By Jim Beard
Brand New Day
Not just hype, not just heated hyperbole, but after the events of September and October's explosive "Spider-Man: One More Day" storyline, Spider-Man's monthly publishing slate will be swept clean and only one webslingin' title will remain: the one, the only, the original AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. And you'll get it three times a month, starting with November's #546.
Then, well, face it, Tiger...you've hit the jackpot.
You'll remember we talked with Marvel editor Steve Wacker last month
when the joyous news broke, and he said quite bombastically that the House of Ideas was putting "everything into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN." That still stands true, and now Wacker & Co. are ready to elaborate on this new era for the founding Spider-Man title, its incredibly cool near-weekly status and the quite-frankly-my-dear-I-do-give-a-darn amazing creators who will deliver it to you.
Wait, did we say "creators"? We did indeed, and their name is legion: Dan Slott, Steve, McNiven, Mark Guggenheim, Salvador Larroca, Bob Gale, Phil Jimenez, Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo! Can we get an "Make Mine Marvel!" for that line-up?
Brand New Day
Now, curious Marvel fans may be quick to peg this November as the beginning of a fresh, new life for Spider-Man, with his outlook clear and his soul renewed. Not exactly, says Wacker. "No matter what happens in 'One More Day,' Peter Parker still has to deal with the biggest problem in his life...being Spider-Man, so it's not like anything is solved for him."
In other words, this is the friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man that we all know and love. Peter's life hasn't always been a bed of roses, even in the halcyon days of the '60s. He's always been the poster boy for bad luck and rotten timing and the new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN will be bringing you that unique form of superhero drama and angst three times monthly. "I think those first few years of Spider-Man are very intelligently written and drawn and aren't nearly as carefree as people seem to think they are," reflects Wacker. "Peter's had a very dark life. By the time he's 16, he's lost three quarters of the people he's closest to in his life. A few years after that, his girlfriend dies in his arms...and now his Aunt May looks like she's about to pass away, too.
"Peter's life is a collection of tragedies and somehow he manages to persevere," Wacker continues. "And then Dr. Octopus attacks. That's what you can expect from 'Brand New Day.'"
It's usually around this point in an article about changes in your favorite title that the old chestnuts of "a perfect jumping-on spot for readers" or a "turning point" are brought out. Can AMAZING SPIDER-MAN be both? "The way I see it, every issue should be both," reassures Wacker. "There should be enough information in those 22 pages to get you intrigued and make you want to come back the next week. Each issue of ASM should capture a moment in Peter's life and put him at a crossroads that may change his life in one way or another.
Brand New Day
"I think the 'roller-coaster' feel of a good comic is much more intense when you publish chapters this frequently, rather than waiting several weeks for the next installment," he notes, referring to the benefits of the construction of 'Brand New Day' in its near-weekly format. "If we do our jobs well, readers will more than just want the next issue, they'll be hungry for it and need to get to the store that week to see what's going on with Spider-Man."
The spankin' new creative teams for Amazing Spider-Man will be "launched" in November's #546, and though they will first appear in titanic teams of two, the writers and artists will eventually break from their initial team and find themselves being paired with a creator from another duo. "The fun will be in who will be teamed with who," says Wacker. Expect the unexpected and never underestimate what any given team can and will accomplish with one of the greatest and most unique superheroes ever.
"The Spidey brain trust of writers spans the gamut of the character's history in terms of when they became interested in the wall-crawler," explains rock-solid Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. "Which gives us a wide range of viewpoints on the material in the room. The idea was to get a good mix of viewpoints, all of whom would have something unique to contribute, but all of whom would come at the character and his world from a slightly different direction."
Brand New Day
"New villains!" trumpets Wacker, to your silently-mouthed question of what one thing, what one aspect of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN will blow you, the discerning reader, away. "Spider-Man needs some new challenges because the umpteenth return of the 'edgy' new Vulture...now with a skateboard!!!...just won't cut it anymore.
"I'm also thrilled at the caliber of artists signing up," he beams proudly, like a new papa with a red and blue webby baby. "McNiven, Larocca, Jimenez and Bachalo get us started in the first four months and I challenge you to find a better-looking book on the stands.
"And it doesn't stop from there," teases Wacker. "You'll keep getting big artist news as the year goes on."
The real countdown has begun. Spidey swings monthly right now, in three incredible titles, then faces the hard-hitting events of 'One More Day' beginning in September.
Then, True Believer, then it's a Brand New Day. Gotta join us.
Everything you need to know on the four Spider-Man: Brand New Day launch teams:
Dan Slott and Steve McNiven
Bob Gale and Phil Jimenez
Marc Guggenheim and Salvador Larroca
Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo