With Valentine's Day upon us, learn about the creation of this adorable depiction of Spidey and MJ.

Gentle Giant Ltd has already delivered plenty of adorable offerings with their Marvel Animated Statue line, but they may have outdone themselves with their newest release, the Spider-Man and Mary Jane Animated Statue.

With Valentine’s Day almost here, we sent some questions over to the team at Gentle Giant to find out what went into this recreation of Skottie Young’s variant cover for SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #1 and its depiction of Spider-Man and Mary Jane’s love story.

Marvel.com: First off, every person who has seen the statue in the Marvel office has let out a huge “Awww!!” Does this go for you guys as well?

Gentle Giant Ltd: Absolutely! We were already in love with the 2-D art on the Marvel comic cover, but when it comes out of the 3-D Printer, the statue is cleaned up, assembled and painted… and then you see Mary Jane’s eager little face waiting for that ring and the connection between the two of them your heart just melts!

Marvel.com: This is the first time you have done two full characters together in this line. How did it come to be? Was this something you were thinking about doing for awhile?

Gentle Giant Ltd: This is the first time we have done two full-sized characters on the same Marvel Animated Statue. Last year we did an adorable animated statue of Groot holding Rocket that has become a real fan-favorite. We wanted to get another version of Spider-Man into our Animated Statue line and when we saw this artwork, we knew if we were going to release this statue it had to be in February!

The Skottie Young variant cover for Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 that inspired the new Gentle Giant LTD Spider-Man and Mary Jane Animated Statue

Marvel.com: Talk a bit more about using Skottie Young’s RENEW YOUR VOWS variant art. Did seeing that art crystalize how it could work as a statue?

Gentle Giant Ltd: We have been doing our Marvel Animated Statue line for almost 2 years and have based our current line on those variant covers that Skottie did for Marvel. Skottie himself has been a big fan of these statues and we are BIG fans of him! Skottie came and signed these statues for fans in our booth last year at San Diego Comic Con! As soon as we saw his cover for RENEW YOUR VOWS, the wheels in our heads started turning!

Marvel.com: Spider-Man is such an icon and has had so many interpretations. What do you think it is about the character that makes him so malleable?

Gentle Giant Ltd: It’s funny, when a lot of us were growing up as Spider-Man fans it didn’t seem like there were a lot of interpretations on the character. You had Spider-Man from the comics, and he was the same as Spider-man from the short-lived TV show and he was the same as Spider-Man from the “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” cartoon. Really the only variation was on “The Electric Company,” where he didn’t speak. Sometime around the original SECRET WARS, when Marvel gave him a new costume (which was shocking back in the day), they started opening up the character to some new versions and interpretations and once he started to permeate more media channels like animation, video games and feature films, Marvel really allowed the character to keep opening up and creators to be able to draw and write the character in new and exciting ways. You kids today are living in a golden era of geekdom!

Marvel.com: Meanwhile, Mary Jane has really stood out as a character who has moved beyond any simple “love interest” label and is popular in her own right. Was it fun to get to depict her for this project?

Gentle Giant Ltd: It really was. Despite her first appearance back in 1966, Mary Jane has not appeared in very much physical product. She has been an integral part of Spider-Man’s life and his story. We have always been a fan of their relationship and we are happy when we are able to celebrate it!

Marvel.com: Spider-Man is hanging upside down by his web in the original art, which has to be a huge challenge when turning this into a statue. Do you relish those challenges and finding out how to make it work?

Gentle Giant Ltd: It is always fun to be able to solve those sorts challenges in a sculpt. Our stable of artist really relish figuring out how to execute a piece like this. You can only have so many “guys waiting for a bus” posed statues in your collection, so we are always looking for fun and interesting new ways to get these characters on your shelf. It is always fun when a fan looks at your work and askes “How did they do that?” We did a fun Spider-Man hanging from a streetlamp statue in our Collector’s Gallery line last year. Spider-man might be the worst character ever to have posed standing. You want to see him in action!

The Spider-Man and Mary Jane Animated Statue can be pre-ordered now at GentleGiantLTD.com and will be released this month!

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Jody Houser takes the Parker family into Marvel Legacy—and the future!

Splitting time between heading to class in high school and fighting crime on the streets has always defined the Peter Parker dynamic. Now, however, Pete’s daughter Annie has taken over the duality of running to chem class and tying up super villains!

