Watch out as the "Fall of Peter Parker" continues!

The infamous Parker Luck has hit Pete hard recently—and it doesn’t look like it’ll stop any time soon.

Despite his budding romance with Mockingbird, Spider-Man’s difficulties continue with “The Fall of Peter Parker, Part 3” in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #791 written by Dan Slott with art by Stuart Immonen. The odds seem up against Spidey—so will he manage to escape this tough time with his new relationship intact?

We asked Spider-Man editor Devin Lewis to fill us in on what might be in-store for the Wallcrawler. Tell us about the “Fall of Peter Parker” story arc!

Devin Lewis: It’s Peter Parker, and he’s back and worse than ever! That’s how the saying goes…uh, right?

Peter’s been living the good life as the big brain behind Parker Industries—the preeminent technology company in the Marvel Universe for several months. But that position of power came with more responsibilities than he ever anticipated, and Peter found himself faced with new kinds of challenges: keeping his employees fed, his customers happy—heck, even operating within the bounds of international law became a headache!

For weeks, Peter’s been carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, and despite all his Spider Strength, everything’s come crashing down around him! No more Baxter Building, no more gadgets, gizmos, or doohickeys. Peter Parker, heading back to square one.

I know what you might be asking yourself—will these changes impact Peter’s wall-crawling, webslinging alter ego, Spider-Man? You betcha! Am I gonna tell you how? You betchanot!

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #791

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #791 How has Peter’s love life been going before this recent development with Mockingbird? It’s no secret that he’s had more than his fair share of heartache in the past…

Devin Lewis: Oh, man, hasn’t he? I can’t think of many people who have been as unlucky in love as Peter Parker (but that’s kind of what we like about him, right?).

Peter’s love life has been especially difficult ever since he came back from SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. It’s been simmering in the background of Dan’s story—it can be hard for Peter to connect with people since getting his body back.

Before Bobbi, Peter involved himself with Lian Tang, one of his most trusted advisors at Parker Industries, who turned out to be a traitor working for the dangerous criminal organization called Zodiac. That probably didn’t help Peter’s intimacy issues… How did Peter and Mockingbird—A.K.A. Bobbi Morse—meet? Tell us about their history.

Devin Lewis: Despite running in the same super heroic circles, Mockingbird and Spider-Man never really interacted until 2015’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1, and we’ve been steadily building towards smooches ever since!

Initially, Peter and Bobbi had a professional relationship. Peter supplied S.H.I.E.L.D. with tech, and Bobbi served as Parker Industries’ official S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison, handling communication between the company and Nick Fury. As Mockingbird, she also trekked across the globe and helped Peter track members of Zodiac and eventually put the organization down (or so it seems!) which seems like a pretty strong foundation for any relationship.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #1

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #1

  • Published: October 07, 2015
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 04, 2016
  • Writer: Dan Slott
  • Cover Artist: Alex Ross
What is Marvel Unlimited? This relationship seems a little different to Peter’s previous attempts at love. Would you agree?

Devin Lewis: To his credit, Peter really tries these days. Especially in the chaos of his company’s liquidation, Peter has been struggling to find the good in the world, but he tries nonetheless. And, fortunately, Bobbi acts as someone he can look to in order to see that there’s goodness out there.

It helps, too, that Bobbi has been trying even harder than Peter. A bombshell in the epic AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #27, it emerged that Bobbi quit her job to make sure that Parker Industries could carry out an international operation. Mockingbird put Nick Fury in his place and proved her loyalty to Spider-Man and Peter. That’s new—there haven’t been many people who have cared about Peter enough to throw their lives away.

I dunno about you, but boy, I hope he doesn’t screw it up. How does the Legacy storyline fit into all of this?

Devin Lewis: Heartache? Scraping to get buy? Punching bad guys!?

Heck, the only way this story could be Legacy-er would be if Pete ate wheatcakes!

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #27

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #27

  • Published: May 10, 2017
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2017
  • Rating: Rated T
  • Writer: Daniel Slott
  • Penciler: Stuart Immonen
What is Marvel Unlimited? What does the legacy of Marvel mean to you, as an Editor and as a fan?

Devin Lewis: One thing we talk about a lot here at Marvel—not just now during Legacy, but always—is that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

We’re fortunate enough to tell stories about the greatest characters in the world, all taking place in an amazing, continuous science fiction universe thanks to creators like Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and so many more I don’t have the space to list. Their influence can still be felt in Marvel Comics today.

But many creators have added their voices to the Marvel chorus in the time since Stan and Jack ran things, and all of those voices have brought their own unique life experiences to Marvel’s characters.

Through that kind of inclusivity of experience, the Marvel family has grown across the world—and you can never tell what Marvel story will bring a measure of happiness to a reader.

Speaking personally, I took great comfort in reading AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #36, the first issue of Spider-Man published after 9/11. As an 11-year-old kid at the time, I felt confused about what was going on in the country and the world. It was scary.

But when I read that issue, Spider-Man felt confused, too. He was angry, hurt, panicking. And most importantly, he was scared. Just like me. And that helped me be less afraid.

To me, that’s what Marvel’s legacy is.

The legacy continues with writer Dan Slott and artist Stuart Immonen’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #791 on November 15!

Read More

What’s happened to The Daily Bugle?

