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Spider-Island: Deadly Foes

Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Fred Van Lente cast a collective eye on the evil of The Jackal and Hobgoblin

By Ben Morse

With Spider-Man and his allies furiously attempting to aid the infected populace of Manhattan, those with less noble intentions will look to exploit the situation—but if they’re not careful, they could quickly become victims themselves. 

In August, writers Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Fred Van Lente along with artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Minck Oosterveer present SPIDER-ISLAND: DEADLY FOES, tracking The Jackal and the newest Hobgoblin on their personal journeys through the bizarrely mutated New York City.

Peter Parker vs The Jackal

The Jackal—who has already made his presence felt behind the scenes in the Infestation prologue stories of late—has not been seen in over a decade, but Peter Parker’s former professor will be front, center and under major suspicion once ordinary citizens begin exhibiting spider powers. 

“He’s been around,” says Van Lente, playing coy on the recent whereabouts of The Jackal. “His return has everything to do with the genesis of Spider-Island. He’s pretty much an expert at creating Spider-Men, at least through cloning—has he discovered another way?”

Warren initially targeted Spider-Man years ago out of jealousy and revenge, having secretly coveted another of his students, Gwen Stacy, and blaming the Wallcrawler for her death. The Jackal would cause his rival no small amount of anguish with his clones and knack for manipulation. Though the villain’s methods may have altered slightly, his motivation remains the same—and will introduce a new player into the already volatile mix. 

“[He’s doing it for] love—isn’t that sweet,” posits Van Lente. “But it isn’t. It’s an evil creepy stalker get-you-arrested kind of love, and he’s going to inflict it on the whole world whether it wants it or not.

“Other than cloning Spider-Men, The Jackal is also adept at cloning Gwen Stacys. As we all know, before he successfully cloned Peter Parker, he had a ‘starter clone’ that didn’t work out [and] became known as Kaine. Therefore, wouldn’t it follow that there was a pre-Gwen Stacy clone with similar issues? There is, and we meet her in this tale.” 

SPIDER-ISLAND: DEADLY FOES #1 cover by Stefano Caselli

Switching generations of Spidey bad guys, but sticking to the love gone wrong theme, young Phil Urich, the latest to don the mantle of Hobgoblin, will attempt to use Spider-Island to further his own romantic advances.

“[Phil has] been hot for Daily Bugle reporter Norah Winters for awhile now, and he’s getting tired of waiting for her to dump her boyfriend, Randy Robertson,” recounts Gage. “So he’s going to solve the problem the civilized way: with a flaming sword!”

Sounds like curtains for the son of Robbie Robertson, no? Not so fast. 

“It’s Randy Robertson with spider powers—powers greater than Spider-Man’s in fact,” Gage reveals. “Hobby picked a bad time to attack Randy, when people throughout Manhattan are getting spider powers. It’s going to be a lot more challenging than he expected.”

Check back each morning this week on Marvel.com for another Spider-Island announcement, and for even more information and other goodies, visit our Spider-Island event page. 

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Seems like Maximum clonage revisited. Not looking forward to it.


The spider island event seemed like it might be interesting. But am I the only one who let out a huge grown the second they learned that the Jackel was involved?