On November 22, new series writer Jody Houser and artist Nick Roche leap eight years into the future with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #13! The Marvel Legacy era begins for Peter, Mary Jane, and Annie May as they contend with home life and protecting New York City.

We caught up with Jody to learn more about the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Fam.

Marvel.com: Do you envision the Peter and Mary Jane of this series as different from the mainstream Marvel Universe?

Jody Houser: While their situation has changed in both cases, I don’t think the two of them as people have really changed much at all. That has always been one of my favorite things about alternate universe stories—seeing how the characters we know react to a universe we may not. Although in this case, I’m sure Peter and MJ wish their financial situation had changed more.

Marvel.com: A lot can change in eight years—especially for a kid like Annie. How has she changed as this issue starts? Has her relationship with her parents changed?

Jody Houser: She’s now a teenager and starts to feel stifled a bit. She loves her parents and still feels close to them, but she’s starting to wonder if the training wheels will ever come off. From her perspective, she’s around the age her dad was when he first became Spider-Man, but she has a lifetime of training and experience. She just wants them to see it that way too.

Marvel.com: What about this time jump excites you as a writer? What challenges and opportunities does it present you with?

Jody Houser: The time jump ties very much into the idea of Legacy for me. Annie stands at a point where she’s thinking very much about college, the future, the shape of her adult life. She wants to decide who she’s going to be, what kind of hero she wants to be.

Marvel.com: How has the larger world of this book changed over those eight years?

Jody Houser: The world itself has progressed quietly, with new advances in technology and such, but nothing overly dramatic or world-altering—other than the usual attempts to take over or destroy the world, I’m sure. But even those kinds of changes can have a big impact on our characters, who still depend on things like traditional newspapers to make a living.

Marvel.com: How has artist Nick Roche aided you in realizing this alternate world?

Jody Houser: Nick has been amazing to work with in terms of establishing the new family dynamic and making the super hero action exciting. Honestly, I feel like I’m on the right path when he’s excited to draw something in the script. He also shares my love of fun Easter eggs.

Marvel.com: Rumor has it the family will encounter a new threat—what can you tease about that?

Jody Houser: Let’s just say that what seems to be the main threat they’re facing probably isn’t the main threat that they’re facing…

Marvel.com: What makes issue #13 a can’t-miss for readers?

Jody Houser: It’s classic super hero fun alongside Peter Parker: Dad Joke Edition. How can you miss that?

Check out Jody Houser and artist Nick Roche’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #13 on November 22!

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Jody Houser and Nick Roche on Legacy’s leap into Peter and MJ’s future!

As the start of Marvel Legacy heralds the return of a few favorite characters, team configurations, costumes, and more, the up-and-coming heroes of the Universe continue to propel Marvel tradition forward—and no series serves as a greater example of that than AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS!

On November 22, the Spider-family swings into Legacy as writer Jody Houser and artist Nick Roche present issue #13! Eight years into the future, Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s daughter, Annie, is in high school—and fights crime alongside her mom and dad!

We caught up with RENEW YOUR VOWS creative duo Jody and Nick to learn more about the Parker family’s newest chapter.

Marvel.com: Issue #13 is called “Eight Years Later.” What does that mean for Spidey, MJ, and Annie?

Jody Houser: Jumping forward puts Annie in high school—and there will be more of a focus on her school life than we’ve seen before—but overall it’s still the story of the Parker family.

Nick Roche: Annie will be the focus of the biggest changes for sure—we last saw her as an eight-year-old, so nearly an entire lifetime has passed for her ahead of our run on the book. The new dynamic she has with her parents also reflects in her attitude about her super powers. But she’s not the only one in the Parker family experiencing some serious changes…

Marvel.com: Seeing Peter and Mary Jane together—and getting to know their daughter—seems like the perfect old-yet-new combination to add to Marvel Legacy.

Nick Roche: For sure! Legacy lives in the form of Annie May Parker—who’s now roughly the same age as Pete when he got his powers after being bitten by that radioactive [Note: Can you add in the correct creature that bit Peter in here? I want to say penguin? Was it a squirrel…? I’m blanking].

It’s interesting to see how Annie copes with the responsibilities associated with her abilities. But there’s something quite joyous about Peter and MJ together so far down the line, still each other’s best friend and ally. And with a super powered teenager in the house, they’ll need all the support they can get.

Jody Houser: Having a daughter who really represents the next generation of heroes feels very much in-line with Marvel Legacy. And as someone who has always been a fan of the alternate universes in Marvel, I’m excited to be contributing to that legacy as well.

