Spider-Man's Gang War event finally gets rid of one of Marvel's most arbitrary rules

Amazing Spider-Man #44 interior art
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Marvel's Gang War event has finally reached its conclusion with Amazing Spider-Man #44, and a new big boss of New York City has taken the crown. But don't call this classic Spider-Man villain a 'kingpin' just yet.

Along with a new top crime lord, the landscape of the Marvel Universe undergoes at least one other huge shift in the final pages of the issue, and both developments promise big changes for Spider-Man coming down the road.

Spoilers ahead for Amazing Spider-Man #44

Amazing Spider-Man #44 by writer Zeb Wells, artist John Romita, Jr., inker Scott Hanna, colorist Marcio Menyz, and letterer Joe Caramagna primarily consists of a huge, blow-out battle between Spider-Man and his amazing friends and the last remaining gangs of New York, notably Tombstone and the Sinister Syndicate, Silvermane, and Madame Masque and her father Count Nefaria.

Though the battle begins with the Sinister Syndicate fighting alongside Spider-Man and his allies, they turn on him at Tombstone's signal, leading to a tense final showdown in which Spidey barely escapes with his life. 

Through his henchman Shotgun, Tombstone is able to plant magical sigils of control Silvermane and Count Nefaria, leaving Madame Masque without allies. This allows Spider-Man to gain the upper-hand long enough to bring her down, ending the fight once and for all.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

This also leaves Tombstone as the last boss standing, giving him territorial control over all of New York City, effectively making him a new kingpin (but not technically THE Kingpin).

But things aren't quite over. After the dust settles, Peter Parker visits his pal Randy Robertson in the hospital, who was critically wounded in the events of Gang War. As Robbie awakens, Peter tells him that the war is over, and that the law preventing superheroes from operating in New York City has been repealed due to public demand after the war between the super-powered gangsters decimated the city.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The repeal of the law marks a huge change for Marvel's New York City, which was under the effects of a law which made all costumed vigilante activity illegal within the city limits. This didn't stop heroes like Spider-Man and Daredevil from operating in NYC, but it did tie mayor Luke Cage's hands, forcing him to treat even superheroes as criminals.

With the law repealed, Spider-Man and other heroes are once again free to operate within NYC without fear of being arrested on sight. But this increased superhero presence doesn't stop Tombstone from vowing to beat Spider-Man to a pulp to once again prove his dominance as a villain.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The one last loose end from Gang War is the whereabouts of Tombstone's daughter Janice, AKA the Beetle, who he ran out of the city and out of the war after she tried to become the crime boss of Harlem. It remains a mystery where exactly she went, but it seems more than likely we'll see her again sometime soon.

Amazing Spider-Man #45 goes on sale March 13.

Stay up to date on all the new Spider-Man comics Marvel has planned for release.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)