Welcome friends to Back Issue Bloodbath, a comics-centric podcast presented by Geek Hard. Join hosts Andrew Young and Petula Neale as they get down and dirty in the four-colour world of comic books, focusing on classic stories, new issues, comic creators and hot button topics.

Back in 2001, The Amazing Spider-Man title had fallen on hard times. Only having relaunched 3 years earlier, the book was suffering from a confusing storylines and critical questioning. It was obviously time for a refresh. Enter J. Michael Straczynski. The Babylon 5 creator had made a splash in comics with creator titles Rising Stars and Midnight Nation. Marvel gave him the reins of their most recognizable character and he delivered. This week on Back Issue Bloodbath, we take a look at JMS’s first story arc on ASM: Coming Home.

Drawn by quintessential Spider-Man artist John Romita Jr., Coming Home is a soft reboot for Peter Parker. Mary Jane has left town after the events of Howard Mackie’s final story. Peter found himself in a new job as an uncertified teacher. The changes were noticeable but didn’t feel forced. New characters were also introduced. JMS would bring us two new additions to Peter’s world: Ezekiel and Morlun. Ezekiel is a mysterious man with similar spider powers who makes Peter question where his abilities come from. Did the radioactive spider give him his powers or just activate them? Morlun is a deadly adversary hell bent on hunting any and all Spider-totems across the Marvel Universe! Needless to say, there’s a lot going on here.

Join Andrew and Petula as they take a look back on this much beloved Spider-Man story. Plus, you’ll hear Andrew’s analysis of JMS’s entire run on the book and his original hopes for Ezekiel as a character. It’s all another fun ride for the wall crawler and your two favourite hosts on an ALL NEW Back Issue Bloodbath!

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If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!