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Comics What would your dream Spider-Man direction be? Here's where I would take him!

JJJ's Ulcer

Nov 3, 2006
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NOTE: I'm 'Andrew C' on the Spider-Man comicboards. I spent a few hours writing my dream Spider-Man direction and liked it so much I thought I'd repost it here. I'd like to hear some thoughts about it and also read other people's ideas. There's some minor OMD/BND spoilers referenced throughout...

NOTE 2: Oops. Just tried posting it and it exceeded the character limit, so I have to cut it up into two posts.

http://www.comicboards.com/smb/view.php?rpl=080106215548 (where the original post can be found, reposted below)

(Note: This took me almost four hours to write, but I couldn't stop myself. I hope, despite its length, people look at it, because there's some ideas in here I'm actually proud of)

From here on in, this is what I'd do if I owned the sand-box and didn't have to worry about what anyone else wanted.
This is a long post, but hopefully if you read it you'll like it!

This is would I do from here on in:

I would slowly over the course of the next six months show Peter's Brand New World (or is that Brave New World?
) collapsing due to the fact that all Faustian deals are doomed. It would fall apart with Peter remembering MJ and flashes from his old pre-OMD life. He would investigate, get Dr Strange's help and undo it while keeping some of the less offensive changes, like the mechanical web-shooters and being depowered back to his pre-The Other/Spider-Queen status (I would keep the unmasking because I kind of liked that aspect). This would be explained in a way that wouldn't be completely satisfactory, but atleast come with a thorough explanation that makes some modicum of sense. Maybe the deal had been in effect so long it wasn't possible to undo all of Mephisto's black magic, only the larger and more dangerous facets of it.

After all is said and done and Peter is back in the OMD world, everyone would just remember the pre-OMD world, except Peter, Dr Strange, Mephisto and some cosmic entities. And maybe Franklin Richards as a lark. MJ would have no recollection over her short-lived career as Jackpot. Peter would be torn over the fact he unknowingly committed adultery while in the BND world, would be distraught over the fact Harry Osborn and Aunt May were in his life again only to be cruelly taken away too, and that would create some tension between him and MJ because she has no idea what's wrong with Peter and he won't tell (but not marriage-ending tension thank you very much).

Peter would be thankful for the extra few months he got with Aunt May and he would quietly see her off ala the ending of ASM#400.

Even though Peter was unmasked, his public ID is in some doubt ala Daredevil, due to the Scarlet-Spiders confusing the public in Avengers: The Initiative# 7. JJJ is still convinced that Peter is Spidey due to their encounter in Friendly# 23 though, but has softened and while he still disapproves of Spider-Man he tries to exercise restraint in his editorials. Sometimes an editorial will start with a backhanded compliment towards Spidey and then degenerate into an uncontrolled rant depending on his mood. Cue humorous scenes.

I would let Peter settle back into his routine a bit and would have him leave the Avengers (Spidey's a lone wolf, not a team-player). Peter and MJ would move into an apartment in NYC and Peter while not under the scrutiny he had before, would still be something of a public curiosity with superhero-paparazzi photographing him whenever he leaves his apartment. Peter becomes more protective of MJ, due to what happened to Aunt May and also because he finds the photogs intrusive and painful. This, combined with Peter's schitzoid nature accompanying his memories of Brand New Day, starts to seriously drive MJ away again, until she once again considers seperation... but a twist would bring them back together in the proverbial nick of time! And this is where I officially step from somewhat plausible storylines (if BND did fail) to storylines that would be impossible under almost any editor, but would please me to no end.

MJ is at her breaking point and wants to get away, at least for some time. The readers are thinking "Oh great. Here we go, cheesy seperation part duex." And then the twist comes which brings them back together stronger than ever, for an extremely important reason. During a torrential downpour Peter hears a knock on the door of his apartment. He's surprised because his spider-sense doesn't register at all. Usually he gets a little tingle even if it's the chinese-food delivery guy. As he opens he goes white and lets out a gasp. His deformed clone, Kaine stands there in a drenched trenchcoat, holding the hand of a red-haired toddler who looks exactly like the red-headed girl that Mephisto told him would now never be born. She's around three years old and she's standing there, slightly puzzled but nonplussed looking at a ghost-faced Peter.