Marvel.com: Annie contributes to the Spider-Man legacy and also stands out as a hero on her own—what’s it like creating the teenage version of this character?

Jody Houser: It’s a lot of fun. Having a character who is the child of a legend—but treats him like a dorky dad—adds such a great dynamic. She’s grown up with special abilities and punching villains as the norm around her house, so it’s fascinating seeing her life as a teenager.

Nick Roche: Well, I feel that [writer] Gerry Conway, [artist] Ryan Stegman, and now Jody are her real parents. Her new look has already been established ahead of my participation, so I’m more like a well-meaning uncle trying to keep up with his cool niece. Though I did feel a tingle when I drew her first appearance in comic book form. The trick is to draw the book like you don’t care about the weight of expectation, but make it look like it’s all you care about. I’m associated forever with her now—and it feels great.

Marvel.com: Now that we’re in the Legacy era, will any other classic elements of SPIDER-MAN lore show up in the book moving forward?

Jody Houser: You’ll definitely see some familiar faces from Spidey’s rogues’ gallery—as well as some of the heroes he’s come to know. We’re telling very classic, fun super hero stories in this book.

Nick Roche: Even in the RENEW YOUR VOWS-iverse, the roster of amazing Marvel characters extends in infinite directions. Issue #13 gets bookended by some bucket list guest appearances from Spidey’s rogues’ gallery. And I know for a fact that one or two of his pals poke their super sensitive (in some cases) noses around the door to see how the Parkers are getting on.

But Jody writes great “off-duty” hero scenes, so the sections where Pete, MJ, and Annie are lovingly bickering at home are just as interesting to read (and draw!) as the amazing action she’s built her story around.

Marvel.com: Anything else we can expect from the Parkers?

Jody Houser: Dad jokes! So many dad jokes.

Nick Roche: I’m worried that Marvel will bill me for having so much fun on their dime. I hope the blast we’re having on the book becomes evident on the page—and that it convinces loyal RENEW YOUR VOW readers that the book they fell in love with is as fun as it’s ever been.

Witness the Marvel Legacy launch of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #13, by Jody Houser and Nick Roche, on November 22!

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McKeever and Miyazawa re-imagine Spidey's high school experience with Mary Jane Watson as the star!

Celebrate the Wall Crawler’s return to the big screen in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” by heading back to school with these adventures available on Marvel Unlimited!

High school’s rough for anyone, whether you’re a web-slinging superhero or a teenage girl with a crush on one. Sean McKeever and Takeshi Miyazawa explored the latter with a series of books called MARY JANE, MARY JANE: HOMECOMING and two volumes of SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE, though other creators helped bring the story to a close. 

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (2005) #1

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (2005) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Set in an alternate universe in which Peter, Harry Osborn, Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy, Flash Thompson and Liz Allan all attended high school together – Peter met Harry and Gwen in college in the 616 – these stories explore Watson’s ever-changing feelings for the masked man of her dreams!

Initially launched with the four issue limited series MARY JANE in 2004, the overarching story focused on a young woman dealing with the intensity of her feelings while creating a carefree persona. Mirroring the reasons readers initially fell in love with Spider-Man, Mary Jane worried about making money and appeasing her parental units, but not to make web fluid, she wanted to go to the homecoming dance. 

Mary Jane (2004) #1

Mary Jane (2004) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In fact, much of the drama in this series revolved around the big dance, MJ’s desire to buy the perfect dress for it and also figure out who she wanted to go with. She and Harry Osborn might have seemed perfect for each other on paper, but she had another in mind: Spider-Man.

Of course, her best friend Liz Allan thought her crazy for wanting such a thing, but she really lost her mind after seeing MJ and Flash in am apparently romantic moment!

All the while, a nerdy kid named Peter Parker started appearing more and more in Mary Jane’s life, first as a tutor and then as more of a friend. We all know how that relationship evolved in one version of the Wall-Crawler’s history, but to see what happens in this one, you’ll just have to read all of SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE which ended with a five issue limited series second season volume in 2009.

A Tangled Web

While MARY JANE and SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE didn’t see the title character become a super hero, that’s not the case with every other version of MJ from the various realities. In EXILES we met a version of Watson who not only became Spider-Woman, but also joined the Avengers as seen in EXILES #20. She and the dimension-hopping Sunfire strike up a relationship as they all battle the spreading threat of the Phalanx aided by Asgardians. Later, during a time when the team found themselves displaced on various dimensions, Sunfire and MJ got to spend six weeks together before the Exile teleported away on another adventure.

