom (vol. 5) 15 January 18, 2023
As Bedlam fights against Venom, he finds that it is Dylan who is operating as Venom. A flashback has Dylan explaining his origin to Sleeper, how he became Codex and severing Sleeper's connection to the Symbiote hive mind. Back in the present, Dylan's Venom form continues his fight with Bedlam wielding the All-Black to cut off Bedlam's right hand and eye in addition to cutting Bedlam off from the Symbiote Hive. Just then, Red Goblin joins the fight. Earlier that night, atop the Alchemax building, Dylan contacts Normie Osborn about his father's condition and gives him a piece of the Bedlam Symbiote enabling him to become Red Goblin. While this goes on, Ms. Marvel witnesses them jumping from the rooftops following her escape from Limbo. Back in the present, Dylan, now in his Codex form, and Normie's Red Goblin form continue their fight with Bedlam which soon gets crashed by Ms. Marvel who will not allow any killing to occur.[34]
Venom (vol. 5) 16 February 1, 2023
As Ms. Marvel breaks up the battle, Dylan calls himself Codex as Bedlam goes on the attack again. Ms. Marvel restrains Bedlam who breaks free. Codex, Red Goblin, and Ms. Marvel search for Bedlam. Codex regresses back to Dylan who notes that he can't hold the Necrosword for long. At Pier 51, Bedlam has a vision of Meridius who sees what happened to him. As Bedlam plans to get back to the Garden of Time and regrow his hand, Meridius advises him not to cause a paradox. Meridius regrows Bedlam's hand as a down payment as Bedlam will get his eye back when he returns back to the Garden of Time. As Meridius disappears, he asks why Bedlam doesn't have a weapon when Dylan does. Bedlam then forms a chainsaw from his right hand. As Dylan, now back in Venom form, Red Goblin, and Ms. Marvel catch up to him, Bedlam goes on the attack. The fight is crashed by demonized benches. Dylan instructs Ms. Marvel and Red Goblin deal with the demon benches, while he deals with Bedlam. Before Dylan is able to strike, Goblin Queen contacts Bedlam advising him to fall back and meet up with her as he disappears into a portal. Dylan blames Ms. Marvel for getting in his way, before Kamala explains that whatever is going on between Dylan and Eddie is beginning to spill into the rest of the city. Dylan tells Kamala not to worry, as him and Normie will deal with Eddie. Meeting up with Bedlam, Goblin Queen apologizes to Eddie for not taking care of him and tells him that they need to stop King Chasm. When Bedlam asks if he can hurt people, King Chasm arrives with the Insidious Six stating "Kind of doubt it, bud. But for old time sake? You're welcome to try".[35]

Finale

As New York City is currently Limbo Annex, King Chasm and Hallow's Eve celebrate their version of Christmas as they plan a parade. Goblin Queen wants to reclaim the Staff of Sorrows from King Chasm as Spider-Man states that Ben wants him. As J. Jonah Jameson and Robbie Robertson are taken back to Earth, Spider-Man, Goblin Queen, Rek-Rap, and the X-Men prepare for battle. On the streets of Limbo Annex, King Chasm and Hallow's Eve walk the streets with the Insidious Six and other demons until the X-Men attack. King Chasm orders the Insidious Six to attack the X-Men. Goblin Queen confronts King Chasm and Hallow's Eve while slaying the demons with them as Bedlam slays a Mysterio-type demon, a Vulture-type demon, a Shocker-type demon, and other demons. As King Chasm gives the order to focus their forces on Goblin Queen, he and Hallow's Eve are confronted by Spider-Man and Rek-Rap. Hallow's Eve puts on a werewolf mask and goes on the attack. Magik creates a portal that sends the Insidious Six back to Limbo. Havok catches up to Goblin Queen and Bedlam as more demons from Limbo appear. As Hallow's Eve switches to her Frankenstein's Monster mask to get more strength in fighting Rek-Rap, Spider-Man fights King Chasm and gets overpowered by him. In the nick of time, Gold Goblin and Ms. Marvel show up as Hallow's Eve states that she can get a meal out of his. As demons swarm over Goblin Queen, she unleashes her full power as the demons stop attacking her. Gold Goblin faces off against King Chasm while Ms. Marvel defeats Hallow's Eve. King Chasm finds that Goblin Queen has turned the demons against him. As Hallow's Eve states that she will not leave King Chasm's side, she is teleported away by him. While King Chasm teleports Bedlam away from the fight, Goblin Queen grabs the Scythe of Sorrow as she works to claim it from King Chasm's hands as Magik helps to defeat King Chasm. With Goblin Queen having the Scythe of Sorrow back in her possession, King Chasm regresses back to Chasm as Cyclops calls for a transport teams so that they can take Chasm into custody. Goblin Queen objects to this stating that Chasm has a wound in his soul and that he will be dealt with in the manner of her choosing. Spider-Man states that he wants Chasm placed in a location where Spider-Man can keep an eye on him. Goblin Queen gets an idea. By the time Spring arrives, Spider-Man visits Chasm stating that he just finished cleaning up Chasm's mess where he hasn't been able to find Hallow's Eve or Rek-Rap. When Spider-Man asks Chasm to give him something to prove that there's still some Ben Reilly in there, a demon guard tells Spider-Man that his time is up. Spider-Man leaves Chasm's cell as Goblin Queen states that the demons have gotten confused on the torture he was to be given while stating that Ben's repentance will be rewarded. As Spider-Man sees himself home, Goblin Queen is visited by Cyclops and Jean Grey as it turns out that the building that came from Limbo has become an embassy to all of its demons in New York as Goblin Queen states that there will be no more hiding for those who have been rejected by humanity.[36]