MJ is out rehearsing for a play on broadway. Kaine tells Peter what happened. He did rescue baby May from the Scriers all those years ago. He was going to return her straight away, but grew attached when May's first word was "daddy" which pierced the former stone-cold killer right to the bone. It was the first time anyone had showed him genuine love and affection and May started seeing him as her Dad. Eventually he found he could not care for May the way she needed, since it was impossible for him to hold a steady job since he lacked credentials, a social security number and his face looks like a dog's mess. They drifted from city to city, living in shelters. This was no life for the girl he had come to see as a daughter. Even though he loved her, he realized that if he truly loved her he would make the painful sacrifice of giving her back to her rightful parents so she can have the life she deserves.

Peter is extremely thankful and in a state of shock. Kaine says he's returning her on the condition he can visit her on her birthday every year (Halloween day, she was born the day Reilly died) and take her trick or treating, for it's the only time of the year he can go out in public and not terrify people. When Kaine parts ways, little May runs and cries clinging to his trenchcoat and not wanting to stay with Peter. Kaine sadly removes himself from her grip and leaves while telling Peter he's sorry about all the trouble he caused him and Reilly years before, and hopes this is the happiness he's always craved. Little May does not see Peter as her father yet, and Pete knows it will be a long process getting her assimilated, but is so overwhelmed with joy that he doesn't dwell on that long. He hugs her crying tears of joy, while she cries tears of fright borne out of her confusion and anxiety.

I don't need to go into detail about what happens when MJ comes home, but it makes for some dramatic storytelling and represents the first time Peter and MJ have truly been happy in years. They reaffirm their bond and Peter decides to press charges against those tabloids who still claim he's Spider-Man and seeks a restraining order from the photogs so May isn't subjected to that lime-light. He asks JJJ for help in doing this and confides in him, yes he is Spider-Man but is first and foremost Peter Parker, the father of a young girl he loves. JJJ begrudgingly decides to go on the offensive against those tabloids who pursue Peter, even though it goes against his journalistic beliefs that truth should always trump emotion. Peter is thankful and the two bury the hatchet, even though JJJ is still not entirely comfortable with Peter lying to him all those years. He has cordial conversations with Peter and even goes to dinner at their apartment (cue humorous awkward scenes), but still holds some resentment over Peter's deception and sometimes makes this known, but in a much more civil way than he did right after the unmasking. Peter is put off by the photography profession due to him suddenly becoming a target for every lens-shutter in town once the unmasking happens. He ponders whether to go back to teaching or be a research scientist. I myself am a teacher, and as one of the few aspects of JMS's run I really liked, I have him go get his old job as a teacher. Flash is still there as a gym-teacher and calls him "puny" again, since he's, well, brain-damaged and believes the reports that clear Peter as Spider-Man. He buys the line that Peter was a Scarlet-Spider, and while he thinks that's somewhat cool, he sees Peter as something of a poser now. They're still somewhat friendly, but like JJJ, the relationship is strained and occasionally they trade insults. It really depends on their respective moods.

Meanwhile we follow Peter as he tries to connect with little May, but has trouble creating an emotional bond. She wakes up one night to get a glass of water and spots Peter in his Spider-Man suit perched by the window. She runs out screaming in terror. Peter is shocked, because she also doesn't trigger his spider-sense. He believes it's due to the fact that she may be developing some early onset of spider-powers herself. She has painful migraines which Peter thinks may be an emerging spider-sense and he sees her often breaking her toys just by squeezing them too hard. He's worried and wonders whether to take her to Dr Strange or Night-Nurse or Professor X. Someone who could evaluate her and help. MJ suggests that if they become full-blown they may have no choice but to send her to Prof X's mutant academy (I don't know the official name, because I'm not an X-book reader) for her own safety. Peter is vehemently against the idea of sending May away after already missing out on her first years. He has become slightly neurotice and over-protective of her to the point where MJ says he's like the dad in "Finding Nemo" never letting her leave his sight. Peter says Prof X would train her to be a superhero and do battle and he's determined not to see her follow in his dangerous footsteps. He thinks it's a miracle she's alive and doesn't want to take any chance of losing her. This would plant the seeds nicely for Spider-Girl's possible future.

