According to BleedingCool, the "Brand New Day" run of Spider-Man is due to come to and end with ASM #647. But are we also to see the end of Peter Parker as Spider-Man?
The end of "Brand New Day" seems a fairly safe bet. BleedingCool reporter Rich Johnston gets these things right more often than he gets them wrong, and this time the numbers seem to stack up.
The current Stan Lee 2-page back up is due to end in #646. If it's a five part story then the upcoming Origin of the Species arc will also end in #646. And that arc is the one that's been billed to wrap up all the remaining lose ends from the last year or so. This seems to be confirmed by Marvel as well. In the letters page of Amazing Spider-Man #636 Wacker writes: "Big-time Spidey related announcement coming in this year's San Diego Comic Con."
But as for Peter Parker? Well, Steve Wacker recently did an interview where he talked about the "new" and "better" Spider-Man which will (if things go according to his plans) be the result of "One Moment in Time". As part of that interview, he dropped a casual Bombshell regarding the "new Spider-Man".
You can read the full interview at Comic Book Resources. For me, the key points to take from the interview are these. Firstly the "promise" of a few clarifications, e.g.:
...readers will learn the secret behind the mysterious psychic blind spot that's been protecting Spider-Man's secret identity since the "Brand New Day" era begin.
Secondly, there's an indication that we might see the current tie-in with Avengers and Ms. Marvel be slightly reduced in favor of a closer tie-in with Daredevil for a while:
We're definitely interested in some crossover elements between Spidey and DD's worlds,
Finally, there's the "Bombshell" suggestion that perhaps Peter Parker will no longer be Spider-Man. The specific quotes from Wacker are:
...it might be time for a new, or at least better, Spider-Man. I feel like we've done as much as we can do in terms of Peter Parker's time as Spider-Man.
That will give readers a good sense of the relationship between that team and Spider-Man, which will play into some of the stuff we'd like to do over the next year as well, whenever we have our new Spider-Man..."
A "new Spider-Man"? Really? Surely this would be at most a temporary change designed to spike some fan interest? I remember the last attempt to replace Peter with Ben Reilly, and I clearly remember the strength of the backlash. I have heard that sales of ASM are down a reputed 30% from when the weekly title was introduced, and I can imagine that Marvel is prepared to do something drastic. But even then, I would suggest that they know where to draw the line.
Also, note that the rest of the interview talks uses Peter's name regularly when talking about the future of the book:
"Peter Parker is a single guy in New York. His romantic life is going to be a part of the book and he's such a great character to get into these situations.
So in terms of Spidey, I definitely think Peter could get married again at some point to change things up down the road. I've said that from the get go.
While Marvel under Joe Quesada has proved their ability to make fundamental changes and stick to them, it would seem to me that permanently ditching Peter Parker might well be a bridge too far. Remember there's a new Spider-Man movie coming out two years from now, and they just announced the casting for "Peter Parker" . Remember too, Marvel just launched a brand new Spidey title named "Peter Parker". Surely that shows some commitment to the PP brand?