Issues involved

Prelude issues

Title Issues Writer Artist Colorist Debut date Conclusion date
Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 5) #93 Zeb Wells Patrick Gleason, Sara Pichelli, & Mark Bagley Bryan Valenza & Carlos Lopez March 30, 2022
New Mutants #28 Vita Ayala Rod Reis & Jan Duursema Rod Reis & Ruth Redmond October 17, 2022
Venom (vol. 5) #13 Al Ewing Bryan Hitch Alex Sinclair November 2, 2022[10]
Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) #14 Zeb Wells Michael Dowling, Kyle Holtz, Terry Dodson, Ryan Stegman Richard Isanove, Dan Brown, Terry Dodson, & Matt Hollingsworth November 23, 2022[6]

Main series

Title Issues Writer Artist Colorist Debut date Conclusion date
Dark Web (Dusk) #1 Zeb Wells Adam Kubert Frank Martin December 7, 2022[1]
Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) #15–18 Ed McGuinness Marcio Menyz December 14, 2022[1] January 25, 2023[37]
Dark Web Finale (Dawn) #1 Adam Kubert Frank Martin February 1, 2023

Tie-in issues

Title Issues Writer Artist Colorist Debut date Conclusion date
Gold Goblin #2–3 Christopher Cantwell Lan Medina Antonio Fabela December 21, 2022[1] January 4, 2023[37]
Dark Web: Ms. Marvel #1–2 Sabir Pirzada Francesco Mortarino Dono Sanchez Almara December 21, 2022[1] January 11, 2023[37]
Dark Web: X-Men #1–3 Gerry Duggan Rod Reis December 14, 2022[1] January 18, 2023[37]
Mary Jane & Black Cat #1–2 Jed MacKay Vincenzo Carratù Brian Reber December 21, 2022[1] January 11, 2023[37]
Venom (vol. 5) #14–16 Al Ewing, Ram V Bryan Hitch Alex Sinclair December 28, 2022[1] February 1, 2023

Reception

According to the review aggregator Comic Book Roundup, Dark Web #1 received a score of 7.9/10 based on 9 reviews,[38] Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) #15 received a score of 7.6/10 based on 6 reviews,[39] and Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) #16 received a score of 8.2/10 based on 4 reviews.[40] In terms of sales in December 2022, per ICv2,[a] Amazing Spider-Man #15 was #4 in units sold and #6 in dollars invoiced, Dark Web #1 was #5 in units sold and #5 in dollars invoiced, and Amazing Spider-Man #16 was #14 in units sold and #22 in dollars invoiced.[41] Some of the tie-in issues, in the same time period, also made the Top 50 list: Mary Jane & Black Cat #1 was #17 in units sold and #13 in dollars invoiced, Dark Web: X-Men #1 was #21 in units sold and #31 in dollars invoiced and Venom #14 was #46 in units sold.[41]

Amer Sawan, for CBR, highlighted that the Dark Web event showcases a Spider-Man who is more efficient but without morals and responsibility. Sawan wrote that Chasm's actions "revealed just how ruthless Spider-Man is if he didn't have a conscience to hold him back".[42] However, Chasm's actions "have turned him into a monster. [...] What Spider-Man would have to trade for guaranteed proficiency is his humanity. Yes, things would become easier, but it would come at the cost of what makes Spider-Man such a great hero".[42]