After Parker Industries goes defunct, Peter Parker heads back to the illustrious halls of “The Daily Bugle.” On October 25, writer Dan Slott and artist Stuart Immonen bring Spidey down a few notches—and into Marvel Legacy—with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #790!

Sometimes, when life pushes you down, you have to pick yourself up, start back at square one, and find a new path. Even if that means ending up back at your old high school job. Well, hope you at least got a pay raise, Spidey.

In response to this news, there will always be some unhappy people ready to voice their opinions…

Letter to the Editor

Just what, pray tell, has become of “The Daily Bugle”? I have not seen it so low since it literally got destroyed—the first or second time. Why, I remember when this great media outlet began back in 1897 (figuratively speaking) it really stood for something (literally and figuratively speaking); it provided an unbiased and accurate news outlet for the people.

When J. Jonah Jameson ran the place as Editor-in-Chief, to be sure, there were some hard times and he made some bad choices—like accidentally turning that private investigator into The Scorpion. And assuming you can forget the paper’s stint as the glorified tabloid, “The DB,” after JJJ briefly lost control of the paper to Dexter Bennett. But throughout his tenure, he maintained excellent daily news and fair coverage of the costumed crusaders known as “super heroes.”

Over the years, the paper has played host to its fair share of super powered scoundrels. I have it on good authority that Jeff Mace and Mary Morgan went off the deep end, becoming Patriot and Miss Patriot back in the 1940s. Followed more recently by the rude PI, Jessica Jones. But at least she doesn’t wear a mask—an air of transparency that we can all appreciate.

Thankfully, very few employees at the Bugle seemed to share as strong a bias toward these vigilantes as the young photographer, Peter Parker, who seemed to have a particular obsession with Spider-Man.

Now, as a seasoned reporter, Jameson never let this kind of staff favoritism alter his coverage of the webbed weirdo—or any other super hooligans for that matter. He alone gave us the real story of the New Avengers (a truly fine bunch—what with a wanted murderer and a few other unsavory types on the roster). And the paper’s strong endorsement of the Super Hero Registration Act mirrored the public demand to hold these heroes responsible for their actions.

Yet, since the mantel of Editor-in-Chief passed to a less committed man, Joe Robertson, I have been sorely disappointed to watch the paper’s tough stance on these masked criminals falter. And don’t let me even begin on that outrageous feature section “The Pulse”—clearly a ploy to gain readers with a clueless infatuation with these unnatural delinquents. I fear this will only worsen with the potential rehire of Parker.

I can only hope that, if “The Daily Bugle” remains determined to hire young persons like Peter Parker, they put them in less-pivotal roles where their personal biases might not besmirch the paper’s content. Here’s an idea: use them as in-house exterminators.

Be warned—if the paper continues to glorify these so-called “heroes,” I will be forced to end my longtime subscription and take my readership to “The Daily Globe.” Unless Parker and his silly band of Spider-fans somehow crawled their way into that establishment as well.

-Realistic Reader in New York, New York

Can Peter rise above the naysayers and take the Bugle, and his personal life, into a flourishing new era? Find out on October 25 with writer Dan Slott and artist Stuart Immonen’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #790!

Read More

Does Green Goblin or Norman Osborn pose a bigger risk to the Universe?

In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #32—due out on September 13 from writer Dan Slott and artist Greg Smallwood—Norman Osborn has returned. Spider-Man succeeded in taking down his nemesis at the end of issue #28, but without managing to capture him, it’s only a matter of time before the two clash again.

What we didn’t know then, however, was just how dangerous Osborn had truly become. Has Norman Osborn—the man—replaced his cackling former alter-ego as the most perilous of Spidey’s enemies? Or does the Green Goblin still reign supreme?

To find an answer, we put together a list of pros and cons about Osborn losing the Goblin within.

PRO: Norman Osborn’s activities are no longer hidden behind a mask

In the past, when Osborn would commit villainous deeds, the general public had no idea who really did the crime. His sins were covered by a horror mask. Even after the murder of Gwen Stacey and returning from his faked death, only the heroic efforts of the Daily Bugle staff finally exposed Osborn for being much more than just a cutthroat business man.

Now, there’s no benefit to Osborn’s deeds being shadowed. His machinations in Symarkia occurred in broad daylight—and neither intimidation, nor murder, nor a fleet of lawyers can obscure that now.

CON: A revealed Osborn has no need to pretend

Back when Osborn had to juggle his public life and his masked life, he had to scramble to keep them separate—to keep one from derailing the other. But, as noted above, those days are gone. And with that, so too is the need to be anything but 100% himself—an unscrupulous criminal obsessed with destroying the Wallcrawler.

PRO: He’s been cured of the mental illness that haunts all Green Goblins

The Goblin gas no longer works on Osborn. He no longer suffers from the illness that made him so erratic, that cost him his corporation, that lost him leadership of the Thunderbolts, and—most devastatingly—that robbed him of his place as the head of H.A.M.M.E.R.

CON: The gas’s lack of influence doesn’t mean Osborn has morals now

Just because Norman Osborn has gained control of his mental health does not mean he’s acquired a sense of goodwill. A healthy Osborn remains hungry for power and disinterested in anything except advancing his own sinister agenda.

PRO: He no longer has super powers

Ever since the gas lost its grasp on Osborn, the former Goblin no longer boasts super strength or an increased healing factor. This means that Spider-Man has a tremendous physical edge over his old enemy—the biggest one he’s had since they first tangled.