I would bring back some classic villains like Chance, the mercenary hitman who liked to make wagers, Cardiac, Fusion (Jenkins version) and I would have a storyline where the Black Fox (one of my favorite comic-relief villains) is diagnosed with terminal cancer and gets early parole from prison. He's not upset at all about the cancer, because it means he gets out of jail and back to doing what he loves, which is stealing jewels and diamonds. He surprises the prison doctor by letting out a loud, triumphant "whoop" when he finds out two minutes after recieving the dire diagnosis that it means he'll probably get early release. So he hits the streets and starts casing joints again, but is frustrated by being out of practice and not knowing anything about all the new technology and upgraded security that's sprung up since he was sent to jail a few years ago (Marvel time). It's also strongly hinted he may have dementia as he's frequently forgetting what tools to bring and is sloppy with his methods and is frustrated when he sets up an elaborate plan to rob a rich businessman's penthouse, only to see it's been replaced with a TGIFs and that the businessman has been deceased for 15 years. Black Fox's ill-fated return catches up with him after a disastrious and poorly thought-out attempt to break-and-enter the seemingly unoccupied tower of the Kingpin. The absent crime-lord's goons unleash sub-machine gun bullets in a poor, cowering Black Fox's direction (who's taking cover behind the Kingpin's lavish mahogeny desk and repeating a mantra of "oh dear") until Peter hears the noise while swinging and crashes through a window to intervene. After he cleans up the Kingpin's bodyguards and assorted thugs, he carries the Black Fox to a nearby rooftop, sets him down and asks him just what the hell he thinks he's doing. Black Fox just puts out his hands for Peter to web-cuff him and begs to be taken back to jail. "Honestly old chap, an analogue thief has no chance in a digital world. Put me out to pasture with the rat-pack and all the other relics of a better time, and you enjoy your youtubes and facebooks." It would leave Peter midly amused, but perhaps thinking that Fox is right in his own weird way. Sorry, I spent so much time describing that one story, but it's one I'd really love to write.
(continued from above)


Now I would be entirely happy if all of the above happened. But as a diehard Ben Reilly fan I would love to see him return in some capacity, even if the events surrounding his return are convoluted as hell. I think many posters before me have given the most acceptable explanation of him being held captive in some cryogenic chamber in one of Osborn's labs. But as a twist, I would have him waking up in one of Tony Stark's. Again, this storyline would have no chance of happening, but like I said, if I had to answer to no one and had free reign of Spider-Man this is what I'd write
. I'm usually against resurrections and definitely against Norman Osborn having come up with a thousand different master-plans (clone-saga, baby May kidnapping, Daily Bugle take-over, Aunt May genetically altered actress BS, genetic-bomb BS, raising genetically accelerated twins of Gwen Stacy BS, helping fund tons of super-villains and kidnapping Aunt May .... for a SECOND time in Millar's run, kidnapping Peter and torturing him for a few weeks during that heir story, sending a drunken Flash careening into a school, etc, etc you get the idea...), but here is one exception I would gladly make for both cases.

It's really convoluted, but again, I would follow the conventional fan wisdom that the real Ben Reilly didn't degenerate because real clones don't degenerate like that. During Ben's thrashing between Revelations Part 3 and 4 he was stashed away in one of Osborn's labs and replaced with an easy-bake quickie clone to die in his place. Osborn's back-up plan in case he didn't kill the new, quickie Ben was to remotely trigger his degeneration with a remote which would shock Peter if it happened after he thought the fight was over. Norman being a jerk would probably do this while Ben was working at the Grind, which would invite a lot of uncomfortable questions Peter's way about why his "cousin" suddenly melted while bringing someone a vanilla latte. But "Ben" did die alas and we all know how that happened.

