Marvel Comics' ongoing Amazing Spider-Man series is growing into an ensemble book, and November 10's Amazing Spider-Man #87 adds one more player to the board - with a deep connection to - and a deeper grudge against - the namesake of the current 'Beyond' era, the Beyond Corporation.
It's Monica Rambeau, formerly the leader of the cult-favorite team Nextwave.
Ben Reilly has stepped up once again to claim the mantle of Spider-Man, and he's got a network of people supporting him thanks to the mysterious (and somewhat sinister) Beyond Corporation. Two of the key players in that Spider-Man support network are the Daughters of the Dragon, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. Their main role is acting as trainers for Ben Reilly in his second go-round as Spider-Man.
In Amazing Spider-Man #87, Ben Relly manages to fend off an attack from Morbius the Living Vampire, but he got a pesky vampire bite in the process (Morbius lost an arm, so … fair trade?) While Beyond's doctors work on saving Ben Reilly, the Daughters of the Dragon are sent to capture the injured Morbius - and Beyond sends a camera drone with them to follow the action.
Misty and Colleen make short work out of Morbius, but just as they apprehend the living vampire, a surprise visitor shows up: Monica Rambeau.
Monica surprises them with a bolt of energy to a spy drone that was sent to monitor Misty Knight and Colleen Wing in their Beyond-sanctioned mission. The duo are initially surprised by Monica's appearance, but welcome her with open arms.
"Monica. It's about time, girl," says Knight.
In the ensuing conversation, it's revealed that Knight and Wing are sharing company secrets from inside the Beyond Corporation over to Monica.
Why is that special? Monica has been fighting the Beyond Corporation since their debut in 2006's Nextwave #1. Originally presented as a benevolent corporation funding Monica and her Nextwave teammates, it was eventually revealed to be a ruse - setting the unwitting heroes up in an alternate universe and up against some crazy scenarios for the amusement of the mysterious entities beyond the Beyond Corporation.
(The original 2006 Nextwave series was not-so-coincidentally edited by Nick Lowe, who is now Spider-Man group editor. Lowe was so invested in Nextwave at the time that he even recorded a theme song for it.)
After some brief fracas with the Mighty Avengers and Deadpool's Mercs for Money, the Beyond Corporation re-appeared as the backers for an all-new, all-different, corporate version of Spider-Man - played by former Spider-Man (and Peter Parker clone) Ben Reilly - in the current 'Beyond' era of the Amazing Spider-Man title.
Although only a few issues of the Amazing Spider-Man 'Beyond' era have come out yet, the Beyond Corporation has shown a malicious and sinister intent - including seeking to replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man, but also in Amazing Spider-Man #78 considering to let Ben Reilly suffer the long-term effects of a bite from Morbius the Living Vampire to see if any useful mutations came up from the merging of Reilly's unique DNA and that of Morbius's strain of vampirism.
Going back to Monica, she's having a bit of a low-key revival in comics , as she's also appearing in the current 'Last of the Marvels' arc of the ongoing Captain Marvel series. This all comes after the character's stunning MCU turn in Disney Plus' WandaVision (played by Teyonah Parris).
But Monica's appearance here in Amazing Spider-Man #78 is coincidentally her coming full circle, as she debuted way back in 1982's Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16.
Misty and Collen (and perhaps Monica) will appear next in November 17's Amazing Spider-Man #87.BEY.
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