CON: Norman Osborn is getting craftier

In their latest encounter, he proved this fact—forcing the Webslinger through a series of obstacles that slowly stripped away Spider-Man’s physical advantages, and by the time Osborn finally stepped in himself, they stood on nearly-even ground.

Now imagine that kind of cunning put to use not just to evade the Web-Head—but to strike at him. Imagine when Spidey has no idea he’s been targeted. Imagine when Norman Osborn seizes control and Spider-Man has to react?

Positively terrifying.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #32, by writer Dan Slott and artist Greg Smallwood, is available on September 13!

Read More

The recently revived Doctor Octopus uses his Hydra connections to try and steal Parker Industries!

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

Doctor Otto Octavius has decided not to let his new lease on life go to waste. After first inhabiting Peter Parker’s body for a while then hanging out inside the Living Brain robot, he finally scored a new form for himself thanks to the Clone Conspiracy story which found him taking over the Proto Clone.

Ock soon made his way to one of his old bases, but found new occupants: Hydra! He took out the guards, but then came face to face with Arnim Zola. Instead of fighting further, the two made an agreement that would bring Doctor Octopus into the Hydra fold and allow him to eventually take control of what he saw as rightfully his: Parker Industries.

This all goes back to the time Otto spent living inside of Peter Parker’s body during the SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN series. During that time, Ock used not only Peter’s physical gifts, but also his own smarts to build first his education by finally acquiring a PhD and then built up Parker Industries himself.

Parker eventually regained his body when Octavius realized that he didn’t fully deserve the title of “superior” Spider-Man. Thanks to a trip to the year 2099, he made a copy of his consciousness up to the point of Spider-Verse, programmed it to sleep for 100 days and then wake up. It made its way to the Living Brain and downloaded itself into the robot at that point.

In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #29, Superior Octopus started some trouble with Parker, but the hero ran off to get beaten by Captain America in Washington, D.C. Spidey then told Mockingbird he needed to take care of his longtime foe instead of immediately joining up with the resistance.

However, he didn’t bother heading to the Parker Industries building in San Francisco. Ock did, however in #30, using his leverage as a member of Hydra to get inside the building and take what he wanted even though it stood on mutant property as part of New Tian.

Instead, Parker traveled to Shanghai where he warned his people that Ock would come. He appealed to his brilliant employees for help and when the Superior Octopus did finally arrive, Spider-Man thought he had the upper hand against the solo villain.

However, at that point, Otto revealed that he had not only built back doors into all things Parker Industries, but also hidden a part of himself as well. With that, he took over Spider-Rider’s fleet of arachnid-themed vehicles and announced that he’d taken over the company!

The Empire Strikes Back

Secret Empire does not mark the first time Doctor Octopus crossed paths with Captain America. Heck, it’s not even the first time they’ve worked together! During his time as Spider-Man, Otto came in contact with the Star-Spangled Avenger a number of times. After taking notice of Spider-Man’s increasingly brutal methods, Cap wondered if the Avengers still needed him in their line-up as seen in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #5. In #7 the team confronted him and the formerly-friendly neighborhood wall-crawler flipped Captain America! Cap knocked him out in the following issue and they ran tests on Spider-Man, but couldn’t find anything wrong with him, much to the true Peter’s chagrin. The duo came into conflict again in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP #1 when Spidey started taking out all kinds of heroes in an effort to track down the Carrion Virus which happened to take over then-Avenger Hyperion.

Read More

They continue fighting for Captain America, but why?

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

It might seem like every hero in the Marvel Universe remains staunchly opposed to Steve Rogers and his new role as the head of Hydra. However, as we’ve seen throughout SECRET EMPIRE, he’s got a group he still calls The Avengers. We can understand why Taskmaster, Superior Octopus, Black Ant and maybe even Deadpool made the jump, but what about stalwart Avengers Odinson, Scarlet Witch and Vision?

The team first debuted in SECRET EMPIRE #1 fighting the huge monster known as Kriggorath. When the beast refuses to deal with Captain America, he calls in his team and they utterly destroy the monster. In #3, Baron Zemo lead the team in an attack on Atlantis to retrieve a Cosmic Cube fragment only to find a decoy.

The group did the same in SECRET EMPIRE #4, when they wound up in Alaska looking for another fragment at the same time that A.I. Iron Man, Sam Wilson and the others appeared to do the same. Thanks to Hank Pym-Ultron’s machinations, the true Avengers members all sat down for a skewed take on a family dinner, but the good guys walked away with the Cube piece.

In that issue, we also got hints as to why these former heroes remain loyal to an apparent traitor. A demon called Chthon possessed the Witch, an A.I. Virus keeps Vision in line and, according to A.I. Stark in #4, Odinson “just wants his hammer back.”

In SECRET EMPIRE #5, we learn a bit more about the former Thor’s role in all this. Captain America wielded the hammer at one time to quell the opposition, but leaves it in Washington, D.C. because he doesn’t feel he needs that kind of additional power all the time.

In the same issue, Odinson wonders about his decision to stand by his longtime comrade and friend Steve Rogers. They claim to be able to help the purgatory-trapped Jane Foster and also reconnect Midgard to Asgard, but he questions how they treat the innocent.

As Thor questions his decisions, both Scarlet Witch and Vision seem to be fighting their own torments. Meanwhile, as we’ve already examined, Deadpool feels an intense devotion to Cap, but also lied to Hydra about the resistance hiding in The Mount in DEADPOOL #32, so we’ll see which way he truly goes.