Chase Magnett, for ComicBook.com, commented that the Dark Web event acts as both a Spider-Man crossover and a sequel to the 1980s Inferno event, which was mainly focused on X-Men.[43] Magnett wrote that, "yet from the midst of much continuity and nostalgia emerges a story that thrills readers entirely of its own accord in a brilliant introduction to a sincerely promising event. [...] With years of thrilling character work climaxing in a hellish vision of Christmas on Manhattan and many of the best creators at Marvel Comics involved in what's still to come, Dark Web #1 promises readers the gift of another spectacular crossover this holiday season".[43] Magnett called Adam Kubert's art "the story's secret weapon" and stated that "Frank Martin's colors are perfectly suited to the densely paneled pages".[43]

David Brooke, reviewing Dark Web #1 for AIPT, also highlighted Kubert's art and commented that "it appears he's playing around with layout design as he did in Wolverine this past year".[44] Brooke wrote, "I can't say the story is all that deep or that it probes its characters, but it certainly brings an unmistakably 1990s Marvel vibe. It also does the very '90s thing of bringing characters rarely together into one crossover, which is exciting".[44] Tony Thornley, reviewing Dark Web #1 for Comicon, wrote that the issue was "a mixed bag" with the "interpersonal drama of Spider-Man’s personal life" great but that the X-Men were "wooden".[45] Thornley called the issue's visuals "fantastic" – "Kubert's figures are incredibly expressive, and even the bad panels look interesting. [...] Martin uses colors that are slightly watercolor-ish, and it creates a surreal unease as things go to hell".[45]

Collected editions

Title Material collected Published date ISBN
Dark Web Dark Web #1, Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) #15-18, Venom (vol. 5) #14-15, Dark Web: X-Men #1-3, Dark Web: Ms. Marvel #1-2, Dark Web Finale #1 May 2023 978-1302948603
Amazing Spider-Man by Zeb Wells Vol. 4: Dark Web Dark Web #1, Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 6) #15-18, Dark Web Finale #1 May 2023 978-1302947361
Gold Goblin by Christopher Cantwell Gold Goblin (vol. 1) #1-5 August 2023 978-1302947989
Mary Jane and Black Cat: Dark Web by Jed MacKay Mary Jane and Black Cat (vol. 1) #1-5 July 2023 978-1302947996
Venom by Al Ewing & Ram V Vol. 3: Dark Web Venom (vol. 5) #11-15 April 2023 978-1302948498

Notes

  1. ^ Per ICv2, this sales data was collected from December 4 to December 31, 2022. ICv2 states that this data is generated from the "point-of-sale by the ComicHub system at stores selling American comics around the world. During the period for which these reports were generated, there were over 125 stores using the ComicHub system. As this is a small, non-random sample of over 3,000 stores selling American comics worldwide, these rankings may not be typical for all stores, but do represent a variety of locations and store emphases".[41]

References

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  2. ^ @spiderman (April 22, 2022). "The Dark Web is being spun..." (Tweet). Retrieved 2022-10-22 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Allen, Brendan M. (2022-04-23). "The Dark Web Is Being Spun…". COMICON. Retrieved 2022-07-24.
  4. ^ "Free Comic Book Day 2022: Spider-Man/Venom #1".
  5. ^ "SDCC 2022: Spider-Man and the X-Men Embrace the 'Dark Web' in Crossover Teaser Art". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved 2022-07-24.
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  12. ^ Marston, George (2022-09-06). "Ms. Marvel spins into her own Spider-Man: The Dark Web tie-in". gamesradar. Retrieved 2022-09-07.
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  29. ^ Dark Web: Ms. Marvel #1. Marvel Comics.
  30. ^ Dark Web: Ms. Marvel #2. Marvel Comics.
  31. ^ Gold Goblin #2. Marvel Comics.
  32. ^ Gold Goblin #3. Marvel Comics.
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  34. ^ Venom Vol. 5 #15. Marvel Comics.
  35. ^ Venom Vol. 5 #16. Marvel Comics.
  36. ^ Dark Web Finale #1. Marvel Comics.
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  40. ^ "Amazing Spider-Man #16 Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved 2022-12-29.
  41. ^ a b c "Top 50 Comics - December 2022". ICv2. January 5, 2023. Retrieved January 6, 2023.
  42. ^ a b Sawan, Amer (2023-01-03). "Dark Web Reveals What Spider-Man Would be Without Responsibility - And it's Terrifying". CBR. Retrieved 2023-01-04.
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