Classic meets modern in these Spider-Man #800 variant covers!

Hitting #800 puts AMAZING SPIDER-MAN in the history books, making it the first Marvel comic to hit 800 issues. While the milestone marks the beginning of the end of writer Dan Slott’s legendary run (his arc wraps up in #801), it presented an amazing opportunity to bring some of Marvel’s most famous artists in on the celebration. Check out 10 variant covers below, featuring some outstanding takes on Spidey.

Before he leaves the web-slinger to start on IRON MAN, Slott’s “Go Down Swinging” will feature a big showdown between Peter Parker and one of his oldest enemies, Norman Osborn. It will surely leave you hanging for the finale in #801!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 will go on sale on May 30, 2018. Written by Dan Slott, this landmark 80-page issue’s cover is by Alex Ross and features art by Stuart Immonen, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Nick Bradshaw. View the gallery below to get a first look at all 10 variant covers!

Here is the full list of cover artists and colorists:

Moebius

Mark Bagley; Drew Hennessy inks, Jason Keith colors

John Romita Sr.; Richard Isonave colors

Ron Frenz; Brett Breeding inks, Dave McCaig colors

Frank Cho; David Curiel colors

John Cassaday; Paul Mounts colors

Terry Dodson; Rachel Dodson inks, Terry Dodson colors

Greg Land; Rachelle Rosenberg colors

Nick Bradshaw; Morry Hollowell colors

Paolo Rivera

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Dan Slott and C.B. Cebulski bring the family back together!

Written by Jess Harrold

The Fantastic Four are back! After three years away, the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine returns, with writer Dan Slott and artist Sara Pichelli at the helm. Here, Slott and Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski share their excitement in bringing the awesome foursome back to comics!

Marvel: Pinch us, we’re dreaming. Can it be true, Dan? You’re writing a new FANTASTIC FOUR series?

Dan Slott: Yep. As of this August, I’ll be writing and Sara Pichelli will be drawing the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine: the one, the only, FANTASTIC FOUR! Oh, boy. We have been under such lock and key when it comes to talking about this book. For months this has been the biggest secret at Marvel. It feels so good to finally tell anybody outside of the loop. Heck, let me yell it: “I’M WRITING THE FF!”

Honestly, this is a lifetime dream. The first super hero comics I ever read were my cousin’s copies of FANTASTIC FOUR #4850, with “The Coming of Galactus” and the first appearance of the Silver Surfer. For me, personally, this has been a long time coming. I’ve got notebooks filled with the stories I’d like to do if I ever got my hands on these characters!

Marvel: It’s a great way to start your tenure as Editor-in-Chief, C.B. When you got the job, how high up on your to-do list was “bring back the FF”?

C.B. Cebulski: FANTASTIC FOUR was top of the list. It’s a book that is near and dear to my heart. I know how important the characters are to the fans and the company, and bringing them back was the first thing I talked to Tom Brevoort about. They are the heart of the Marvel Universe. They are the First Family, and the fact that they are a family is something everyone can relate to—good and bad. There’s the good times you have with family, and there’s the bad times: the quarreling, not everyone always gets along. Just look at the first-ever FF cover—they weren’t in costume. That’s what Marvel is—it’s not about the super heroes, it’s about the people underneath those costumes, the alter egos. The core of Marvel is that we’re human first and superhuman second.

Marvel: Speaking of those humans, we’re talking Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny, right?

Dan Slott: Ooh. Sorry. We’re replacing Johnny with a robot. NO! Kidding. Just kidding. Of course it’s going to be Reed, Sue, Johnny and the Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing! And Franklin! And Val! And Alicia! And who knows? Maybe Willie Lumpkin and Aunt Petunia, too! Wait and see.

Marvel: C.B., you’re renowned for knowing a thing or two about talent. What, for you, makes Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli the ideal team for FF?

C.B. Cebulski: Dan is coming off a ten-year run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and has proven time and time again that he can tell these small stories with heart that get to the core of individual characters—but also tell these big, bold, brash super hero stories. Now with the Fantastic Four, we knew if we unleashed Dan on those characters and let his mind go wild on their crazy intergalactic adventures, he would nail it. Dan came in and pitched to around six of us at a restaurant one afternoon, and jaws dropped, literally. I think it was Nick Lowe, the Spider-Man editor, who said, “I think that just brought a tear to my eye.” Dan really nailed it in one shot. And Sara is one of the most wonderful pencilers out there when it comes to capturing emotion. Just like Dan’s mind thinks so visually and outside of the box, there are very few pencilers who can capture the scope like her. In comics you’re confined by the boundaries of the panel borders, and the best artists can make you look past those borders. Sara’s one of the few people who can do that—you really feel like you’re watching a movie when you’re looking at her panels.