In the next installment we take a look at the all ages books SPIDER-MAN ADVENTURES!

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Gerry Conway shares his favorite highlights from the rambunctious redhead's life to date!

This week, two of our favorite lovebirds—or should we say “love spiders”—websling and wallcrawl their way into your hearts with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #1 from writer Gerry Conway and artist Ryan Stegman. Join Peter Parker, Mary Jane, and their daughter, Annie as they navigate life together as one big happy Spider-Family.  

Speaking of Mary Jane, we took a trip down memory lane with Conway to find out some of his all-time favorite MJ moments.

Face It, Tiger

“One of my favorite moments for Mary Jane and why I think she represents the issue of judging people by our expectations of them is the entire way she was introduced as a character back in the early Spider-Man stories. She’s someone that was initially seen from a distance. Her face was concealed and Peter was running away from meeting her because he thought it was just a set up by his aunt and she’s probably some girl who can’t get a date; it was very much about Peter’s expectations about what he thinks he’s going to see. And of course, when she shows up and does the whole ‘Face it, tiger…you just hit the jackpot!’ bit that’s a very self-aware statement on her part. I don’t think that Stan Lee and John Romita really intended this, but you can really interpret this whole revelation of Mary Jane as kind of an objectification to women, right? You know Peter has his expectations, he’s trying to run away from somebody without even knowing anything about her, and then the very first thing that she presents to him—and the readers—is her incredible beauty. That’s supposed to be why he’s hit the jackpot, but in my opinion, the real reason why he’s hit the jackpot is that he’s finally met this woman who is his equal is and challenging expectations of what other people put on her and just being her own true self.”

Strength in Sorrow

“What was striking to me about Mary Jane is that right after Gwen [Stacy’s] death when Peter lashes out and is unavailable and emotionally immature, she has a moment where she can walk out and decide to continue the surface behavior she’s using in her defense or she can be real and she chooses to be real. I thought that was a key moment for her and her growth as a character.

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #1

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

“That [moment of realness by Mary Jane] was paralleled by Peter when he steps up and acknowledges his behavior towards her and that they really are a couple that’s meant to be together. He recognizes how she’s grown and how she’s gilded him to his true self.”

Parallel Lives

“In [the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: PARALLEL LIVES graphic novel], we showed that Peter Parker and Mary Jane grew up in similar circumstances—with how they lived almost literally down the street from each other in Queens and how their maturing as individuals came about. That [scenario] sort of addresses her realization [of Peter Parker being Spider-Man]. I think she always suspected something about Peter and there was always something that she was hiding, too. To some degree, they were both concealing their true selves by their outer selves.”

Renew Your Vows 

“One of my favorite moments is coming up in the [AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS] series. We are trying to show what an actual adult relationship is really like and what a parental relationship is really like—because that’s different than just a couple relationship. And one of the nice things about Mary Jane is that unlike Peter—whose primary identification as an individual is Peter Parker or Spider-Man—Mary Jane is more. She has roles that she plays and in each of those roles she takes on different attitudes. There’s a sequence in issue #2 where all three of her roles as Mary Jane, the spider character she has become, and as mother all come together in one moment and it’s a terrific moment that I think Ryan Stegman did a wonderful job bringing to life.”

Grab AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #1 by Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman now for more MJ, and look for issue #2 coming December 7!

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Ryan Stegman provides details and art on the adventures of a married webslinger in Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows!

Love is in the air with Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman’s November 9-launching series AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS. 

Next month, readers will get a chance to see what would have happened if Peter Parker and Mary Jane stayed together and had a daughter named Annie who herself goes on to fight crime. This ongoing, alternate-universe title picks up where the Secret Wars book of the same name by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert left off, but blazes its own trail.

We talked with Stegman about working alongside a Spider-Man legend, building this new world, drawing accurate kid characters, and more.

Marvel.com: You’re working on this book with a Spider-Man legend. What’s the collaborative relationship like with Gerry?

Ryan Stegman: It’s an honor for starters. It’s also pretty daunting! He’s worked with some of the greatest artists in comics history. I’m just doing my best to not make a fool of myself.

Marvel.com: When it came to designing the super hero looks for Mary Jane and Annie, how much of it was original design and how much was looking back to the Secret Wars limited series?

Ryan Stegman: It was pretty much 100% original design. In the original Secret Wars series, their costumes had context for how they had come up with them. It made perfect sense for that book. Even though this book picks up from where that one left off, there is a different context and I wanted to reflect that.

To me it wouldn’t make sense for MJ to continue sporting the Regent look, and it would make sense that Annie would start out with the costume she had in that series because they had to come up with something quickly. But now she’s had a little time and they’ve come up with something more practical.


Marvel.com: This series takes place in an alternate universe where, basically, Brand New Day didn’t happen. Is that giving you a lot of room to go in different directions with the designs of otherwise familiar characters?

Ryan Stegman: Absolutely. I can take these characters in any direction I want, pretty much. And that’s extremely liberating. I’ve always loved Spider-Man’s villains and I have a lot of thoughts on them and how they should be portrayed. Since I’m not really following anything, I can get into a creative space that is very exciting for me.

Marvel.com: Who have you had the most fun putting your stamp on so far?

Ryan Stegman: Mole Man! No question. This guy is UG-LY. And I absolutely love drawing him for it.

Marvel.com: What are the keys to getting Annie’s look right? It’s not always easy to draw hero kids that still look like kids instead of tiny adults.

Ryan Stegman: Well, it’s very difficult to be honest! But to draw kids you have to exaggerate their features. You have to change the proportions of the head and make the eyes bigger. There’s a delicate balance between not exaggerating enough and exaggerating too much, but you just have to keep trying ‘til it works. I’ve got kids, too, so I look at them. Plus, I have a niece that is Annie’s age so I try and keep her in mind always.

Marvel.com: This version of Peter and MJ have been together for 10 years and have a daughter together. How do you portray them differently than you would if they were more newly in love?

Ryan Stegman: I’m not sure that I do! I portray them as very much in love, just as much as always. They are meant to be together, and while they may have their disagreements it always comes back to that place of love with them.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #1 by Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman walks down the aisle on November 9!

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Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman pick up the married adventures of Peter Parker and his daughter Annie!

Do you have an itch only Spider family fun can scratch?

Let Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman tell you all about their new book, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS, picking up where the Secret Wars series of the same name by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert left off this November and starring everyone’s favorite neighborhood Spider-Man, Mary Jane, and their daughter Annie!

Marvel.com: Spider-Man and his web-headed pals are in a bunch of books right now, sailing across Manhattan’s skyline and punching bad guys. Can you tell us a little about AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS and what makes it different for the other Spidey books out there?

Gerry Conway: It’s hard when you discuss an alternate universe book to make it clear these stories matter to continuity, but in the case of RYV—and all the Spider-Verse inspired series—they really do matter, because there’s the potential for cross-pollination between these universes. But even without that, RYV fills a very special role: it shows us the life Peter Parker would be living without the events of Brand New Day.

For long time fans—and new fans too, of course—it’s a book full of possibilities. We can literally do almost anything with Peter, Mary Jane, Annie, and the world of RENEW YOUR VOWS. This is a story about a family of super heroes; close knit, loving, and funny. It’s exciting for us as creators and we hope it’ll be fun and exciting for readers too.

Marvel.com: You guys are playing in an all-new sandbox with this book right? Everything takes place in a world apart from the prime Marvel Universe that hasn’t really been explored yet. Is that kind of creative control daunting? Liberating?

Gerry Conway: I kinda answered this one above. Ryan you wanna take a crack at it?

Ryan Stegman: Sure. It’s absolutely liberating. It reminds me of when I worked on SCARLET SPIDER. It wasn’t a separate universe per se, but it was Houston instead of New York. So we didn’t have to work within the parameters of whichever big events were happening and we could tell an uninterrupted story. In RENEW YOUR VOWS, we have a similar scenario except probably even more freedom as I can change the designs of pretty much anybody to suit how I want to draw them. It’s incredibly fun to put my spin on classic designs. 

Marvel.com: What kind of stories are you guys most excited to tell in this new world? You’ve got a clean slate to work with. Do you have any favorite characters you’re trying to work in?

Gerry Conway: We’ll be playing in the Spider-Man sandbox, but because we’re the only series set in this particular world, we’re free to bring in characters and villains that might normally only appear in different Marvel series. For example, our first three-issue arc features Mole Man—but it’s a version of Mole Man no one’s seen before.