However, Ben is put in a cryogenic sleep, with Osborn artificially replicating the technology that froze Captain America after World War II. He's kept in a dusty, generater-powered basement for years and Osborn in his madness and with all his other concurrent plans unfolding, sort of forgets about him for a while, but his loyal Scriers keep Ben suspended. After Peter's unmasking and him "breaking the rules", Norman gets pissed. We never did see him take direct revenge on Peter following that and this is it. When Tony Stark and Peter have a public falling out, with him going underground, an inhibitor-implanted Norman figures there's other ways to get revenge if you can't do it through violence. He consults with Tony following the Clor fiasco and makes a clandestine deal. Oh, and if you think Tony would be above this, you didn't read Civil War.
This is an opportunity for both of them to reign Peter in. Norman's idea is to use Ben as a brainwashed killing machine, while Tony's idea is softer and more reasoned in approach, turning Ben into a replacement pro-reg Spider-Man that would apprehend the original and bring him to justice. His own personal puppet to capitalize on Spider-Man's image and save Tony the trouble and expense of replicating Peter's genetic code and making new Spider-Men. He would make some mechanical implants ala Clor and Ben would be an unquestioning servent and symbol of the pro-reg cause. Like Clor, Tony doesn't consider Ben a real person and doesn't see any moral qualms in doing this. He does have some moral qualms in dealing with Osborn but puts them aside for what he sees as a business opportunity. Ben is transported via a non-suspicious U-Haul truck and brought in a crate. He is taken from the neglected bowels of Osborn's decrepit lab and sent to one of Tony's state-of-the-art labs where he's hooked up to a machine that slowly thaws him out (it can't be done too fast or he risks going into shock and dying) over a period of weeks.

Now before you scream "Winter Soldier rip-off", this is the ironic part. Winter Soldier aka Bucky (I hope two years in that's still not considered a spoiler
), during a mission to collect some data on negative-zone prisoners courtesy of Cap, comes across a mostly thawed out Ben Reilly (even his blonde hair has been preserved). He reads Stark's notes about how he plans to, in essence brainwash Reilly, and this hits a real personal note for Winter Soldier obviously (if anyone doesn't know, Winter Soldier aka Bucky was brainwashed during his first few appearances). He makes an on-the-field decision to abandon his current mission in favor of bringing Reilly back to Cap's headquarters. He lugs Reilly's cold-as-hell body over his shoulders and hopes his superstrength and conditioning are enough to keep him alive for the transport away from the life-preserving machines.

When Winter Soldier finally brings Reilly back to the underground base, it's just him and Cap there (the others are on some sort of mission). In a moment that can be considered a homage to Cap's original awakening, Reilly's eyes flutter open and color returns to his blueish, frozen skin. After an hour of collecting himself, drinking many cups of coffee, being given fresh clothing he starts recounting his last foggy memories (which I would make to be 3 years prior in Marvel time), and he realizes this means he's the clone. He takes the news quietly and accepts it, happy that Peter is still around, but very surprised and unnerved that he unmasked. He doesn't know whether to admire Peter or be disgusted by it. He's torn. He can see Peter's reasoning was for pure reasons, but he believes his decision was poorly thought-out without enough consideration for the effect it would have on others. Cap comments that Ben looks exactly like Peter, but blonde ofcourse and a bit younger (since Ben didn't age at all during his 3 years in suspended animation). Cap asks Ben if he'd like to see Peter, and Ben being aware of all the problems that Peter is currently facing decides against it, not taking into account that even during his most stressed, Peter would love to see his brother that he previously thought deceased. Ben decides to leave New York City for a while and hit the road again and asks Cap not to mention any of this to Peter, atleast for the time being...