Dan Slott: Sara Pichelli is AWESOME! Her work on everything from RUNAWAYS to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and especially every single page she’s drawn of Miles Morales’ stories—she’s one of the most talented artists in the entire industry! I couldn’t be more excited to be working with her! And I can’t wait for fans to see her take on the FF!

C.B. Cebulski: And in Dan Slott and [editor] Tom Brevoort, you have two of, not just the biggest fans of Marvel Comics out there, but the biggest fans of Marvel’s history. When the costume designs came up, Tom and Dan had very specific ideas that date all the way back to the original FF through every incarnation, with specific designs and color schemes that would fit into this story.

Marvel: Dan, your SILVER SURFER book showed your passion for exploring new landscapes across the Marvel Universe—and beyond. Will that sense of adventure and wonder carry through to FF?

Dan Slott: Definitely. The FF are super heroes. But they’re not about stopping bank robbers or defeating clandestine secret societies. Sure, if a world-eater comes to devour the Earth, or a giant Kirby monster starts stomping through the city, you can count on them to save the day. That said, first and foremost, they’re explorers. They’re out to see new planets, dimensions and universes! They live to push the boundaries of both science and the imagination! More importantly, they live to do that together, as a family.

Marvel: The motto for your Surfer book was “Anywhere and everywhere—hang on!” What would it be for the FF book?

Dan Slott: The First Family of the Marvel Universe.

Marvel: There hasn’t been an FF book in a while, and in the absence of Reed and Sue Richards, a certain Victor Von Doom has undergone some changes. Will that traditional rivalry take on a new slant going forward?

Dan Slott: After the events of Secret Wars and INFAMOUS IRON MAN, Victor Von Doom will be on new, but familiar footing. We will be building on what came before, and from that will come a Doctor Doom who will be far deadlier, misunderstood and incredibly iconic. You’re going to have to wait and see. But the wait won’t be too long.

Marvel: Are there any other classic FF villains you’re looking forward to using, or is the emphasis on new threats?

Dan Slott: We will absolutely mix it up and give you classic FF goodness and all-new, modern-day weirdness, too. I’ll be honest with you, though: we’ve been away from the Fantastic Four for years now, and I am dying to start off and lean into the most FF-ish stories possible! Stan and Jack, Byrne, Simonson, Waid and Ringo, Hickman and everyone in between—I have so much love for every era of this book, I really can’t wait to play with all the toys in the toy box!

The new FF team, creative and editorial, we are going to do everything we can to honor, respect and build off of the rich legacy of these characters, while moving forward and telling all-new chapters in their ongoing story.

FANTASTIC FOUR #1 by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli is on sale August 1!

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Dan Slott talks about ending his Spidey run and moving on to Tony Stark!

By John Rhett Thomas

Didja hear the news? After ten amazing years, Dan Slott is leaving AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and joining rising-superstar artist Valerio Schiti for a Fresh Start take on a little title called TONY STARK: IRON MAN! If that sounds as cool to you as it does to me, read on!

Marvel: Before we get into Iron Man, it’s important to note that after ten years, you’ve left AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. So the question from those of us who loved your work on that title: Why? Why, why, why, why, why??? (Okay, that’s six questions. Take your time answering.)

Dan Slott: Ten years on the title and hitting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 were my last big milestones. I’d been aiming for those milestones for some time. Both of them hitting together in the same year felt like a good place to say goodbye to the ol’ web-head. Marvel’s been great to me. They told me I could stay as long as I wanted, but lo there must come an ending. I pulled the trigger and let everyone know about three or four Marvel retreats ago. I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t moments after that where I screamed to the heavens, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” But, yeah, it was time.

Marvel: With you leaving Spider-Man, it seems you could have taken on any number of Marvel characters. Why Iron Man?

Dan Slott: They made some pretty sweet offers to me with others characters and big-name team books, and I let those buses go by. Just waiting. Hoping that one of the favorites on my short list would open up. The second I knew the Iron Man book was available, I lept at it, bellowing “MINE!” as loud as I could!

I love that we live in a time where Marvel Studios has been making mega-blockbusters for ten years. When I grew up, comics readers knew who Tony Stark was. The man on the street didn’t. That has completely changed. Tony is now the cornerstone of that Cinematic Universe — a character that everyone in the world knows. That’s astounding to me. When I was asked, “What do you want the new book to be called?” I totally knew: TONY STARK: IRON MAN.

Marvel: This new initiative is called “Fresh Start.” What things about the life of Tony Stark and Iron Man are we going to see renewed?

