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Amazing Spider-Man: Universal Soldier

Roger Stern lets us in on Captain Universe's quest for revenge on The Juggernaut and how Spidey's caught in the middle

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628 preview art by Lee Weeks
By Jim Beard

Did you miss the surprise appearance of Captain Universe on the last shocking page of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #627! Spider-Man's life just got a whole lot more complicated-cosmically so! Spider-scribe Roger Stern's here to tell us all about the Captain-featured in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628, out this week-and what makes him the coolest Cosmic Avatar this side of the universe!

"The intriguing thing about Captain Universe is that he-or she-could be anybody," Stern explains. "There's an extra-dimensional Enigma Force that can empower anyone, even you or me, and transform them into Captain Universe."

Anyone? Even though they may already possess super powers?

"Well, Spider-Man himself once was Captain Universe, circa AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #327-329," notes Stern. "Hey, I just realized, that was 300 issues ago. Cool! But, referring to the current Captain, Spider-Man briefly crossed paths with the guy once before. And before the story is over, you'll find out when and where."

Since 1979, the Uni-Power's maintained a succession of hosts to contain it and to fly into action as Captain Universe. From recognizable Marvel characters like Doctor Strange and the aforementioned Spidey to everyday folks, the Power doesn't discriminate.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628 preview art by Lee Weeks
"My favorites were Clare and Ann, the Dodson Sisters, in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #10," Stern notes of his preferences in Captains. "Coming up with twin Captain Universes was one of [writer] Bill Mantlo's most inspired ideas. And Steve Ditko drew them so well."

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628 spotlights that curious problem of street-smart Spidey tackling a problem of cosmic proportions like Captain Universe. How does Stern manage balance such different characters and backgrounds in one story?  

"Cosmic-powered heavy-hitters like Captain Universe pretty much throw Spider-Man's life completely out of balance," he says. "That's what makes them so interesting. In this particular case, Spider-Man is forced to use every bit of wit and intelligence he has. Captain Universe isn't the sort that he can just muscle out of the way."

This Cosmic Avatar's got quite a mad-on for a fellow who goes by the name Juggernaut. And if that guy's been laid low, what chance does a poor slob like Spidey have?

"Spider-Man is going to be preoccupied with trying to keep himself and Juggernaut alive, while [both] trying to reason with Captain Universe and desperately trying to ring in help from the Avengers, the Fantastic Four,

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628 preview art by Lee Weeks
and anyone else he can think to call," Stern forecasts.

And lest we forget, though the writer may seem to easily juggle such humongous consequences for our hero, he also benefits wildly from the presence of amazing artist Lee Weeks on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #628.

"Magnificent!" says Stern of Week's contribution. "Lee's mutant power is that he can draw just about any screwy thing I come up with!"


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      Captain Universe could be that Villian called Freak. Just an opinion.