Ryan Stegman: I just want to tell stories that I would want to read. I’ve always loved love in comic books. It seems to be something that is rarer and rarer these days. But this is a family that loves each other, and that immediately raises the stakes immeasurably. And I get to draw the big super hero action scenes as well as the quiet, tender moments. It’s a perfect balance. 

Marvel.com: We’ve got a family of crime fighters doing spider things, but would you call RENEW YOUR VOWS a “family friendly” book? 

Gerry Conway: Absolutely. That isn’t to say there won’t be drama and tension, but this isn’t a dark series. The emphasis is on fun, family comedy and drama, action and suspense. Not planning any dramatic visits to the George Washington or Brooklyn Bridges.

Marvel.com: Gerry how are Peter and Mary Jane different than how we see them now in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN? What sort of relationship do they have? And what’s their daughter Annie like?

Gerry Conway: Well, they’ve been married for 10 years, they’re parents of an eight-year-old daughter, they love each other, they’re committed to each other and they have the typical day to day difficulties of a young family in New York. Plus, spider-powers. Which aren’t always a plus.

Marvel.com: Ryan, how does your style in this book compare to say, SCARLET SPIDER? Did you get to reimagine the crime fighting trio’s look?

Ryan Stegman: My style has evolved because SCARLET SPIDER was…five years ago? Yeesh. Anyway, I’ve evolved, but the same super hero action and dedication to drawing Spider-people in spider-poses is still there. I love drawing Spider-people. It’s what I was born to do. So this is a pretty easy project for me to sink my teeth into.

I did get to re-design the costumes. I left Peter’s as-is because, well, it’s the greatest costume design in comic book history. You can do all kinds of different things to it, but nothing beats the classic. MJ got a new look, one based on her love of fashion. Her willful attitude would definitely make her want to set herself apart from Peter’s look. So she’s got a costume that reflects Peter’s, but screams MJ. And their daughter Annie is from the same tree costume-wise, but her costume involves a lot more pads because her parents are over-protective! I mean, would you let your child go swing around the city without pads?

Marvel.com: Is there anything else we should know about RENEW YOUR VOWS before it hits store shelves?

Gerry Conway: It’s going to be a historic hit and everyone needs to order multiple copies for future resale. You’ve been warned.

Ryan Stegman: You should know that I’m doing everything I can to make this the best work of my career. I feel great about it; I’m having the time of my life. I think the readers will feel that enthusiasm coming through. 

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more Marvel NOW! news and interviews, and get ready for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS from Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman beginning in November!

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Recruit Mary Jane and Otto Octavius to help battle one of Spider-Man's toughest foes and learn about what's coming next!

Mary Jane and her Iron Spider armor arrive in “Marvel Avengers Academy” just as Doc Ock decides to take matters into his own hands and eliminate our heroes himself! Players can battle the not-so-good doctor in order to recruit Mary Jane and they’ll want every new student they can find in the upcoming battle against Green Goblin. While the first act of the Spider-Verse event comes to a close, there’s another threat looming on the horizon, and hero and villain alike will need to come together to tackle the new problems facing New York and the world.

We sat down with Allen Warner, Senior Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get an idea of how the rest of this event will play out and what to expect in Act Two when it kicks off next week.

Marvel.com: Mary Jane dons her Iron Spider suit in the game, a combo that only debuted in the comics recently. How closely were you working with Marvel Games and Marvel editorial to design this version of MJ?

Allen Warner: We work really closely with all of the great people at Marvel Games, but this was actually a happy coincidence. We wanted to include Mary Jane as a playable character in the event since she’s always been such an important part of Peter Parker’s life, and such an iconic figure in Spider-Man’s world, and the Marvel Universe as a whole. We also wanted her to be on equal footing with all of the superhumans, super spies, and armored heroes at Avengers Academy, so we needed a way to make her more powerful and durable as she evolved. At the same time, we wanted to include the Iron Spider armor since it’s so iconic and cool-looking, and Iron Man is so integral to our game. We already had another alternate outfit planned for Spider-Man, so it just made a lot of sense to give Mary Jane the Iron Spider armor. Marvel Games agreed to the approach and her designs, and we were good to go. I think it makes for some really fun character dynamics with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Pepper Potts, and other characters not only reacting to her being at the school, but to Tony Stark designing armor specifically made for her. Our talented art team always does an incredible job with all of our character designs, but all three of her designs are some of my favorites in the game to this point, and she was a lot of fun to write. I’m really happy with how she turned out, and it’s awesome to have the stories in the comics and our game be so aligned, and be supporting each other.

