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Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing: Spider-Girl

Paul Tobin and Tom Brennan speak on the new series and Araà±a taking up the mantle of Spider-Girl

By Chris Arrant

In the aftermath of the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN story-arc "The Grim Hunt," the Wallcrawler heads into a new era that will include all-new Spider-Girl.

After Kraven's family brought together all the heroes who carry the spider symbol, the teenage Araña took up the costume and the mantle of Spider-Girl. Although she's been bouncing around the Marvel Universe for a few years now, the Hispanic teen gains new powers and new prominence but also new responsibilities and risk with this name.

SPIDER-GIRL #1 preview art by Clayton Henry
Set to debut on November 10, SPIDER-GIRL pairs writer Paul Tobin and artist Clayton Henry. The series promises to see the Brooklyn-born Anya Corazon trying to come to grips with being the officially endorsed Spider-Girl and learning the ropes-or the webs-from Spider-Man himself. Much like Peter Parker once upon a time, Anya must balance the rigors of being a hero with being a 16-year old in the Big Apple.

With these big changes to the status quo, Tobin goes back to square one to describe how the book got started.

"Original series editor Nate Cosby and I were always looking for new projects," Tobin shares. "I had expressed interest in some of the younger super heroes since I've been working on the Marvel Adventures line for some time. Nate called me up and asked if I'd like to give Spider-Girl a shot, and I jumped on it. I like adventure and the uncertainty that being a teenage super hero offers, and I started it from there."

Editor Tom Brennan took over the reins of the book from the recently-departed Cosby, but has been in on the conversation for some time.

"While Nate and Paul were talking about a new Spider-Girl series, we were also ramping up 'Grim Hunt,' which Anya showed up in," he explains. "It seemed a natural place to elevate her a little bit, and give an advance view of where she was going to be heading in the upcoming months. Nate Cosby did a great job working on this series with Paul, and I hope to come in seamlessly to help this fun new spin on the character."

Although Spider-man managed to come in to save the day in "Grim Hunt," the story claimed the lives of Madame Web as well as former Spider-Woman Mattie Franklin. In light of this, Anya's ascension to the role of Spider-Girl won't be without its dangers.

SPIDER-GIRL #1 preview art by Clayton Henry
"This is a major change in Anya's life, and something we began to address in the back-up story in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #648," notes Tobin. "She's pretty conflicted about it. Becoming Araña came out of the blue to her as did becoming Spider-Girl; for her, it feels like her life is being controlled from the outside by fate. At the same time, being part of the Spider Family is really important to her; Spider-Man is someone she really respects. While having the Spider-Girl name is strange at first, she admires him so much that it changes the way she looks at herself. Intimidating? Yes."

"At the end of 'Grim Hunt,' she realizes the true importance of the Spider symbol," adds Brennan. "Anya is going to have to grow up every quickly, and the responsibility of the [Spider-Girl] title is something she finds herself having to live up to."

The "Big Time" banner will link AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-GIRL in the months to come; as a result, Tobin has made preparations to stay tuned in to events of the flagship title.

"I've talked back and forth with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN writer Dan Slott, and we had a mini-summit recently to delve into the intertwined story and how we can support each other in our books," Tobin says. "Dan gave me tremendous amounts of details about what's happening in Peter's life, and some of those things will definitely reverberate in Anya's. There's a trickle-down effect, but in Anya's case it's more of an avalanche. There are big connections."

"Peter Parker's world is bigger than ever now," points out Brennan. "He has more responsibilities and his villains are much more organized. While you may not see a lot of A-to-B-to-C connections between the books,

SPIDER-GIRL #1 preview art by Clayton Henry
Spidey definitely has more work than he can handle alone. Spider-Girl's there to pick up the slack."

Although she's new to the name Spider-Girl, Anya Corazon has been swinging through comics since her debut in 2004's AMAZING FANTASY #6. As Araña, she's held her own in several limited series as well as in MS. MARVEL, YOUNG ALLIES and elsewhere. Through that time her powers have developed as have her skills.

"Although Anya's previous powers have been stripped away, she has had an immense amount of training from both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Spider-Man," Tobin reminds. "Although she won't be tossing boulders around, she can definitely handle herself in a fight."

"We'll be seeing a lot of Spider villains in SPIDER-GIRL," promises Brennan. "Right off the bat, one of Spider-Man's most recent villains shows up: Screwball, who has been making a lot of noise in the past few years."

Although other familiar faces from the Spidey side of comics will pop up, Spider-Girl will also cross some new faces-new angry red ones to be exact.

"The first heavyweight she goes up against is the Red Hulk," Brennan says. "Powerless Anya versus the Red Hulk; that's a major challenge. Although that face-off is going to be a really tough act to follow, Anya's got another major challenge right after that. Although I can't reveal too much, don't be surprised if there's a hunt on for Anya in the future."

"Anya's still trying to find her place," says Tobin. "She's establishing friendships with Susan Richards [of the Fantastic Four] and she's friends with Spider-Man. But we've all been 16 at one time or another, and at that age there's a desire to prove yourself. While she's keeping good company, she's still going to try to be an individual at the same time."

SPIDER-GIRL #1 preview art by Clayton Henry
For Brennan, he's impressed with the future Tobin's carved out for the character and the series, and sees similarities with classic Marvel titles of yore:

"I love it that Paul's set SPIDER-GIRL on more grounded conflicts. Anya doesn't go looking for the fight she'll be in, it comes crashing into her life. I think sometimes super heroes have so many cosmic threats and global-scale events that they lose touch. I love it that Spider-Girl is a hero who remembers that there are people on the street that need to be looked after too. Both Spider-Man and Wolverine are street level heroes, but at the same time they're in the Avengers now, crossing through time and space.

"SPIDER-GIRL harkens back to what Spider-man did originally, and still does now: looking out for normal people on the streets of New York."


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      I´m excited about this series, but I´m also a little worried. I hope it doesn´t repeat what happened with Bendis Spider-Woman, and I´m also hope that if this series work, Marvel satff reconsider relaunch Spider-Woman (But without Bendis, he already failed twice)


      original Spidergirl, May Parker, from MC2 universe is the real spidergirl


      The costume IS Julia Carpenter's; she just gave it to Arana at the end of Grim Hunt.


      The costume for the new "Spider-Girl" is similar to Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter). Will May Parker ever visit the new series?


      Well based on practically every other new series from the 5 issue Dr. Voodoo series to the now shortened to 6 issue mini-series Young Allies, I give this about 6 issues. Based on the spider brand it might make 12 issues if it's lucky.


      Great, now all they need is to introduce more Asian superheroes! :Dwithout the stereotypical martial arts abilities...


      yes, may Parker was the best, I liked Ariana alot but as something else. The suite she had before validated her risk. If she is just normal then the real Peter parker would be against her crime-fighting as she is one of the innocents he serves to protect. And what happenned to her sidekick? The big guy with the magic?


      What happened to the original Spidergirl, May Parker, from MC2 universe? I liked her.


      Thank you so much for continuing this story- I am so excited that you guys didn't decide to lose Araña. I am mexican, but a total comic book spaz- it's great to see that you guys have a hispanic character(I'm still waiting for Disney to come out with a hispanic princess- they have a black one, so it's only a matter of time.)