If you’re wondering how Doctor Octopus went from being, well, dead to running around in a body with Spider-Man’s powers and his own unique appendages, then you should check out the Clone Conspiracy story. The short version: Doc Ock put his consciousness in a clone body. Now he’s working with Hydra to ensure Parker Industry’s utter failure, as established in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25. And then there’s Taskmaster and Black Ant. Those guys are just bad. Nuff said.

Seeing as how Hydra’s Avengers stand big as life on the cover of SECRET EMPIRE #6, expect them to continue playing an important part in this event.

The Empire Strikes Back

Both Taskmaster and Black Ant – formerly the Irredeemable Ant-Man – go back to their days together in SECRET AVENGERS. They wound up in the super villain-run country of Bagalia where Captain America crashed a ship in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1. In CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #11, Taskmaster discovered the important video footage of Cap first saying “Hail Hydra” from that first issue and tried to exploit it. In the following installment, they tried selling ousted S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Maria Hill the information. While waiting to make the transaction, Madame Hydra showed up, zapped them and brought them into the fold.

Read More

Discover the depths of Doc Ock with editor Nick Lowe!

Imagine Otto Octavius teaming up with Hydra; it sounds like a devious match made in comic book villain heaven—or hell—right? Well, you can stop imagining because that’s exactly what will happen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #30, a Secret Empire tie-in out July 12.

Before Doctor Octopus joins forces with Steve Rogers, however, Spider-Man editor Nick Lowe helped us take a step back to appreciate this many-armed adversary. The early buzz on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #30 teases that Doctor Octopus won’t be returning to his old ways. Can you elaborate on that in a spoiler free manner? Does this have anything to do with Hydra taking over the world?

Nick Lowe: It sure does! I don’t think that it’s a secret that Ock is working with Steve Rogers and Hydra. He’s on Steve’s Hydravengers team. And if you were Steve Rogers, and Spider-Man had a company that just successfully invaded a foreign nation, you’d want someone who can take them down, right? Enter Doc Ock! How would you characterize Doctor Octopus’ change and evolution over the last few years?

Nick Lowe: It’s been the most fascinating journey. [AMAZING SPIDER-MAN writer] Dan [Slott] and all the artists that he’s worked with over the years have done more with Doc Ock than I would have dreamed possible. They turned him into a horrifying and fascinating villain and then into SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN! And now into this new stage, whatever shape it takes! Suffice it to say, Dan Slott, now with Stuart Immonen, have big plans for Ock. Going back even further, how has he changed since his debut back in 1963? What attributes—other than his mechanical arms, of course—have stayed constant over the years?

Nick Lowe: The biggest constant is the ego and attitude. He’s such a delightfully jerky guy. If you ask him, no one’s anywhere near as smart as he is and that isn’t going anywhere. He just learned other stuff from being in Spider-Man’s body and mind. What changes do you like the most and what kind of changes would you like to explore in the future?

Nick Lowe: They’re all pretty great, to me. Putting a character with specific goals and a worldview all his own in situations that challenge it is the whole point of storytelling! Kind of going off that, as a longtime member of the Sinister Six, what mentality does Octavius bring to the villainous cabal? Has his role in the Six changed with time?

Nick Lowe: He’s taken so many steps from there since he was last part of any Sinister Six. What shape such a group would take and what role Ock would take are all questions for another day… Going forward, what kind of role can we expect from the many-appendage-wielding baddie and his place in the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN series?

Nick Lowe: A big one that’s going to challenge Peter in ways he’s never been challenged.

The Superior Octopus joins up with Hydra in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #30 by Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen, coming July 12!

Read More

Dan Slott provides a post-game of reveals and revelations for Peter Parker!

At over 90 pages, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25 packs quite a wallop, launching a brand new storyline—“The Osborn Identity”—showcasing some new talents in two delightful backup stories, and teasing the return of a certain multi-armed superior foe.

It proved such a wallop, in fact, that we could not just talk to ourselves about it. Thankfully, AMAZING writer Dan Slott answered the phone when we gave him a call. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25 is a massive issue.

Dan Slott: You could kill a man with this! If you rolled it up—it is kill-a-man-able size! Did it feel like a really big burden coming right after Clone Conspiracy or did you feel like you needed an issue that size, with the number of stories in it, as a kind of palate cleanser or system reboot after that last storyline?

Dan Slott: Every time I do a [Spider-Man event], by the time it’s done, I’m screaming to the heavens, “I am never doing this again. Never!”

They are huge undertakings to make sure everything works out on time, to fit everyone’s schedules, and how it ties into others books. You are laying tracks for it months in advance and it all has to come together. Oh boy…I just…oh God.

For me, the fun of this was we knew were going to come out of [Clone Conspiracy] with momentum. I mean how could we not with gorgeous Jim Cheung art.

But there’s a flip side to that, which is you always get excited about the next thing. While we are talking right now, issue #26 is leaving house, issue #27 is all drawn, issue #28 is being drawn as we speak, and issue #29 is due for plot. So you’re really in the thick of it all.

Dan Slott: Yeah. And you always get excited by the shiny piece that’s coming. So it is weird to be promoting Clone Conspiracy while I’m like, “I’m off here in ‘Osborn Identity’ and it’s great! Let’s talk about that.” That’s always the danger of this. Actually that makes for a great transition. This is the start of “Osborn Identity.” Coming off something as big in scale as Clone Conspiracy, it can be hard to decide how to maintain the momentum. Given that when people think of Spider-Man, Green Goblin is one of the first villains that come to mind, was this something of a solution. Not necessarily bigger in scale, but, deeper perhaps?

Dan Slott: Oh it’s huge! We haven’t had Norman, really, in this book. He hasn’t been around since the end, basically, of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN and even then Peter only got to face him for an issue. Even when Peter had to deal with problems with the Goblin Army in [AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4] Norman was far off the canvas.

It’s exciting. As a writer, the only times I’ve really had a big mano-to-mano showdown with Norman was in “New Ways to Die” and that was…Dear God…when was that? It’s longer than you think, right?

Dan Slott: That was 2008….2009? Oh God.

Dan Slott: I know. The grave draws ever closer.

Dan Slott: [Laughs] For most of the time I was coming up through “Brand New Day” we couldn’t touch Norman Osborn. He was off in THUNDERBOLTS; he was off in DARK AVENGERS. And then [writer] Brian [Michael Bendis] had stories he still wanted to tell about him in AVENGERS. We got him on loan for “New Ways to Die” and a few other stories. As a Spidey writer, I didn’t really have ownership of [Osborn] until the arc in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN and even then I was having him go up against Otto Octavius. So this has been a long time brewing for me.

As a kid who grew up—you know, little eight-year-old me, the two Megos I had were Spider-Man and Green Goblin. So this is like, “Finally, the toy is in the toy box. I get to play with him.” Everyone, when they handle a character, makes their own unique impression on them because they all have elements they think are essential to the character. For Norman Osborn, what are your essentials?

Dan Slott: Well, this is a version of Norman we have never seen in the history of Spider-Man. At the end of “Goblin Nation,” using nanite technology developed by Doc Ock and implemented by Spidey, there’s something in Norman’s system that won’t let the Goblin formula work. He’s cured.

Even back in the day when you met him as Harry’s father in the book, he was always a little—he had Goblin serum already in him, we just didn’t know it.

This is the first time Spider-Man is going up against a cold and calculating Norman Osborn without even a hint of the madness. This is a different kind of enemy. Spider-Man may have given himself his greatest threat of all. Be careful what you wish for—you thought “The Goblin serum can never work on Osborn again, yes!” But it turns out that might have been holding him back. Now this is a Norman of undivided focus. That’s not good. Being careful what you wish for seems to be increasingly a theme of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. For a while, he was very successful. He was building up his company. Now we are starting to see the return of Ben Reilly as a villain, having to reject Uncle Ben being brought back to life, having to tank his company’s reputation to stop the possibility of the degenerative virus spreading, and now a Norman Osborn free of the Green Goblin and more dangerous than ever. So one might get the feeling that your long-term plan might be to have built him up just to take it all from him.

Dan Slott: What kind of evil, evil person would do that?! Who would do that to poor Peter Parker? Without getting that far ahead of ourselves, is that an essential feature of how you view Peter? That so-called “Parker Luck” blown up to bigger proportions because he’s been playing on a bigger scale lately? This idea that, no matter what, Parker cannot win in all aspects of his life, that he has to have a tradeoff?

Dan Slott: It’s more the tradeoff. There’s so many things you could do if you had these powers, if you had these opportunities. But then, you wouldn’t be Spider-Man.

You’re Peter Parker and you kind of wake up to find Doc Ock has rearranged your life and given you this company. And then the company becomes a worldwide hit. It’s almost as instantaneous as being bitten by that spider, like a different kind of power.

And as Peter, he still buys suits off the rack, he takes a massive paycut so he’s not making much more than his middle execs, he spends so much of the resources either helping him build tools to fight crime as Spider-Man or to ensure the Uncle Ben Foundation helps people around the world. It’s like he’s going to try and use this stuff responsibly.

But it is his own special kind of goof. He’s running this company and probably not running it the best way because he’s Peter. If he has to go to a meeting and he’s swinging his way there and he sees a woman getting her purse snatched, he’s going to stop and do that.  Because he’s Peter. We see some of that this issue with him trying to balance company business with his search for Norman. It is clear that Norman gets under his skin like no other and it gives us, in the issue, a balance of the silent, meaner, darker Spider-Man and the more jokey, typical presentation. How do you find and keep the balance without the book getting too dark or undercutting the seriousness of the Osborn threat?

Dan Slott: I’ve read comics where he and Norman, like, sit down and have a laugh. To me, that personally doesn’t work for their relationship. From the moment he kills Gwen, there’s no laugh and this is a Spider-Man who just saw Gwen again and is hurting. Then Kingpin has stepped in to offer Norman on a platter. And Spider-Man is willing to chuck it all to take that opportunity.

You can’t…you can’t just stick Spidey in a box and say he is a dark urban vigilante who swings through the night to fight crime. Or he’s a jokey super hero. There’s all these different things that make up Spider-Man and all these different ways you can tell a Spider-Man story. You see Mike Deodato draw Spider-Man and that’s a specific kind of Spider-Man and [then] Humberto Ramos draws him and that’s a different kind of Spider-Man. There’s something fun about that.

Amazing Spider-Man #25 cover by Alex Ross

It’s the same way when someone talks about you Tim or me Dan, the different people that know us might describe us completely differently. Your mom is going to give a completely different description of you than your wife than your girlfriend than your English teacher than your music teacher that thought you didn’t apply yourself. That’s a little too insightful about me there Dan.