Marvel.com: Similar to The Lizard after the previous episode, will Doc Ock be unlockable when the next episode starts?

Allen Warner: Yes, Doc Ock will be available to recruit as soon as the next episode starts. He has a final falling out with the Green Goblin, and decides to abandon Oscorp and the Sinister Six to join the academy, and try his hand at heroism. He’s not the easiest guy to get along with, but he forms some fun alliances and unlikely friendships on his unique road to redemption. Our awesome animation team gave him some amazing actions, and I think players will really enjoy having grumpy young Doc Ock around.

Marvel.com: Does having Otto on their roster give players an advantage against Green Goblin in the final battle?

Allen Warner: Yes, Doctor Octopus will help players craft a cure to the Goblin Formula that will weaken Green Goblin enough to battle and defeat him, and ultimately stabilize Norman Osborn’s personality enough to make him see the error of his ways, and become the newest recruit to Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: How will the characters and event buildings unlocked so far play into that final battle?

Allen Warner: Every event character, every event building, and every special event outfit will play a role in the final battle against Green Goblin. Some characters and outfitted heroes will work on the cure to the Goblin Formula, some will battle Green Goblin directly, and everyone will use Oscorp Labs, the Daily Bugle, the Sky-Cycles, and every other building including a new one coming in the next episode to collect and craft everything you need to defeat Green Goblin and Oscorp once and for all.

Marvel.com: With Act One ending in a week, what can you tell us about Act Two? Can players do anything to prepare for the threats coming in the second half?

Allen Warner: Act Two will be a continuation of the Act One story, but in every other way it will feel like a brand-new event. There will be a brand-new event district, new characters, new outfits, new buildings, new mechanics, and new features. Act One was largely about super-science rivalries, and Peter Parker’s journey to embrace his role as Spider-Man, and earn the trust of his teammates and his city, but Act Two will an all-out Symbiote assault on “Avengers Academy.”

Spider-Man discovers that Oscorp has secretly been trapping and experimenting on Symbiotes, but when he tries to send the Symbiotes back to their home planet to avoid an inevitable catastrophe, everything literally blows up in his face. He accidentally frees the Symbiotes, and they immediately try to take over the Academy and the entire world by transforming and destroying anyone and everything that gets in their way. Venom and Carnage lead the Symbiote army, and establish their villainous headquarters at “Avengers Academy.” They want revenge against Oscorp and the Sinister Six, but can’t resist the temptation to take control of the incredibly powerful students at the Academy. They aren’t the most stable or cordial partners, but it’s hard to imagine anyone stopping them. Our heroes will do their best by donning some new outfits designed for battle, including a Black Widow outfit that’s brand-new and one of the coolest we’ve ever included in the game.

Spider-Verse heroes from other dimensions and timelines arrive to help stop the Symbiotes, but are almost immediately trapped, and need help from the “Avengers Academy” students to get free, and help save the day. Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man 2099 will be available from the beginning, and part of their stories will be realizing that there are many more Spider-Verse heroes spread across time and space, and that some of those heroes also need help, and will eventually be finding their way to “Avengers Academy”.

The Sinister Six angle also continues as Electro and Mysterio arrive to try and take advantage of the villainous void left by Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin, but soon realize that they’ll have to work together with their rivals and the heroes to have any hope of stopping the Symbiotes. All of this leads to a conclusion with a ton of exciting possibilities as these events have not only grabbed the attention of other heroes across the Spider-Verse, but also a group of young heroes living in a certain neighborhood in New York that decide to finally set their sights on Avengers Academy…

Learn more about “Marvel Avengers Academy” and start playing today!

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Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli brings the Avengers to Spidey's aid against Regent!

Writer Dan Slott and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli plan to bring even more new elements into the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN mix with the recently-begun “Power Play” story arc.

The epic kicked off with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #12 and brought the Wallcrawler into direct conflict with Iron Man. Along the way, the All-New, All-Different Avengers got in on the action, the villain Regent made his presence known and Mary Jane walked back into Peter’s life.

In other words, the drama just flows in this latest tale!

Camuncoli talks with us about bringing in the new Avengers, playing with Regent’s adaptive abilities, and the MJ situation as “Power Play” draws to a close with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15 on July 6!

Marvel.com: Right now you’re in the middle of the “Power Play” story which brings in a variety of other characters. Have any of them offered you any unexpected challenges?