Dan Slott: We’ll see a mix of old and new IRON MAN characters: Bethany Cabe and Jocasta, to name a few. We’re going to see the return of specialty armors, because I love those — and it gives Valerio a chance to design all kinds of new and exciting suits. This book’s focus will be big on adventure, with massive action set pieces. We’ll be doing that while exploring high-concept sci-fi premises that lean in to the tech-based world of Tony Stark. It’s going to get wonderfully weird, and it will build to big secret-y things in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel: One of the things we loved about your Spider-Man run was your ability to keep the plates spinning on so many underlying plotlines and characters. Tony Stark’s supporting cast isn’t historically as intricate as Peter Parker’s, but I assume you’re going to maintain that broad coverage of the Iron Man universe in your stories.

Dan Slott: There will be fun soap opera, subplots, twists and turns. And some romance thrown in as well. When we get to Tony Stark’s love interest, longtime Marvel fans will be in for a treat. We’ll find a way to fit all this in between all the repulsor blasts and boot-jets.

Marvel: Any hints about bad guys we might see?

Dan Slott: No. Absolutely not. Read the book! But I can say you’ll see a couple of classic Iron Man baddies in the first few issues. Maybe an Avengers-related big bad in the near future. And a devious Marvel U. business rival for Tony who isn’t Justin Hammer or one of the Stanes. When people see who it is, it’ll be a big clue to where we’re heading — and I think Iron Man fans are going to freak out.

Marvel: I’ve been a fan of Valerio Schiti’s artwork since he first popped up at Marvel drawing Sif in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY. He’s got such a way with faces. I guess now we’re gonna see how he does with armor. What’s your take on what you’ve seen so far?

Dan Slott: Valerio is killing it on this book! From his designs of all the armors to the new Stark Unlimited HQ and our all-new characters. He is going all-out on the tech — every gadget, gizmo and vehicle is gorgeous. You’re gonna want them all as toys! His storytelling is some of the best in the biz, the acting, the expressions on all the characters’ faces in every scene are pitch-perfect! And everything is just infused with FUN! If you’re having a bad day, the best thing for it is going to be to pick up this book, let Valerio’s art wash over you, get transported into these weird stories — and I guarantee you, you’ll come out the other side feeling great!

Marvel: One last question before we go: Care to tick off some of your favorite Iron Man runs from the past?

Dan Slott: For me it’s all about the Michelinie/Layton runs. As an Iron Man fan, those are the sweet spots. I’m actually one of the readers who liked their second run even more than their first: the Armor Wars and introducing in the Ghost! Those are my favorites!

TONY STARK: IRON MAN #1 by Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti is on sale June 20!

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Talking Marvel's First Family with Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, and C.B. Cebulski!

Flame on, gang! Get ready for a very special edition of This Week in Marvel!

In this installment, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski, writer Dan Slott, and artist Sara Pichelli join Ryan for a dive deep discussion about the return of the FANTASTIC FOUR! The group talks about their love for Marvel’s First Family and then the new creative team teases the stories they’re most excited to tell when the new series starts this August.

Download the episode from Marvel.com, check out Marvel Podcast Centralgrab the TWiM RSS feed, and subscribe to This Week in Marvel on iTunes so you never miss an episode! Then head over to our Soundcloud hub to listen to more!

With new episodes every Friday, This Week in Marvel delivers all the latest Marvel discussion and news about comics, TV, movies, games, toys, and beyond! We want your feedback—as well as questions for us to answer on future episodes—so tweet your questions and comments about the show to @AgentM, @tuckermarkus, or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli rekindle the flame this August!

Four heroes. One team. They’re back.

Reed, Sue, Ben, Johnny: welcome home.

After a spacefaring foray into the unknown, Marvel’s First Family returns this August with FANTASTIC FOUR #1.

Written by Dan Slott with art by Sara Pichelli, Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing, and the Human Torch reunite this summer.

Fantastic Four art by Sara Pichelli

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and Marvel on Twitter and Facebook for more from C.B. Cebulski, Dan Slott, and Sara Pichelli in the coming days!

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Peek at the artist's concept art for Tony Stark: Iron Man!

On June 20, Tony Stark returns—but he’ll look a little different this time.

In TONY STARK: IRON MAN, writer Dan Slott teams up with artist Valerio Schiti to tell a different kind of super hero story. Forged by the future, the cutting-edge hero is always changing, always evolving. So, naturally, the most famous inventor in the Marvel Universe will have a lineup of armors to help him protect the innocent—and achieve his high-flying goals.

Check out this gallery of Schiti’s concept art for a taste of what to expect from the upcoming series…

On June 20, read TONY STARK: IRON MAN #1 by Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti! And stay up-to-date with all the exciting announcements coming from Marvel Comics, right here!

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Ant-Man and the Wasp #1 coming soon too!

On June 20, Tony Stark returns.

He’s back, at last, having been the subject of a long and troubled search throughout the pages of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN. And, as Nerdist announced today, writer Dan Slott and artist Valerio Schiti will join forces to tell a entirely different kind of story in TONY STARK: IRON MAN.

