|Scarlet Spider #7 preview pencils by Khoi Pham|
By Ben Morse
The increasingly busy Marvel metropolis of Houston, Texas gets two more new residents on July 11 when Khoi Pham and Tom Palmer join writer Chris Yost as the art team on SCARLET SPIDER.
Pham relishes stepping into the burgeoning world created by Yost and original series artist Ryan Stegman following Kaine, the formerly tainted clone of Peter Parker—aka Spider-Man—as he attempts to build a new life for himself. The artist will look to honor the feel of the book to date while also bringing in his own flavor and innovations.
“Ryan’s a good friend of mine, and I’m a big fan,” says Pham of his predecessor. “Having said that, I do better when I stick with how I envision something to look.
“I’m always trying to get better in general, so that will lead to some subtle changes in my work. As for the less than subtle, I’m working with Chris Yost, he of the animated [Marvel Universe], so I can’t help but bring some of that stylistic flair into the series. It’s fun.”
With SCARLET SPIDER set far from the traditional Marvel hub of New York City, Pham has had to do some extra research, but fortunately he’s had lots of help.
“Houston fans are incredible,” the artist says. “They’ve been reaching out to me through the inter-webs and giving me tips and links about Houston. I’ll also be making a trip [there] in August, so that will definitely help.
“The obvious difference to NYC is that there are fewer buildings. Additionally, the architecture in Houston is a bit more modern. Houston is really pretty, too! Oh, and I get to draw cowboy hats anywhere I want.”
|Scarlet Spider #7 preview art by Khoi Pham, Tom Palmer & Edgar Delgado|
Another shift when it comes to SCARLET SPIDER is differentiating Kaine from his “brother,” the original webslinger, a contrast Pham keeps cognizant of.
“I generally don’t associate Spider-Man with being menacing or scary, so I have to remind myself to make [Kaine] scarier, especially in his body language,” he notes.
Also coming aboard the SCARLET SPIDER team will be inker Palmer, who most recently collaborated with his penciling partner in the pages of DAREDEVIL.
“Tom is great,” Pham praises. “I like to tinker with my style every so often, and Tom is really able to go with the flow. I would go nuts if I had to ink someone like me.”
SCARLET SPIDER #7 kicks off the “Second Master” storyline, which will expand Kaine’s rogues gallery to include a familiar force in the Marvel Universe, plus feature guest appearances by the Rangers and more. Pham sees it as a great jumping on point to one of Marvel’s most talked about new books and hopes a wide audience will migrate down to Texas and check things out:
“I think we’ve got a pretty awesome team working on the book, and I think it shows in the product, both story and art-wise. Fans are going to love it.”