By TJ Dietsch
A brand new series featuring a familiar spider-themed hero will launch in January as writer Chris Yost and Ryan Stegman collaborate on SCARLET SPIDER.
“This isn't someone random,” Yost promises of the person behind Scarlet’s mask. “He/She/It has a connection to Spider-Man and/or Peter Parker [and] a lot of history, either directly or indirectly. And they're not necessarily looking to be a hero.”
The Scarlet Spider will find him or herself on the run across the country and winds up in Houston as the story picks up.
“The mission is: run!” says Yost. “At the beginning of the story, Scarlet Spider is trying to get out of the country due to the events of Spider Island. [Between the] police, FBI [and] Avengers, Scarlet Spider is a wanted person. So the logical thing is to get the heck out of Dodge. But as will happen, life gets in the way. Scarlet Spider's trying to stay under the radar for reasons that will be revealed. But once in Houston, trouble is afoot. Hard choices have to be made.”
Speaking of choices, Stegman made quite a few when it came to redesigning the character's costume. Fans will remember that the original consisted mostly of a red bodysuit, much like Spider-Man's, but with a blue hoodie and a much larger spider symbol.
“For the most part I wanted to go in a new direction,” Stegman explains. “I really liked the original Scarlet Spider's logo, so I kept that and re-shaped it a bit. But what I really wanted to do was emphasize the red in the costume. And I wanted to make the costume a bit scarier, because The Scarlet Spider has an edge that regular Spider-Man doesn't. So I thought that big, blood-red eyes on a black mask would really accomplish that. I hope I'm right!”
Costume aside, both creators understand the character's history and plan to give fans something new yet familiar to sink their teeth into.
“People have a love for Scarlet Spider, there's a lot of history there for sure,” Yost notes. “But with any luck, it'll all come together and make sense. Scarlet Spider has a unique perspective on the world, which in turn gives us a new perspective on Spider-Man.”
“I don't have much of a history with this character,” Stegman adds. “I got into comics late, when I was about 16 years old, and I had a window of a few years to read as much as I could before I went to college. Then I was too poor to buy comics in college. So it's been a constant effort since then to catch up on everything that I've missed. I went back and read some of the stuff, and it's helped to get me excited to work on this book, though!”
The creators' excitement stems into working with one another as well. The pair have been bouncing ideas and challenging each other artistically.
“It's been a nightmare,” Yost jokes. “[I constantly have] to work harder and up my game because his art is so amazing. Too amazing. It's going to make my scripts look weak. But the pages are phenomenal. I just got a page in today that blew me away. Especially if you like spiders. And bullets. Ryan Stegman is stealing the show, and I love it.”
“Man, it's been awesome,” Stegman echoes. “Chris actually grew up near where I grew up in Michigan. And early on he had come back to see his family and so he and I got to meet up in person. It was a lot of fun to discuss what would be coming up in SCARLET SPIDER, and he's been really open to a lot of my zany ideas. And I like to throw out a lot of crazy stuff, just to see what sticks, and he's all for it. He's also really good at coming up with stuff that will create great visuals in a comic book. He really tees me up well.”
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