... so let's fast-forward to the present now. Cap's dead. Peter is sort of remasked, he has baby May again and despite the problems I've already written about, his life has regained some semblance of normalcy and stability.

Kaine somehow finds out Ben's alive, before Peter does. But they have made their peace and Kaine does not attack. Instead he tells Ben about him returning baby May, and unknown to Peter and MJ, he's been observing them from afar, reluctant to completely seperate from little May. He tells Ben about Peter's problems controlling her and how Peter spends many sleepless nights thinking those that still believe him to be Spider-Man will target little May like they did Aunt May. He tells him that he thinks there's one man in the world Peter would trust beside himself to take care of May and that's.... himself, by which Kaine means Ben. Kaine tells him it's time to live up to his promise to be May's godfather. Ben initially thinks that idea is ridiculous and would not want to derive Peter of the joy he's found with the return of May, but Kaine is persuasive.

It's been about six months since Ben was thawed now, and he hasn't appeared in costume since. He's still dying his hair blonde and has grown a badass beard to distinguish him further from Peter, especially since Pete is now the target for a lot of paparazzi. He appears at Peter's doorstep one day, and for the second time in less than a month, Peter turns white as a ghost. MJ is there too and she gives Ben a huge hug, which Ben is very touched by, since when they first met during the "Trial of Peter Parker" she was disturbed by him and even slapped him. Peter remarks that for a dead guy, Ben looks remarkably good and even younger than Peter. Ben replies he found a great spa-treatment place that forgoes the steam and deep massages for a block of ice and plenty of electrodes. He tells Peter about what happened and what Cap and Winter Soldier relayed to him. Now Pete has even more reason to despise Tony. He can't believe Stark would throw in his hat with Osborn, and thought even he couldn't sink that low. Ben says he came around just after Peter's brief Iron-Spider stint and says that Pete can never make fun of his Scarlet Spider hoodie suit now. Peter and Ben slip right back into their brotherly exchanges, as if a day hasn't passed. Ben sees little May and sees how attached Peter is to her, even while she struggles away from him, and doesn't have the heart to make the offer that Kaine had suggested. He says she's beautiful and tells her he's her Uncle Ben. She replies "unca ben?" Peter wipes away a tear from his eye. So does Ben.

Peter puts Ben up in his apartment, and Ben does the bachelor thing and takes the couch. For Peter things are going great for the first time in a long time. There are problems ofcourse. He still misses Harry and Aunt May. But now he's got his daughter and his brother back. And his wife of course. His life has taken many fascinating turns and his 'Brand New Day' days seem like a dream, a distant memory. The next day Peter and Ben look for the Daily Grind, but it's gone, replaced by a Starbucks (or whatever the Marvel equivalent would be, Starclucks?). Ben says it's probably for the best, as he would have no way of explaining his survival. Peter asks Ben if he's engaged in any heroics since coming back. Ben comments he stops the occasional mugging just in his civies, and had a brief and surreal encounter with a now homeless, pan-handling Hypno-Hustler, but didn't want to create problems for Peter or draw too much attention.

As well as being protective over little May, Peter is also now scarred by what he thought was Ben's death. He doesn't talk explicitly about it to Ben, but for years he agonized over the memory of watching Ben be impaled and sent flying off the Daily Bugle roof. He wants Ben to stay retired, as he doesn't want to lose him again. Ben says that's touching, but he has to let other people live their lives even if that comes with risk. This seagues into Ben broaching the subject of little May and telling him that he knows he's worried about protecting May. He tells him he's more than willing to stay out of heroics and keep her safe if that's what he wants. Peter says he wouldn't be able to bear to seperate from little May again, but Ben pushes the subject and says if he wants, he could keep her safe until things cool down with the tabloids. After a couple hours of convincing, both parties believe that's for the best. As much as it would hurt Peter to seperate from May even for a little while, it would kill him if something happened to her ala Aunt May. Ben and Peter are very friendly, but there is a hint of bitterness in Ben's words when Peter tells him that May was actually alive... until a sniper took her out in the aftermath of Peter's unmasking. With May knowing about Peter being Spider-Man, Ben figures he could have approached her and told her the truth, and she would have been accepting and she would have had TWO favorite nephews. And now he can't. Peter tells him he's sorry. Ben says that's life. And he says he doesn't hold it against Peter. But they both know a small part of him does.