Dan Slott: Yeah [Laughs] and Spider-Man is just the same way. You have me chasing down White Rabbit with Frog-Man and him crawling out of the grave in “Kraven’s Last Hunt.” There is a wide spectrum of Spider-Man stories you can tell. I put him in outer space. [Laughs]

For me, having been on this character for this long part of the fun of it is taking a look at those different aspects for a while and seeing where that takes me. A lot of the lighter aspects of Spidey in this issue comes from his interactions with Mockingbird. As a writer, what made her a good fit for that role?

Dan Slott: I had kind of different plans for Mockingbird long-term and then seeing Stuart Immonen’s art and the light and spark he was giving her and the way [she and Spider-Man] had chemistry on the page together made me go “I’m rethinking this.” And that’s the beauty of comics.

It’s not golf. It’s not you alone. It’s a team sport and you are going to get energy from each other. You are going to bounce ideas off each other. The way I write a script and the way Stuart draws it makes it a completely different animal then it would be with another artist.

Seeing all the gifts that Stuart gave me with them in those scenes I was like, “Oh my God, I love these guys together.” I really love the Stuart Immonen Spider-Man and the Stuart Immonen Mockingbird together. They’re fantastic. I’m shipping them. One of the things you referenced earlier was how long ago it had been since we’ve seen Norman Osborn in the book and the last time we saw another character here was very long ago and that was Silver Sable in the “Ends of the Earth” storyline which, at the time, seemed to end with her dying. As we know in #25, she is back. How long did you know you were planning to bring her back and why was the time now?

Dan Slott: From the moment we killed her—with irony quotes around the “killed”—I knew how she got out. I knew what her escape was. The hardest part was keeping Rhino also off the table that long because the moment you show Rhino, you know, “Hey if Rhino’s alive, wait a second…”

I knew we were bringing the Rhino back for Clone Conspiracy. The moment he was back it was just a ticking clock. I couldn’t wait to bring back Silver Sable. Beyond the ticking clock aspect, what made this a good time to bring her back? How is a she a puzzle piece that fits well into the larger story of the “Osborn Identity?”

Dan Slott: Umm, I don’t want to answer that question. Fair enough.

Dan Slott: [Laughs] Yes, that is a question I’d like to avoid until people read #26. So, for those interested, #26 is the issue to look for?

Dan Slott: Yes. I think we are putting off telling you how she lived until #27, but you’ll find out [how she fits] in #26. After the main story, there are some shorter stories including one that runs at the end of the book like a post-credits teaser. In that one we meet the reborn and revamped Doctor Octopus.

Dan Slott: Yes! Obviously, you’ve written him a bunch. You’re written him as Otto Octavius, as Peter Parker, and now a very different Otto, physically—

Dan Slott: I’ve written him inside a very clunky robot! Yes, that’s true too. So you clearly have some affection for him. What persuades you to return to writing him time and again?

Dan Slott: Honestly—I’m sure people who write who are reading this know that sometimes the story just starts happening and you’re along for the ride and that’s when writing is the most fun. There’s that kind of fun with Doc Ock. I just don’t know what he’s going to do sometimes. Or how he’s going to react.

The amount of time I spent in Doc Ock’s head while doing SUPERIOR—it was fun! It was just fun. Part of you goes, “I don’t want the ride to end. How am I going to save him? How am I going to bring him back?”

But this is what we’ve been building to. This is how you get a Superior Spider-Man-like character for him. One thing I noticed is that he clearly is a villain for Spider-Man and knowing who Parker is has certainly made him develop a grudge. Beyond that though, I like that we are not sure how this Otto is going to break. Is he going to be a pure villain or will he be more like his Superior Spider-Man incarnation that was arrogant and mean but still looking to do good.

Dan Slott: So when this new character Tomas picks [Otto] up and drops him off at the Auto Empire… That’s a nice touch.

Dan Slott: Thanks. Yeah, it’s where old “auto bodies” are… [Laughs] I just love that. It’s so stupid, so wonderfully comic book-y stupid. That’s just bliss.

Anyway, [editor] Nick [Lowe] was like, “Are we going to see Tomas again?”

Because when Tomas drives him Otto is like, “On the day when my plans come to fruition, you will be one of the saved, Tomas!” There’s a weird kind of honor to Otto.

But now it’s got me thinking we might see Tomas again. [Otto saying], “I have converted your pickup truck to…hover mode! You’re welcome.” That would be a nice thing to do.

Dan Slott: Oh now watch me do that. I’ll look for it.

Dan Slott: [Otto’s] fun! We’re spit balling here and he’s already going to these fun places. His new look, both in and out of costume, who created that look, that appearance?

Dan Slott: That was a team effort. There was a moment in putting together Clone Conspiracy where we thought we might have put this and because of that there was a good chance that Jim Cheung was going to be drawing it and so Cheung took stabs at the designs. So the current design is mostly Jim Cheung.

There were certain things that I wanted in, like the lenses to be Doc Ock goggle shaped and for the arms not to be like spider arms but like Doc Ock arms. It is very much a suit that is a hybrid of Doc Ock suits and Superior Spider-Man suits. With the coloring, it’s a much darker green then we are used to seeing Doctor Octopus in which I mention because when he takes back his base, HYDRA is occupying it.

Dan Slott: Huh. So was that because of what was around making that shade of green available to him or are there other reasons.

Dan Slott: Huh, it is very HYDRA-ish, isn’t it? Indeed.

Dan Slott: And it is almost like HYDRA’s logo is like an octopus. That is true. It is almost like that.

Dan Slott: How odd. I feel like this is another thing we’re going to have wait on for an answer…

Dan Slott: Sorry. I will say one of the things I really liked about that 10-pager is we just came off of evil Ben Reilly and the return of Gwen Stacey to straight on into going after Norman Osborn and next up is—bam—Doc Ock. The hits keep coming. And [there will] be something coming after that! We are not going to take our foot after the accelerator in AMAZING.

If you haven’t read AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25 yet…what are you waiting for?! It’s available now!

Read More

See the 'Real' Gwen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #23, out January 4!

Peter Parker’s life stands as one marked by tragedy and triumph, but perhaps more so by tragedy. Chief among those moments touched by the fickle finger of fates revolves around the brief but bright light of Gwen Stacy, whom some call Peter’s one true love. Gwen returns to the land of the living in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #23, out January 4, to challenge the wall-crawler like nothing before.

Peter first met the bright young woman at Empire State University, a fellow student who impressed the hero in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31. Romance between the two grew slowly at first while they dated others and the young man dealt with personal problems, but they ultimately began seeing only each other. 

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #31

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #31

  • Published: December 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Gwen’s father, Captain Stacy of the police, saw something in Peter and also in Spider-Man, a happy situation for the web-slinger until Stacy’s untimely death in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #90, during one of Doctor Octopus’ rampages through the city. As he lay dying, the captain revealed to Peter his knowledge of his dual identity, and blessed his relationship with his daughter. 

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #90

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #90

  • Published: November 10, 1970
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Gil Kane
  • Cover Artist: Gil Kane
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Unfortunately, Gwen blamed Spider-Man for her father’s death and in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #93 flew to England to live with relatives, unsure of Peter’s motives behind his apparent distancing of himself from her. In reality, the young hero allowed his costumed alter-ego to come between him and Gwen, as well as the growing threat of the Green Goblin, his supreme arch-enemy. Gwen returned to America in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #98 at a turning point in Spider-Man’s war with the Goblin, an unfortunate turn of events despite the young lovers’ reunion. 

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #98

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #98

  • Published: July 10, 1971
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Gil Kane
  • Cover Artist: Gil Kane
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The wall-crawler’s adventures continued, including bouts with super villains, the growth of four extra arms, and his friend Harry Osborn’s growing dependence on drugs. Gwen and Peter preserved the storms together until the unspeakable occurred: the kidnapping of Gwen by the Green Goblin.

Spider-Man rushed to save Gwen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121, but a standoff with his foe on top of the George Washington Bridge resulted in the young woman falling to her death. In a rage, Peter searched for the Goblin and brought him down in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #122, but too late for Gwen Stacy. 

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #122

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #122

  • Published: July 10, 1973
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Writer: Gerry Conway
  • Penciller: Gil Kane
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Life continued for Peter Parker, though forever changed. Gwen’s death altered the fabric of his existence, as well as that of her friends, including Mary Jane Watson. Peter ultimately moved on, but his heart would be eternally entwined with the sweet memory of his lost love.

Spider-Man met several clones of Gwen over the years, beginning in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #144 and causing him both exhilaration and anguish, but in the end none of them could ever truly replace the original. 

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #144

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #144

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Read More

The all-star artist prepares for a go-around with Peter Parker!

As Peter Parker continues to deal with the shocking events of The Clone Conspiracy we all look to the future with huge questions about the character’s upcoming status quo. We do, however, know who will hold the reins on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN when the dust settles: longtime Spidey architect Dan Slott and superstar artist Stuart Immonen along with inker Wade von Grawbadger and colorist Marte Gracia.

Immonen kicks his run on Spidey off with a short story in March’s THE CLONE CONSPIRACY: OMEGA before leaping right into the regular series with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25 later that same month. We talked with the artist about changing up his style for this particular project, the difference between this and his previous arachnid assignment, and putting such a killer artistic team together. It seems with every project you do you reinvent yourself and your style, from the more linear and cartoony NEXTWAVE to the more realistic work you did on ALL-NEW X-MEN to the painting of Superman: Secret Identity. What sort of approach have you adopted for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN? The hatching that you’re using doesn’t look like the work you’ve done in the past. What led you to adopt that particular style choice for this project?

Stuart Immonen: While the surface quality of the drawings shifts from project to project, the underlying approach to storytelling remains pretty much unaltered, or at least, is more challenging to reinvent. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it allows me to utilize a well-established foundation of comic-making while I experiment with other elements.

In some ways, I’m specifically tailoring my approach to the work at hand, responding to the script and to the broader history of the character or genre, and in other ways, I’m simply pushing myself to think about something in a different way in order to bring out something fresh or to hopefully have what [artist] Bob Ross calls happy accidents. This is not to say that I put the work in jeopardy; it’s always as solid a comic as I can make it, or at least my part of it. Rather, I’m looking for a path that will lead me to something new, and at the same time be sympathetic to the established context.