From the cusp of tomorrow’s dreams to the forefront of imagination, one man always soars on the cutting edge of adventure.

You know his name. Tony Stark is Iron Man. And Iron Man…is an idea. Always changing. Always evolving. An idea without limit!

Prepare to witness the ultimate Self-Made Hero’s journey to new heights of inventiveness! Tony Stark is Iron Man. And the future is now.

Tony Stark: Iron Man #1 Cover by Alexander Lozano

After getting a dose of the high-flying action alongside Tony Stark, shrink down to a different kind of hero story in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP! Written by Mark Waid with art by Marvel Young Gun Javier Garrón, this five-issue limited series sees Scott Lang unite with Nadia Pym!

Wasp was just trying to help Ant-Man get home to Earth to see his daughter…but a little problem got in the way. Very little. Subatomic, in fact, as Lang was lost in the vast spaces between atoms! Now, Nadia is his only hope of rescue…if only he would listen long enough for her to save them! Get ready for a big journey getting smaller all the time in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP!

Ant-Man and the Wasp #1 Cover by David Nakayama

On June 20, read TONY STARK: IRON MAN #1 by Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti! Then jump aboard Mark Waid and Javier Garrón’s ANT-MAN & THE WASP #1!

Read more, and stay up-to-date with all the exciting announcements coming from Marvel Comics, right here!

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After 10 years and 189 issues, Slott will move from the adventures of Peter Parker to Tony Stark.

The end of an era is here, as Don Slott will be ending his epic run on THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with issue #801 – as the writer prepares to begin guiding the next chapter of Tony Stark’s life in the pages of IRON MAN.

Slott spoke to Vulture.com about this big change, saying, of his decision to leave AMAZING SPIDER-MAN after a decade of writing the series (and 189 issues!), “I could always see the next furlong, I could always see what was ahead. Like, Get this far and I’ll make it to the next wave of ‘Brand New Day’ writers, then, ‘If I make it this far I get to one out of every five issues of AMAZING [ever published]. If I get it to this far, I get to [issue No.] 700.’ And so on. So I kept having these benchmarks to hit. And then I realized, once you hit ten years and then issue 800, the next benchmarks were way too far away. [Laughs.] So I always knew that was the zone.”

He goes on to explain that he’ll likely need to adjust to not telling Spider-Man stories, because having written the book for so long, “There are days where everything gets seen through the Spider-Man filter first. If I’m walking down the streets in New York and I notice something, I’d go, ‘Oh, how would Spider-Man deal with that?’ It’s a reflex muscle in the back of your head. Or you read a news story. Something happens and you go, ‘How would Spider-Man deal with that? What is that? What if that was Mysterio?’ When you do this for ten years, that’s just the way you’re wired.”

As for his new gig on IRON MAN, Slott tells Vulture, “I’m all excited. They’d asked me to do IRON MAN a while back, but by then I was at [SILVER] SURFER and I had Spidey and I was already overcommitted, so it kept gnawing at me. Like, ‘Oh, man. I really do want to do Iron Man. This would be fun.’ And when that came around again, it was like, ‘Okay, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I want IRON MAN. I want this. I want this really bad.'”

Regarding his thoughts on Tony Stark, Slott explained, “Reed Richards explores the universe. He wants to know everything and go everywhere. Tony Stark builds the future. It’s not that he’s not out to discover the next big thing. But he’s gonna take his own two hands and he’s gonna build where he wants to go, or what he wants to do. He looks at a challenge and goes, ‘How do I machine my way out of this?’”

Slott promises, “There will be a very unique cast in this book of characters: Iron Man characters you love and Marvel characters that you haven’t seen folded into the Iron Man cast.”

For much more of Dan Slott’s observations on wrapping up his run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, his favorite stories he told with the character, and moving to IRON MAN, check out the full interview at Vulture.com!

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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!

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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.

Marvel.com: 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!

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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?

Marvel.com: It’s longer than you think, right?

Dan Slott: That was 2008….2009?

Marvel.com: Oh God.

Dan Slott: I know.

Marvel.com: 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.”

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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?

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: Fair enough.

Dan Slott: [Laughs] Yes, that is a question I’d like to avoid until people read #26.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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!

Marvel.com: 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!

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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…

Marvel.com: 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.”

Marvel.com: That would be a nice thing to do.

Dan Slott: Oh now watch me do that.

Marvel.com: I’ll look for it.

Dan Slott: [Otto’s] fun! We’re spit balling here and he’s already going to these fun places.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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.

Marvel.com: 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?

Marvel.com: Indeed.

Dan Slott: And it is almost like HYDRA’s logo is like an octopus.

Marvel.com: That is true. It is almost like that.

Dan Slott: How odd.

Marvel.com: 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!

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