The next day Peter and MJ have an emotional farewell with little May and tell her they'll see her soon. She seems unaffected and indifferent, while Pete and MJ are both wrecks and in tears. Even Ben is crying a little. Peter grips Ben's arm and tells him to live up to his godfather status and protect her. Ben gives him his word. Ben says he's going to take her out of the city, to the suburbs maybe, where Peter and MJ can visit incognito any time they want. And he'll protect her with his life.

This is where everything goes wrong.

Ben has had May for only two or three days. Ofcourse Ben has little money, but Peter and MJ are contributing heavily so Ben can rent a house in Westchester for him and May. MJ is doing well with her acting career and has quite a sizable income.

One night, Ben wakes up with a start. The house is freezing. It's winter and a window is open. Specks of snow are breezing in with the howling wind. The cold draft is coming from May's room. Ben turns on the light and sees May cradled, sucking her thumb contently in Kaine's arms in front of a fluttering window curtain.

"I'm sorry, Reilly..." he says in a gravelly voice. "But I love her."

"Kaine, put her down." Ben demands.

"I didn't want it to come to this. But this beautiful angel I hold in my arms is the only creature in the world that makes me feel human. That makes me feel like I'm worth a damn."

Ben just stares at him with steely eyes and repeats what he said before with added emphasis. "Kaine, put her down. NOW!" His fists are clenched.

"Would you attack me, knowing I hold this precious girl in my arms?" he moves toward the window.

"I swear to God, Kaine, if you take her I will hunt you down and kill you. I'll never give you a moment's peace."

Ironically, at this point, Kaine and Ben have switched roles from where they started. In the beginning, during the lost years, Kaine was the hunter who would stalk Ben. Now, Kaine merely wants to be left alone to live his life with May, but Ben will stop at nothing until he finds Kaine and rescues May. He is now the hunter.

May wakes up and groggily says "daddy" and puts her arms around Kaine's neck.

"You see, Reilly?! You see? It isn't Peter. It isn't you. I'm her father! She loves me!"

Ben just stares, ready to pounce at any moment, but perfectly motionless for the moment.

"I'm sorry, Ben. I truly am. Tell Peter I'm sorry."

In a flash he disappears out the window with May in tow.

Ben leaps out the window after him, wearing only pajamas, but Kaine along with little May have disappeared back into the shadows, from where they had emerged a month ago. Neither Kaine nor May register on Ben's spidey-sense, and like a lunatic he leaps from rooftop to snow-covered rooftop of this upper-class suburb screaming out May's name at the top of his lungs. He's failed Peter.

Ben spends two days searching frantically for Kaine and May. Eventually he embarks on the painful task of telling Mary Jane and Peter what happened. He's had no sleep and his eyes are bloodshot. His blonde hair is matted and his beard is looking scruffy. He appears at Peter's doorstep in tears. Peter's heart sinks and he simply replies "What happened?"

"Peter, I'm- I'm so sorry."

"What happened?"

In stuttering, sob-soaked sentences Ben sputters out that May has been taken by Kaine. Peter's face crinkles up into pure rage and in a blood-lust he lunges at Ben. As he tackles Ben to the snow, Reilly makes no attempt to fight back as vicious blow after blow is landed on him by his brother who just a week ago was overwhelmed with joy to see him.

"How could you?!? I trusted you!!" Peter keeps screaming in a hoarse voice as Ben's blood splatters across the snow. The paparazzi that had been hounding Peter unleashes with a flurry of light-bulb flashes and excited shouting.