Mostly I’m just trying to push Wade’s buttons, and find the boundaries—if there are any—of what we can do together. Projects on which we collaborate tend to swing from pared-back and simple to more detailed and introspective. Empress, for all its sci-fi design, was basically light and open, so it seemed natural to try something more organic and textured, especially on a kinetic character like Spider-Man. Are there any particular past Spider-Man artists’ renditions that influenced your take on the web-slinger?

Stuart Immonen: The Johns Romita, Sr. and Jr, of course. Ross Andru. Gil Kane. John Byrne. Olivier Coipel. Sara Pichelli. David Lafuente. Not all for the same reasons. I’m not looking specifically to cherry-pick good ideas from other people, and I don’t necessarily even have the material close to hand, but it’s all there in the back of my mind, sometimes just a scene or a panel that stuck with me, sometimes something more general. The last big Spider-Man run you did was on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. How different is your Spider-Man here from your Spider-Man there?

Stuart Immonen: Well, it’s still Peter Parker and it’s still Spider-Man, but the contexts are completely separate, so much so that I’m really not thinking about [ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN] at all at this point. I’m directly responding to Dan’s script and the demands thereof, not considering the two jobs as if they exist in some kind of continuum. How do you approach your vehicle/tech design? Is it just pencil on paper as you draw pages? How much development work do you do? And where do you get your design inspiration?

Stuart Immonen: The primary design stage is still loose pencil sketching, but I’ve been using 3D modeling for many years to help me visualize invented objects and settings from any various angles as required. I’m not super-adept at modeling, however, and the results are really just simple frameworks which aid the freehand drawing.

The demands of a monthly serial also mean that I don’t get to spend hours and hours on design, and often a bit of tech is a throwaway that just appears in a few panels. If I had staff or assistants, my requirements might be different, but I often rely on my first instincts, with an eye to making whatever it is fit the personality—and capability—of the character with which it’s associated.

Shirow and Otomo are always go-to resources. Tetsuro Ueyama. Koji Morimoto. Katsuyuki Tanaka. Again, all for different reasons. We’re told that your right hand man Wade von Grawbadger is on tap for inking. What is it about his work that keeps you two together? You’ve been working together for at least 15 years, right?

Stuart Immonen: Wade and I first worked together, I think, on a two-part Supergirl story for DC’s Showcase title in 1995, and then did the Inferno mini-series in ‘97 and many things since, so that’s 21 years. Wade’s the consummate pro and has earned every industry award to prove it. He’s not only at the top of his game—and [has] been there for decades—in terms of craft and raw talent, but he’s willing and able to adapt and refresh and learn new things in a way that directly responds to my own desires to seek new horizons. I’ve worked with other inkers and had happy working relationships, but Wade is simply the best in the business. I couldn’t function without him in my corner. Marte Gracia is coloring your run. You’ve worked with pretty much every A-List colorist in the biz. What is it about Marte that made him the right choice for this book?

Stuart Immonen: Marte is an explosive talent, who, like Wade, is just so enthusiastically ready to try something different, to push out of his comfort zone and at the same time imbue the work with his own distinct approach. His natural palette is exquisite, so pleasing on the screen and on the page. He knows when to pull back with subdued tones, and when to use all the Chroma available. He knows how to block and frame a scene, how to model and illuminate. We’re lucky to have him return to [AMAZING SPIDER-MAN], and I’m personally grateful—not to mention thrilled—to be a part of this triple-threat art team.

Stuart Immonen makes his mark on Spider-Man beginning this March in THE CLONE CONSPIRACY OMEGA!

Read More

Learn the harrowing history behind Miles Warren, one of the Wallcrawler’s most implacable foes!

The Jackal’s long history with both Peter Parker and Spider-Man originates on far-off mountaintops and in the streets of New York City. And on December 21, the villain makes his latest move in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22!

But before Jackal took his super villain title, he went by the unassuming name of Doctor Miles Warren. So, how did the once good Doctor become the Jackal we know today?

After receiving a Doctorate in biochemistry, Miles Warren traveled to Eastern Europe where he assisted Doctor Herbert Wyndham, aka The High Evolutionary, in forbidden human-animal experiments at a secret laboratory retreat on the storied Wundagore Mountain. In his work, Warren successfully transformed three animals to human form, titling them “New Men.” Jealous of his assistant’s success, Wyndham banished Warren from the mountain after an experimental “Man Jackal” hybrid escaped the lab.

Upon his return to New York, Warren took a job at Empire State University, where he taught biology to students Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Despite their age difference, the new professor developed an obsession and fell in love with Gwen.

After The Green Goblin killed Gwen, Warren lost his mind in grief and anger, and blamed Spider-Man for allowing his young love to die. The unhinged man vowed revenge against the Wall Crawler at any cost.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #22

The Amazing Spider-Man (2017) #22

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In his misery, Warren returned to his experimental practices. The Doctor utilized his former students’ DNA in attempts to re-imagine his human-animal creatures as clones. In a search for his lost love, the increasingly mad scientist worked to create a suitable clone of Gwen Stacy. Warren also worked to clone Peter Parker and, in his research, observed Peter’s mutated cells, discovering his former student alter ego as Spider-Man.

In a renewed commitment to killing Spider-Man, Warren genetically altered his own DNA, sprouting claws, fangs, and attaining superhuman strength, speed, senses, and regenerative powers. Inspired by the hybrid beast that he once lost from Wundagore Mountain, Miles Warren became known as The Jackal.

Learn even more about The Jackal in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, coming December 21!

Read More