Zeb Wells brings together Spider-Man and the new X-Men team for The Dark Web

The Dark Web promo art by Ryan Stegman
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Spider-Man's newest supervillain Chasm - AKA Ben Reilly after his recent major heel turn - will indeed return to menace Spider-Man. And when he does, he'll bring along a surprising ally: long-time X-Men villain Madelyne Pryor, AKA the GoblIn Queen.

The surprise supervillain team-up was revealed in Marvel Comics' Free Comic Book Day: Spider-Man/Venom special released to comic book stores on May 7 in a teaser featuring not just Chasm and Madelyne Pryor, but also Spider-Man, Cyclops, and Jean Gray.

Now, in the publisher's retailer panel at Comic-Con International San Diego, Marvel has confirmed The Dark Web will be a crossover limited series written by Zeb Wells. Then, Marvel followed that up in their Next Big Thing panel, with a new piece of art showing the characters involved in the crossover - including a potential new character in Hobgoblin-esque colors on the left side of the piece, who is a new character named Hallow's Eve.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

As evidenced by the art, The Dark Web will be more of a full-on Spider-Man/X-Men crossover than a Spider-Man solo outing, and will feature the newly minted X-Men team who were elected during the Hellfire Gala - including Iceman and Firestar, Spidey's own so-called 'Amazing Friends.'

Also at the Gala, Spidey himself ran afoul of X-Men villain Moira-X who was creepily 'wearing' Mary Jane's body. 

And of course, Wells wrote a recent X-Men title in Hellions and is the current writer of Amazing Spider-Man.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The new partnership between Chasm-Ben and Madelyne was revealed on the final page of the FCBD Spider-Man story 'Lost in the Mail' by the Amazing Spider-Man creative team of Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.

For most of the short story, Peter battles a US Postal Service street mailbox come to life as a talking, hungry monster. Trading banter with the mailbox in typical Spider-Man fashion, Peter eventually impales it with a parking meter, reverting it back to a standard mailbox, and Peter is left futilely trying to explain the scene to a Postal Carrier who arrives on the scene angry about the damage to Federal property.

Free Comic Book Day 'The Dark Web' teaser (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The final moments reveal Chasm and the Goblin Queen watching the scene from a nearby rooftop, with Ben amused by what he saw, and Madelyne implying a small demon possessed the mailbox at her instruction promising there are many more bigger ones desperate to serve their queen in aid of their plans against Peter.

Ben remarks that he thinks he and Madelyne will make a great team, to which she replies, "I should hope so, Ben ... we have a lot in common."

The commonality of course is that they are both clones of other superheroes created by supervillain mad scientists - the Jackal and Mr. Sinister, respectively. Ben is a clone of Spider-Man, of course, and Madelyne of Jean Grey, both of whom for a time enjoyed the life of their main counterparts before it was taken away from them, leading them to villainy.

Chasm and the Goblin Queen team up in FCBD: Spider-Man/Venom (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

We say the team-up came almost of nowhere because Marvel cleverly foreshadowed it just a couple of months ago.

In February 23's Spider-Man #90, Ben, then still Spider-Man, is battling the new villain the Queen Goblin, he quips unimpressed, "Pretty sure the X-Men have a way scarier Goblin Queen."

The FCBD story ends promising the storyline will continue in 'The Dark Web' but does not say when or where. And it will be interesting to see if Madelyne will be the only X-Men character crossing over to Spider-Man or if other mutants will become involved in the storyline as well. 

Elsewhere in Marvel's Free Comic Book Day titles, Moira MacTaggert surprisingly showed up to abduct Spider-Man's ex (and new "Mommy") Mary Jane so as to crash the upcoming X-Men Hellfire Gala disguised as or possessing the body of MJ.

Look for more information on Chasm and 'The Dark Web' when it's available and until then enjoy Free Comic Book Day 2022.

Chasm, Titan, and Moira - meet the new wave of Marvel heroes turned villains.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.