"... peter..." Ben whispers between onslaughts "... I'm sorry... so sorry.... we'll find her... I swear we'll find her..."

Peter is about to punch him again, but relents and unclenches his fist. He falls into the snow sobbing.

"... peter I didn't mean--... I didn't know.... I-.... we'll find her..."

"No." Peter replies sternly. "I'll find her. She's my daughter."

"... she's my goddaughter..."

"No. She's not." Peter turns his back on Ben.

"Peter. Peter, I love you. You're my brother."

"Don't you know?" Peter grits his teeth without looking back. "I'm an only child. I don't have a brother."

Ben sits there in the snow, crying, while bewildered paparazzi take pics of this bloodied mystery-man.

Ben leaves New York that night, a defeated and broken man. He has no way of tracking Kaine down and no idea where May might be. He resolves not to return to NYC until he has May in tow. Okay, first of all before we continue... Ben is alive, but him and Peter are permanently estranged now. This should please both the clone-lovers and clone-haters. He's free to star in his own spin-off series set outside of NYC, but he doesn't compete for the lime-light in the main Spidey series.

Peter is distraught and the strain causes a fracture in his marriage to MJ. She does seperate from him this time. She says if May comes back, she's taking custody of her. She loves Peter, but the consequences of his Spidey career have just taken too big a toll. Peter occasionally recieves unmarked postcards from Kaine with photos of a beaming and happy May. He writes to reassure Peter that she's okay, but all it does is infuriate him. He resolves to never give up looking for her.

One day Kaine meets Peter unexpectedly at a subway station. Peter once again flies into a bezerker rage and lunges at Kaine screaming "WHERE'S MAY?!?" People are starting to talk again about Peter possibly being Spider-Man. Kaine clutches Peter by the throat and slams him into a cement wall, holding him there. "Don't be stupid. If you want to protect May exposing yourself in public is not the way to do it."

"Let me talk. Time's short," he tells Peter. As he holds a struggling Peter Parker against the wall he rolls down his trenchcoat sleeve to reveal a rotten arm. It looks like dead-wood that is on the verge of collapsing.

"The degeneration process is catching up with me. It's like a tumor, Peter. It's aggressive and without my suit there's no hope of keeping it at bay anymore. When I take a shower clumps of flesh wash down the drain. Every minute of every day consists of agonizing pain that you could never imagine... never bear. But the physical pain doesn't matter, because you've given me a much more precious gift. May. But I'm dying, Peter. I don't have long... I know... that what I did was wrong. But one day maybe you'll understand why I did it, even if you never condone it. I'm truly sorry, Peter." Peter sees little May watching him from around the corner.

"Daddy?" she says.

Kaine lets Peter go and he immediately races to May clutching her, crying. "Oh yes, sweetie! Yes, Daddy's here!"

Kaine smiles. "You'll make a good father, Peter." He hears a train coming. "This is my stop," Kaine says as he jumps in front of the train.

"NO!" Peter screams shielding May's eyes from the carnage that unfolds. Kaine dies. Peter has May back. Ben is back on the road exploring America. MJ returns once she hears the news, but convinces Peter this time to enroll May at Xavier's school where she'll be safe and protected.

MJ and Peter are together and happy. They visit their daughter often, but she isn't in every issue and the father-aspect of Peter doesn't overwhelm the book. The deal with the devil is undone. Reilly is alive, but doing his own thing. The continuity still counts. Not to be immodest, but isn't this better than what Joe Q has planned?
It seems to leave a status-quo in place that pleases most people. I could go on, but I'm going to stop here. I see what I've described taking about 2 years to tell. I hope everyone enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed spending almost 4 hours (!!!) writing it.

That's all folks! Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :woot:
long post to read as many of us don't have long attention spans

..but yes I do like with what you had going. I like that peter and M.J. are back together and that they explore their child, however, this jackpot retcon will most likely last at least a year until they do - if ever revert back to the original timeline.

good ideas in there, especially with chance.

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