Giuseppe Camuncoli: Not really. At least, none unexpected. Aside from having to draw a lot of heroes, which is great as I love basically every character of the Marvel Universe so it’s always cool when you get the chance to draw one that you have never drawn before. But of course that requires attention to details as I always try to have the costumes done correctly and to get the essence and the core of every one of them even if it’s just a single, small appearance in a panel. I got to draw some new ones like the new Thor or the new Nova—I was a big fan of the original one, Rich Rider, when I was a kid—or Vision just to name a few. And it’s been a blast.

Marvel.com: Part of the story revolves around a conflict between Spider-Man and Iron Man. Those two have very different physical looks and ways of fighting. How is it mixing those up in the layouts?

Giuseppe Camuncoli: Well, I guess that the props should go to Dan as he did a brilliant job in the script to catch the essence of both characters: attitude, jokes, manners, and all that jazz. So it was easy for me to get the flow of that clash of egos and powers during “Power Play.” It was also fun to play with their powers and armors. I really, really loved drawing the new Iron Man armor. I think it has a very beautiful design and one that sticks with you when you draw on top of that, so kudos to David Marquez for such a tremendous concept.

Marvel.com: This series also brings Mary Jane back into the picture. There’s always some awkwardness with exes. Does that come across on the page?

Giuseppe Camuncoli: Well, I hope so. With Mary Jane and Peter right now it’s a mixed-emotions thing on both sides, I guess. Add Tony Stark in the mix and you’ll get the picture. I think that Peter will always love MJ and MJ will always love Peter, although they’re not together anymore and sometimes they might seem like they hate each other. She’s like the ultimate “ex,” the one that you can’t forget and that you don’t want to forget. But one that you still love seeing, even if it might hurt.

Marvel.com: Regent is a carryover from Secret Wars. How was it bringing him into the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe and making him your own?

Giuseppe Camuncoli: It was great. I recently met [Regent co-creator] Adam Kubert in person, at the Naples Comicon, and I told him that Regent was really fun to draw. I like drawing big guys like the Thing or the Hulk. It’s amazing to play with their impossible anatomies. And, again, I liked a lot [about] the design. I always try to respect, as I said earlier, the original design of every character I draw so I hope I nailed Regent with my version.

Marvel.com: In addition to the anatomy is it fun playing with Regent’s power-stealing abilities?

Giuseppe Camuncoli: It is. One of the most epic Avengers fights I remember from when I was a kid was versus the Super-Adaptoid. Have you ever seen that? The sheer concept of a villain being able to steal a hero’s power—well, he did also physically change as he mimicked the heroes’ likenesses too, but that’s another story—made me go nuts! So I was very happy to do something along those lines with Regent.

It’s especially creative to imagine how a specific power would work with him, why he would choose it and how he would use it against Spidey and Iron Man. In many sequences, Dan and Nick left me free to go crazy and decide which powers he would use, so that’s always a plus.

“Power Play” concludes each month in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15 by Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli on July 6!

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Brian Bendis brings Mary Jane Watson to the supporting cast of Invincible Iron Man!

Mary Jane Watson has spent decades swinging with Spider-Man, but come December, she’s upgrading.

Beginning with INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #4, MJ will become a regular member of Tony Stark’s supporting cast in an unexpected new role. Writer Brian Bendis pounced on the opportunity to integrate Marvel’s most famous redhead into the Armored Avenger’s world when it presented itself.

“We were at one of our glorious Marvel publishing retreats and certain characters got brought up, sometimes almost accidentally, and I found out that nobody had anything going on with Mary Jane,” recalls Bendis. “I sat with that for a while and I always go to this place in my head where I [wonder] what the most interesting thing I would like to see that character do now and it fell right into the ideas I was already cooking for Tony Stark.”

While these two Marvel mainstays have met and interacted, their dynamic in this All-New, All-Different landscape will take many by surprise.

“They know each other,” Bendis affirms. “She used to live in Avengers Tower. But that’s all I’m going to say for now because what kind of relationship they end up having is a big part of what I would like people to buy the book for. But what I can tell you is that it is new territory for both Tony and Mary Jane. And that is pretty exciting to write.”

“I [have] spent most of my time at Marvel writing the teenage version of Mary Jane [in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN],” he continues. “This is a grown-up woman who has been through a lot. She seems like one of those characters that went down certain paths that may not have panned out the way she hope; and she’s ready for a kick ass second act.”

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN kicks off this October with Mary Jane Watson joining the cast in December!

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